What is the Football Development Model?

Focused on sound principles of long-term athlete development, the Football Development Model is the script for how we coach, play and learn the game at every level.

Sign up to receive updates on the future of football.

A Framework for 21st Century Football

The Football Development Model
allows us to ...

  • Instill solid fundamentals
  • Develop better players
  • Provide multiple entry points and game options
  • Create developmentally appropriate skill instruction

By teaching the game in a fun and engaging way, we can more effectively meet players’ developmental needs based on their individual stages of growth and development.

How Does It Work?

We’ve incorporated scientifically based guidelines, which assist us in building recommended stages of development for athletes as they grow through the sport. This helps coaches and parents gauge the progress of a young player’s skill level and game readiness.

By taking athletes from their touchpoint into the sport and continuing through opportunities in high school and beyond, the Football Developmental Model guides every individual as they learn, develop and progress through the sport.

View the Football Development Model guide.

Six Pillars to the Football Development Model

The foundation of the Football Development Model is based on six pillars. When working together, these pillars create the blueprint for the football community to create better athletes.

Why Do We Need It?

Through the Football Development Model we are nourishing and propelling the whole person beyond what we can see and feel between the sidelines.

What does this mean? Younger, smaller athletes are best served by playing on smaller fields. It also means providing more entry points into the game through both flag and modified versions of tackle football.

What football influencers
are saying ...

B1G 10
Pac 12

Football Development Model Council

Medical / Child Development Specialists

Long-Term Athlete Development and ADM Specialists

Football Subject Matter Experts

Where Are We Going?

Working with medical experts and football leaders throughout the sport, USA Football is researching and developing the resources and tools to guide coaches and parents on athlete development.

As players grow physically, mentally and emotionally, so does the teaching, helping coaches challenge athletes in an appropriate way to bring out the best inside them.

2019 Football Development Model Pilot Program

In 2019, USA Football will begin to track and measure data relative to participation, growth and retention of players within football. We will be working with leagues from across the country and obtaining feedback from all major stakeholders of the game - parents, coaches, administrators. Our goal is to measure program effectiveness and positive, developmentally appropriate child experiences.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date on the latest developments on USA Football’s Football Development Model

Rookie Tackle

Learn more about a crucial part in USA Football’s Football Development Model