England DNA Foundation Phase

FA Level 1 in Coaching Football
Make your players' experience...

positive, enjoyable and memorable

Foundation Phase

As a Foundation Phase coach, your sessions are a player's 'first steps' in football.

Get them right and you'll help your team to develop a love of physical activity – plus skills and abilities that are useful in all areas of life. So let's get started.

Based on the England DNA, this area of The Boot Room explains how to coach players aged 5-11. However, child development isn't a clear-cut science, so we've also included information for under fives, right up to players aged 12. To reflect the differences you’ll see across this age range, we often chunk advice into two strands: coaching for players aged 5-8 and coaching for players aged 9-12.

The Foundation Phase England DNA recognises that there's more to your team's development than their technical skills. If you want to support the 'big picture', it's important to take a holistic approach and address all areas of The FA 4 Corner Model: social, psychological, physical and technical/tactical. Find out more in the playlists below.

As you take a look around, remember the words of Pete Sturgess, FA lead for the Foundation Phase: "Players are only young once, so we owe it to them to get this right".


How old are your players?

Closing Date: 31.10.19

  • 10%
  • 36%
  • 39%
  • 15%

FP Playlists

Remember: the Foundation Phase is just the start...

And, whether you currently work with a team or want to get involved, the ‘aim of the game’ is to create a positive and enjoyable experience of football. Not only will this help your players to build a wide range of skills, it’ll also encourage a lifelong love of both physical activity and sport. 

Want to know how the England DNA evolves with your players? To review our priorities for the Youth Development Phase (12-16) and Professional Development Phase (17-21), click here.


Being a coach in the Foundation Phase offers a unique opportunity:  there's no better time to influence a child's attitude to sport and learning than during their early years.

- Pete Sturgess, FA national lead for the Foundation Phase


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