Our Journey: The Young Elites Way

Humble Beginnings

Young Elites was formed in 2014 with the aim to provides fun, challenging and educational sessions to support children in achieving “Excellence Through Hard-work and Dedication.” Young Elites began as a private coaching entity based in the Norfolk Park Area of Sheffield before launching FA affiliated entities based in the Sheffield Area and continuing to expand regionally. We are excited to reach our 10 year anniversary in our local area of Sheffield .

YEFC (2017-2019) & YEFC Halfway (2018) was formed to further expand our realm of influence on local football and increase participation for all. Our Founder, Faffy Gwindi, has over a decade of working with children in the Yorkshire area and is a driver of our ethos and operational structure here at Young Elites; working for Sheffield United Academy FC as a contracted coach provides a sustainable foundation for Young Elites to be at the forefront of grassroots football from a development perspective. We are believers in applying lessons learnt from robust institutions within and beyond the football arena.


Young Elites works with over 100 children per week with 50% of these children enrolled into our grassroots entities. We are delighted of our continuous growth as we welcome “Wild Cats Accreditation” and new teams for boys and girls in the Sheffield area. Our local boys are having opportunities to merge with people from various areas and counties whilst learning about the world around them. 

Young Elites Social Promise

Our coaching and teaching methods are aimed to educate, challenge and develop every performer. We realise and value how influential sport is to young performers. Young Elites has an obligation to encourage the manifestation of our coaching and teaching methods in everyday life. Child development is the main priority at Young Elites, therefore, our dedicated team consistently deliver fun and challenging sessions in an environment parents can engage and positively influence. We support our dedicated team in every aspect of their coaching journey, in order to guarantee the best possible experience for parents and children. Every member of our dedicated team has been through an enhanced DBS (CRB) check. Above that, every member of our team is obliged to be exemplary in their private lives in order to guarantee that every child is learning from a team genuinely dedicated to meeting the needs of children and parents. Our commitment to child development gives us an obligation to be active in the community. At Young Elites we assure our coaching and teaching methods are aimed to meet the specific needs of each performer. Our work in the community gives us awareness of how we can channel our coaching and teaching methods to support parents and children in the best possible manner. Young Elites aims to bring the best out of children.


THE YOUNG ELITES WAY: “Excellence Through Hardwork & Dedication”


At Young Elites we aim to be the best we can for our participants, families, coaching team, partners and local community. We believe that through Hardwork & Dedication, Excellence can be achieved.


Diversity: We celebrate diversity in everything we do! We have families and children from all over the globe and place equal importance on celebrating the uniqueness in every individual’s talents at Young Elites.

Local: We place great pride and importance in having a positive social impact on our local community. We are driven to create a safe local community for our young people to achieve anything they aspire to. Through football we can place our stamp on our local community in begin to instil life long principles into the future generation with hopes that this leads to the propagation of positive minded and community caring future generation.

Forward thinking: We aim to provide the very best coaching arena for grassroots children of all abilities to access. Our dedicated team place great importance in working with our Head Coach in building an unrivalled syllabus that mirrors that of Category 1 & 2 Academies.

Excellence: We aim to thrive to be the very best in everything we do. We appreciate that development outweighs performance when creating a learner friendly environment for our boys and girls; we however do not negate the need to aspire to be the best we can be and the importance of instilling a winning mentality into the future generation.

The Journey | A Unique Insight into the Philosophy, Ideology and Principles that Drive Young Elites

“The Journey” incorporates that of which is at the very core of Young Elites. It provides an in-depth insight into what drives our teaching methods and zooms into our unique philosophy, ideology and principles. Joining Young Elites is far much more than merely receiving a service; we pride ourselves in our ability to build productive relationships with children and families. We are protagonists of a culture that prioritises the developmental needs of the whole-child. Developing technical, physical, tactical, cognitive and social elements is a minimum requirement at Young Elites; we create an environment that embraces individuality, and provide a healthy platform for children to enjoy learning. The role of the parent is pivotal in regards to creating and reinforcing an environment in which children can flourish.  Maintaining effective communication systems that promote a cohesive approach in regards to creating the best outcomes for children is a priority in everything we carry out.

1. The Journey | Embracing Individuality

Working with children from different walks of life, demands a culture that advocates the notion of Individuality. Embracing Individuality creates a platform on which children can build productive relationships with one another, while negating the need to ‘fit in with the crowd’. Embracing Individuality enhances the learning process as it encourages children to take ownership of their own progress and development. This allows the child to not perceive any other child/entity as a benchmark of success; it creates a non-pressured environment for children to assess their journey and reflect on potential areas of improvement. Our dedicated team are specialists in implementing teaching methods tailored to meet the individual-needs of the whole-child. From the very first time your child joins any of our prominent age-specific “Magician” classes, our dedicated team begin to gather knowledge relating to the child as an individual. Gathering Individual-Related Knowledge is pivotal in not only understanding the needs of the whole-child, but in also channeling our teaching methods to yield the best outcomes for the children we are privileged to work with here at Young Elites.


