Youth football expert shares 'critical' part of a player's development

We’re delighted to welcome the founder of Kinetic Academy Harry Hudson as our exclusive columnist. Each week the youth football expert will be giving his views on the biggest talking points on wonderkids across the UK…

As founder of the Kinetic Academy, Harry Hudson knows youth football better than the majority so he’s aware of the critical areas of a player’s development.

For a lot of young people up and down the country, the dream of being a professional footballer looms large and it can be easy to become laser-focused on that one goal.

Hudson, whose Kinetic Academy is set to play in the National League Under-19s Alliance and the FA Youth Cup this season, set up the foundation to help young people in South London to expand their horizons while trying to achieve their original dream.

Having a fallback route to go down should professional football not work out for any given individual is vital in Hudson’s eyes which is why it is one of the first things asked of a teenager when they arrive at the charity.

“We always refer to it as a drip-feeding process,” Hudson told The Football Wonderkids. “We tell them on day one when they start with us on the program ‘don’t think about football, what’s your plan B?’

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“They would be like ‘don’t know, don’t care’ so we have to be drip-feeding the plan B across the two years so they can think about what they do if not.

“The plan B process is important but the actual timing of it is critical and in the past, we have done it wrong whether it be too early or too late.

“When a young person has a plan B, they actually start to perform better on the pitch because they are under less pressure.”

58 players have graduated from the Kinetic Academy and onto professional football clubs with the latest being Makhaya James who signed on the dotted line at League Two side Colchester United.

In other Kinetic Academy news, Hudson did not hold back when discussing the treatment of young people within professional clubs.