Between 1997 and 2009 the Growth Spurt Study took place in the famous Dutch youth academy system. All 36 professional youth academies participated resulting in a database of more than 10 thousand youth players. For 12 years, every month, the players’ body length and weight was measured. Also, all injuries were recorded, including the nature, cause and seriousness, and the number of training sessions and matches that were missed as a result.

During the webinar, Raymond Verheijen will present a number of shocking findings based on the Growth Spurt Study which caused an ethical discussion in Dutch football.

  • A huge ‘month of birth bias’ with most players being born early in the calendar year and correspondingly only a few players born late in the calendar year.
  • Because of the ‘month of birth bias’ many talented youth players are overlooked by scouts.
  • The ‘month of birth bias’ results in overtraining of younger players within age category.
  • The overtraining of younger players results in irregular growth patterns and injuries.
  • Younger players within an age group become smaller people as they lose 6-10 centimeters during the period from Under 13 to Under 19.

Based on the shocking results of the Growth Spurt Study, Raymond Verheijen will present several solutions for coaches to deal with the growth spurt of youth players and how to avoid growth deficiencies and subsequent injuries. Verheijen will demonstrate how the scouting and training of talented youth players can be optimized.


Webinar: The Principles of Football Braining

WFA-groupThe Principles of Football Braining
– Football Psychology in Football Language

To further develop their coaching skills, coaches are constantly looking for psychological knowledge as every football coach has to deal with the psychological component in football on a daily basis.

Winning football games and stretching boundaries in football training means players must be able to cope with unpredictable and uncomfortable situations. Conceding a goal, taking the decisive penalty or dealing with extreme fatigue: these are all uncomfortable situations in which players have to stay comfortable. Are players able to stay focussed on their task or will they be distracted by these external factors?

Psychology has a lot to offer to football coaches to develop the above mentioned abilities within their players. However, psychology is traditionally defined in general catch-all words like ‘confidence’ and ‘mental toughness’. This non-contextual language often results in non-contextual solutions and exercises which have no meaning to football players and coaches.

During the webinar on Wednesday 21 January 2015, Raymond Verheijen will introduce the principles of the Football Braining concept. In this concept, psychology is defined in football language allowing psychological principles to be applied in football exercises.
This football specific psychology concept has been developed by Verheijen in exactly the same football specific way he developed the football physiology concept (Football Periodisation).

Download Webinar info here (PDF)


Pre- season Periodisation webinar 18-12-2014

Pre-season PeriodisationManchester United is facing a major injury crisis. With a list of 43 injuries this season, the injury crisis is a hot topic all over the world. During next week’s webinar ‘Pre-season Periodisation’ Raymond Verheijen will explain how to use periodisation to prevent injuries by using Manchester United as a case study. The webinar is a practical illustration of many topics such as:

• The periodisation of pre-season after a short off-season
• How to regain freshness of players during pre-season?
• Taking over a team with an extensive playing style last season
• Taking over a team with a high injury rate last season
• And more..

The webinar has been made available for all time zones. Scheduled at 11am CET, 01:30pm CET (Japanese translation) and 08pm CET.

Register now to avoid disappointment:

Webinar Pre-season Periodisation – 18 December

WFA_Webinar141218_Pre-season-periodisation_Pagina_1January and February are pre-season months in many parts of the world like Japan, Australia, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and the USA. In most other countries, teams prepare for the second part of the season.

During this webinar about ‘Pre-season Periodisation’ you will learn how to apply the principles of football periodisation in preparation for the (re-)start of the season. You will learn how to develop a top fit team without injuries, presented by Raymond Verheijen.

After the webinar you will have a detailed understanding of both the importance and the application of pre-season periodisation. This webinar will also make you reflect on your own pre-season planning and therefore it is even more valuable.


• The benefits of pre-season periodisation for the head coach
• Pre-season periodisation: professional vs amateur football
• The periodisation of a 12 week pre-season
• The periodisation of a 2 week pre-season
• The periodisation of pre-season after a short off-season
• Double sessions during pre-season?
• How to determine the football fitness zero point of players?
• How to plan midweek games in pre-season?
• and more…


Webinar “Youth Football Periodisation: Feyenoord Academy case study

Webinar19112014 Youth Academy-RVThe first WFA webinar “Youth Football Periodisation: Feyenoord Academy case study” was presented by Raymond Verheijen on 19th of November. The webinar was hosted on three different times during one day in order to broadcast for all time zones.

During the webinar multiply topics on Youth Football Periodisation were presented. The topics were explained with examples from the Feyenoord Academy where the principles of football periodisation were implemented between 2006 and 2009 by Raymond Verheijen.
The first webinar was a great success and coaches from over 30 countries attended. On behalf of the World Football Academy we want to thank the coaches from all over the world for joining the webinar!

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