Gathering Individual-Related Knowledge 


Our specialist team are experts in recognizing and retaining relevant information when Gathering Individual-Related Knowledge. From the moment a child arrives at our session, we begin to observe and gather relevant information. Embracing Individuality enhances the Gathering Individual-Related Knowledge process, as it allows our coaches to treat every knowledge gathering process as a new opportunity to positively influence the developmental process of the whole-child. Continuous observational assessments, combined with effective communication systems with parents, creates a culture that values the importance of a Child-Centered Approach. Gathering child-related knowledge and implementing support mechanisms based on knowledge gathered, is a continuous process at Young Elites. This ultimately allows us to measure the extent to which the needs of children are satisfied and guarantees best outcomes for children of different aptitudes.  Our dedicate team delivers a curriculum which demands participants to exhibit and exercise their cognitive skill-sets while providing the technical and physical tuition necessary for children of all abilities to express themselves.   (ADD MORE THAN TACTICS BOARD…)

Familiarity with the Environment

Our dedicated team prioritises the importance in assuring that our youngest performers are familiar with the environment. Developing the whole-child requires the child to be in-sync with the environment. Embracing individuality, and encouraging children to express themselves while building and maintaining productive relationships with others makes it possible for children of different aptitudes to flourish. Our coaches are equipped with the necessary tools to ascertain the extent to which a child is in-sync with their environment. A confident child is not necessarily the loudest child during sessions; we assess the extent to which a child is familiar and comfortable with the environment by their desire and enthusiasm to learn, willingness to explore, positive management of relationships, self-belief, innovativeness and inclination to take on challenges. Our ability to build relationships with parents provides us with an in-depth understanding of the children we work with. It is not our mission to change who children are; through Embracing Individuality and building positive relationships with parents in order to gain an in-depth understanding of our performers, our mission is to create an environment in which children can flourish. Positive-Parental- Engagement (PPE) is paramount in achieving our mission.

 Value in Embracing Individuality

 It is our passion and obligation to create a platform on which children from different walks of life can flourish. Embracing Individuality is at the very core of achieving that of which we have set out to achieve. We welcome children from all walks of life, and assure parents that our support mechanisms are aimed to educate, motivate and reward every performer. Embracing Individuality guarantees parents that regardless of your child’s experience, age, gender, personal preferences or any other differentiating factor and characteristic, Young Elites will assure that support mechanisms are implemented to address the individual needs of the child.

2. The Journey | Positive Parental Engagement (PPE)

Due to the extensive pool of players and continuous quest to find that ‘one diamond’, Football  Academies and professional clubs have very little time, if any, dedicated to embracing the notion of Positive Parental Engagement (PPE). On the contrast, due to a lack of resources, time, expertise or productive working relationships, grassroots clubs and schools struggle to create a platform on which they can continuously work cohesively with parents in implementing child-tailored support mechanisms.


Any system that fails to acknowledge the influence the amount of parental contact time has on the development of the whole-child simultaneously pushes the child away from core of the developmental process. Positive Parental Engagement creates a platform for parents to positively influence the developmental process of the whole-child. Young Elites treasure’s the importance of sharing participant-related knowledge with parents. This allows us to work cohesively with parents in creating the best possible outcomes for children. PPE encourages parents to take ownership of the development of their child.  By constantly updating parents on progress, points of improvement and future development, we aim to assure that parents are fully informed and involved in the developmental process.


Positive Parental Engagement: Before, During and After Sessions…


Positive Parental Engagement does not require parents to gain football coaching qualifications or parents to be football fanatics; PPE requires parents to engage. Informing parents regarding child-related gathered knowledge is a minimum requirement on our behalf. Assuring that we share a mutual-enthusiasm in regards to the developmental process of the whole-child guarantees sustainable working relationships and communication systems that yield the best outcomes for children. A single week has 168 hours; on average we have the privilege of working with our ‘Magicians’ for only 1- 3 hours per week. This explains why we place great importance in assuring that parents are positively engaged with the developmental process of the whole-child before, during and after sessions.

 before and After Sessions:

Sustainable development occurs outside of prescribed session times. arents are encouraged to reinforce the principles, ideas and techniques we advocate. At Young Elites, we defy the conventional misconception that perceives football as merely a tool to develop the technical, tactical and physical aptitudes of participants. We place equal importance on instilling life-long principles such as respect, critical thinking, aspiring for excellence, dedication, positive attitude when faced with challenges and relationship building into children from a tender age. This provides parents with a wide spectrum of principles, ideas and techniques to reinforce away from sessions. Focusing on these areas of development does not of course replace the need of reinforcing technical, tactical and physical principles; it provides a holistic approach in relation to the developmental process of the whole child.


