SAP Programs

Philosophy and Methodology

The Skill Acquisition Phase is one key element of Football Federation Australia’s National Building Blocks for Player Development and it is strongly supported by Football Tasmania.

A key aspect of the FFA National Curriculum is the implementation of high-quality Skill Acquisition Phase programs, to perfect and accelerate the skill development of players at the critical ages of 9 to 12 years. These are the age groups universally acknowledged to be the optimal mental and physical phase in which children are able to learn motor skills at an accelerated rate.

In Australia, there is often too strong an emphasis placed on results at too young an age, as well as stressing tactical outcomes and physical conditioning. Therefore, generally the biggest, strongest and fastest kids are being identified in the younger age groups ahead of those who may be smaller, appear slower, but have better game understanding and skill levels.

Although winning is the purpose of a game of football, the manner and importance differs per age group. At the younger ages, youth development should focus on teaching children the skills to compete in a game of football “the proper way”.  At the world’s top level, the most skilful players decide the games; not the biggest, strongest and fittest!

At this age, football should be all about having fun and getting better. Well-constructed and well-implemented Skill Acquisition Phase programs ensure our youngest footballers are doing just that.

Skill Acquisition Phase (SAP) Programs

Football Tasmania (FT) is a strong advocate of the correct conduct of programs for players in the Skill Acquisition Phase of their development.  FT will continue to support the implementation of programs in a variety of ways in our all football environments.

By assisting and supporting with administration as well as at practical levels, Football Tasmania aims to encourage all those conducting junior player development sessions to manage their specific environments in a way that brings together players from the Under 9’s to Under 12’s age groups twice a week to train as well as play in games at various times in high quality and developmentally-appropriate football environments.

Programs that are able to satisfy certain criteria and maintain these benchmarks will be recognised as FT-endorsed programs.  The programs will run for a minimum of 36 weeks per year, with FT offering opportunities for mini-tournaments at various times each year.

FT will continue to hold regular SAP festivals for the Under 9s to 12s age groups to give players the chance to play with and against players at similar stages of their development.

Find out more information on your nearest FT-endorsed SAP Program:

FT endorsement of SAP programs

To ensure a consistency in the level of service provision by providers, registration of SAP programs is now required. Providers that meet registration criteria will be endorsed by FT and their information will be displayed on the FT website including details of their programs, allowing the public to make better choices around programs for their children.

To access the registration form and other required documentation please CLICK HERE

National SAP Festival

FT plays host to the National Skill Acquisition Festival each year. This Festival is held in Devonport and regularly sees interstate teams from other Member Federation or Club-based SAP programs participate in high-level competition.

In 2020, this tournament will be conducted over the weekend of February 21 – 23.