Coaching Philosophy

Our Philosophy

The Pathway to Excellence Player Development Syllabus is the first of its kind developed by Darren Laver and Rick Fenoglio. Rick is a Senior Lecturer in Football (Soccer) in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science Department at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Rick's external work over the past twenty years has been in professional and grassroots football with organizations such as The Football League, Football in the Community, the Football Association of Wales, The Professional Footballers Association and various professional clubs in the UK. He has completed numerous projects for the Manchester United Football Academy and is currently working with Manchester City FC developing an undergraduate degree in Community Coaching.

The syllabus is the first comprehensive soccer curriculum for 8 – 17 year-olds using, as its core foundation, a holistic, player-centered philosophy and a non-linear / constraints-led teaching approach. Unlike other programs, the development of players using these training practices is presented for each age band for the entirety of the program. In order to do this, there is a need for pathway coaches and administrators to ‘re-think’ the traditional role and actions of the coach.

The Pathway to Excellence is an ethical and holistic program. By placing the child-player-learner at the center of everything we do, we empower players to be confident decision-makers, knowledgeable and analytical learners and consummate lovers of the game. This means that we involve the young players and their opinions, thoughts and decisions in nearly every aspect of the club. We actively involve the players in making decisions about their training, their competitions and the running of the club as a whole. Their voice is loud in our collective decision-making. What’s more, we have lots of FUN doing it!

As Pathway Coaches, we know that we have been entrusted by parents and guardians with responsibility as educators for their children, and we do not take this responsibility lightly. Players look to us as responsible adults to impart not only soccer knowledge, but they also look to us to display and foster values and actions of the highest professional level.


Pathway to Excellence

Coaching Philosophy