During Sessions:


PPE is not about being the loudest parent on the side-line, or pushing children beyond their realms of development and capabilities; PPE is about working cohesively, sharing child-related knowledge and raising awareness. This does not only enhance our understanding of the child as an individual, it also allows us to implement individually tailored support mechanisms to satisfy the developmental needs of the whole-child. We prioritise the importance of continuously interacting and liaising with parents and updating them on points of improvement, progress made and potentially implementing a non-obligatory development plan that incorporates developing the whole-child. We encourage parents to merely observe during sessions; this provides parents with an opportunity to optimally recognise and retain child-related knowledge and assess progress. We also encourage parents to play a passive role during sessions because it creates a healthy learning environment for children. Maintaining consistency, in regards to the level of detail provided to children is pivotal in enhancing our participant’s understanding of the game.

Positive Parental Engagement: Enhancing the Process of Play With an increasing number of parents working extra hours during the week and plenty sacrificing their weekends as a result of financial demands, the amount of time dedicated to taking a trip to the park or having a back-garden ‘kick-about’ has been significantly compromised. As a result, very little time is dedicated to assessing the quality of play in regards to enhancing the developmental process of the whole child. PPE assures that parents are aware of child-related areas of success, points of improvement and overall progress. This will then provide a platform on which parents and children can use the Process of Play as a tool to focus on specific areas of development without sacrificing the importance of uncompromised play.

3. The Journey | Player-Coach Interactions

At Young Elites we believe that the best coaches produce the most critical thinkers. We invest an extensive amount of time and resources to assure that our coaches embrace our philosophy and value the importance of continuous development to guarantee that they are equipped with the relevant tools to bring about the best outcomes for our ‘Magicians’. In every Player-Coach Interaction, we see opportunity; an opportunity to Challenge and Develop Perceptions, reinforce the dynamic nature of the beautiful game, highlight points of improvements and reward success as we perceive it here at Young Elites. We pride ourselves on our unique ability to continuously find ways to engage with children and families. Our ability to build positive and productive relationships with participants and families creates a healthy platform to assure that every Player- Coach Interaction yields the best outcomes for our ‘Magicians’.

Embracing Individuality and placing great importance on continuously Gathering Individual-related Knowledge assures that every Player-Coach Interaction is tailored to meet the needs of every child. Our emphasis on productive Coach-Player Interactions, combined with an understanding of the value in providing participants with an optimum opportunity to explore, Self-Correct and Individually-Reflect guarantees development. Our dedicated team are specialists in regards to assessing when to address points of improvement, and when to monitor the rate at which a participant exhibits a high/low Propensity to Self-Correct and Individually-Reflect (PSCIR).

 Propensity to Self-Correct and Individually-Reflect (PSCIR)

Player-Coach Interactions are pivotal in regards to assessing the extent to which a participant has understood a principle, idea or technique. It is however important for our dedicated team to continuously assess how effective our Player-Coach Interactions are in yielding the best results for children. Monitoring the extent to which a participant exhibits a Propensity to Self-Correct and Individually-Reflect is paramount in assuring that our Player-Coach Interactions are yielding the best results. Assuring that players fully understand the dynamic nature of the game when introducing principles, ideas and techniques is a priority here at Young Elites. Our Player-Coach Interactions produce players who exhibit a high Propensity to Self-Correct and Individually-Reflect. Excessive interventions can be detrimental as they create an over-reliance on Player-Coach Interactions. At Young Elites, we do not only assess a player’s understanding of a particular ideology, principle or technique by how many times they execute it flawlessly. We encourage young players to Play Without Fear of making mistakes as it provides an opportunity for our ‘Magicians’ to show us their level of understanding of a particular ideology, principle or technique by exhibiting a high PSCIR. Our continuous quest to achieve Technical & Tactical Excellence heavily relies upon maintaining productive Player-Coach Interactions and providing optimum opportunity to exhibit a high PSCIR.

 Insight | Player Coach Interaction-Propensity to Self-Correct and Individually-Reflect.

