Muswell Hill's Number 1 Football Development Programme

 

 

 

"Zac has definitely improved and enjoys trying tricks, his touch and general ability are much better. Overall, I think it's been very positive and the best football programme Zac has been to"

- Tarik, Zac's dad, from the Muswell Hill programme

 

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10 Reasons to Choose Ministry of Football

1. Our coaches are experts.

We believe that the key factor in any learning programme is the quality of the teacher. All our coaches are experts in child development and are very experienced at teaching youngsters. They are brilliant communicators, have a wide variety of activities at their finger-tips - and will be happy to answer any questions that parents have about their child's learning or progress. We work as a team, co-coaching and learning from each other. All MoF coaches have undertaken the FA's Age-Appropriate Youth Modules or the Premier Skills Practice-Play courses. But more importantly, our coaches are fascinated by Learning and are students of the learning process. We value research on Learning and our programme is set-up to deliver Learner-centred, game-based football. 

2. A positive, creative learning environment.

We provide a very positive and enjoyable environment for all ages and abilities. Everyone is welcome at MoF; we have no trials and we welcome the beginner in the same way we welcome the more able child.

We understand that standing in queues waiting for your turn never helped anyone. Current research shows that learning happens quickest and most effectively when we are learning at the "edge of our ability". This means that children need to be grouped with other children who will push them to the edge of their ability. And coaches need to have the skills to help each child reach the edge of their ability in sessions. At MoF we do this in a calm, friendly and positive way.

3. Excellent Value-for-Money.

We do not have a joining fee. We do not force parents to buy a special jersey. We do not charge for extras, like occassional friendly games. On average, groups have a player:coach ratio of 8-10 players per coach, and this means all children receive attention, feedback and coaching in every session. All this, and a unique, enjoyable football experience regardless of age, ability or experience.

4. We excel in small-sided games and child-friendly competition

Our 4v4 Mini-Leagues are a shining example of how to run short-duration, child-friendly competition. For children from school years 3 to 6, our Mini-Leagues give children the opportunity to play football with friends against other teams - with no coaching, no substitutes, no massive pitches, no expensive team kits, no need to make a long-term commitment and no travel to away games.

Our regular coaching sessions are game-based. We believe that is the best and most enjoyable way for childrne to learn to football. Children at MoF spend most of their time in 2-aside, 3-aside and 4-aside games of football - or other forms of modified, opposed games. Skill development requires that decisions are made, and it is our contention that clever footballers are developed by playing football games rather than dribbling through lines of cones.

5. We have strong links to professional clubs.

Since 2009, several Ministry of Football children have successfully found places at professional club Academies. Most of these children started out at MoF as beginners, and have grown within our programme. We don't believe that talent identification is possible at young ages, and we therefore treat all our children with equal importance and provide them all with the chance to develop and learn. When the time is right, we have the links and contacts for them to make the step to professional club football. [Interestingly, every child we have sent to a pro club Academy has remained in the MoF programme, most saying that they enjoy our environment more. It is - they say - less pressured, more enjoyable and more intense :-)]  

6. Our venues are first-class.

Fortismere School (Muswell Hill) and St Michael's (Finchley) offer secure and leafy venues. We use well-equipped, spacious Sports Halls for our sessions. There is ample car-parking, and lots of room for parents and siblings to sit in comfort to watch the session. Because we are an indoor programme, we are never cancelled because of the weather, and no-one gets cold outdoors!

7. The atmosphere is unique.

We use music in our sessions to help create an environment where children can get lost in their own imagination. Our popularity as a football development programme owes much to the fact that every session has a buzz about it which is not replicated by any other children's sports programme. We believe that children deserve more than just Fun, and that football can offer them opportunities to get lost in Flow. More about that here.

8. Feedback from parents is exceptional.

In the past two years, 80% of parents who completed a feedback form said that we are better than most other activities they go to, and 20% said it is their favourite weekly activity. All parents said that we helped develop their child's football skills and creativity. 90% of parents said that we helped develop their child's confidence. Our coaches and coaching were rated 'Good' by 50% of respondents, and 'Very Good' by the other 50%. Our venue, facilities and equipment were rated 'Good' or 'Very Good' by 88% of parents. Click here for more parent feedback.

9. We are not a franchise.

There is only one Ministry of Football! We have not diluted the children's learning experience by franchising out to a Level 1 beginner coach. This means we can offer consistently high-quality sessions, each and every week. It also means we can improvise, be spontaneous, and coach free of the restraints of someone else's coaching programme and philosophy.

10. We don't think we know everything!

The skills needed to play football at the top level will change and grow over the next 20 years in ways that we cannot imagine. It is not enough therefore to teach children everything we know. We want children to grow beyond the knowledge of today's coaches, and to give them the skills, creativity and confidence to invent the game of the future. In the words of the famous child-psychologist Jean Piaget: "The principle goal of education is to create people who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done - people who are creative, inventive and discoverers."

 

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