How we behave depends on what is important to us.

When our goal is winning the U15 league this season, we pick the bigger, faster and stronger players now.

We pack our programme with high-intensity running to ensure our team can outrun the opposition (putting our players at higher risk of injury).

And we box players into specific positions, drilling down on exactly what they have to do by explicitly directing their behaviour.

But when our goal is to develop players of Champions League calibre, we forget about selecting talent.

Instead, we create an environment that helps a player find clarity about what they want to do, and how they are going to get there.

We clearly define the skills and attributes, and their interconnectedness, of high-performing footballers, then help each player work hard to improve them.

And we focus on helping each player find their own way of doing it.

The funny thing is, it’s likely that only the truly committed will sign to such an environment, taking care of the talent for us.

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Craig’s passion is helping athletes become the best that they can be. In February 2014, Craig completed his PhD, with a focus on athlete development, at AUT University and has lead Athlete Development since 2010. In that time he has seen the programme grow from strength to strength.

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