A participant exhibiting a high PSCIR may need more Player Coach Interactions than one exhibiting a low PSCIR. Our dedicated team are specialists in ascertaining the reasons behind a participant exhibiting a low PSCIR. When introduced to an ideology, principle or technique, participants are more likely to exhibit a low PSCIR. Coach interventions while participants are exploring may be detrimental, as they inhibit the opportunity to individually experience success without immediate Player-Coach Interactions. Our dedicated team’s discerning eye is continuously Gathering Individual-related Knowledge during the exploring stage. There is value is allowing players to make mistakes and exhibit a low PSCIR during this stage; however, delaying Player Coach Interactions for too long during the exploring stage may lead to disengagement. Our dedicated team are vigilant when it comes to assuring that children maintain optimum engagement during sessions. Reading crucial signals such as body language and willingness to continue exploring is pivotal in optimizing the amount of time reserved to provide an opportunity for participants to self-correct before intervening. Creating an environment in which children freely explore without the fear of making mistakes is paramount in propagating critical thinkers who value the dynamic nature of the game when introduced to ideas, principles or techniques. At Young Elites we provide children with more than merely a temporary ‘sense’ of achievement; by creating a platform on which children can take ownership of their development, while receiving expert guidance from our dedicated team, we are passionate about creating a healthy environment that promotes lifelong learning.


A player exhibiting a high PSCIR may require more Player Coach Interactions than a player exhibiting a low PSCIR. Assuring that participants grasp a particular ideology, principal or technique is a minimal requirement at Young Elites. Empowering participants with the tools necessary to understand when and how to apply various principles, ideologies or techniques is a priority at Young Elites. The dynamic nature of the game demands a syllabus that strikes the fine balance between manipulating the environment to enhance the ability of players to grasp principles, ideologies and techniques, and assuring that participants recognise signals from the environment that prompts them to apply particular principles, ideologies or techniques in a dynamic situation more representative of the nature of the game. A participant exhibiting a high PSCIR needs Player Coach Interactions that creates a link between a particular principle, ideology or technique, and the external environment. Assuring that participants can combine the cognitive elements that enhance their ability to recognise these links, with the technical elements that enhances efficient execution is pivotal in empowering players to have the freedom to exhibit these principles, ideologies or techniques in a ‘real-situation’.


Player Coach Interactions that merely aid the grasping of principles, ideologies or techniques are detrimental to achieving sustainable development. Our dedicated team often ‘picks the brains’ of participants to assure that they can visualise the link between principles, ideologies or techniques, and the external environment.  This cognitive aspect is essential in creating flexible players who have the character to Play Without Fear. Player Coach Interactions that creates links between principles, ideologies or techniques, and the external environment empowers participants. Independent Decision Making is a key measure of sustainable development at Young Elites. Our Player Coach Interactions creates participants that can independently recognise and retain information from the external environment. At a tender age, our ‘Magicians’ begin to understand advanced principles, ideologies or techniques, and visualise links with the external environment.

4. The Journey | Independent Decision Making


Immersing young players in a dynamic environment demands support mechanisms that incorporate and appreciate the difficulty in effective decision making within such an environment. We encourage players to constantly register information from the external environment; filtering out irrelevant information is a pivotal part in assuring that this process enhances the developmental process of our participants. There is value in assuring that players are physically prepared to effectively compete at a standard that compliments their current aptitude. However, we place great emphasis on promoting a culture that produces players that value the importance of understanding the environment. Consistent Player Coach Interactions are paramount in aiding young players to recognise the external environment. Recognition of the external environment is a key step in effective Independent Decision Making. Young players are encouraged to Play Without Fear of making mistakes. This creates a healthy platform for each Player-Coach Interaction to be participant-tailored. We do not believe optimum development has been achieved until players can independently recognise and retain information from the external environment and independently make decisions based on the information recognised and retained. 


Independent Decision Making is a key measure of sustainable development at Young Elites.  Our Player-Coach Interactions aim to propagate participants that understand the game. A pivotal part of assuring that participants understand various principles, ideologies and techniques is assessing their ability to apply them in dynamic situation. By continuously monitoring individual progress, we tailor our sessions to address the needs of children. Empowering participants with the knowledge necessary is a minimal requirement when aiming to produce young participants who embrace and exhibit Independent Decision Making. An environment that encourages participants to Play Without Fear is paramount in encouraging Independent Decision Making. We believe that a combination of empowering participants with the necessary knowledge and creating an environment that encourages participants to Play Without Fear is a healthy platform to yield participants that exhibit Independent Decision Making.



Challenging Perceptions is pivotal when aiming to produce participants who understand the game. A participant’s perception of notions such as success, failure, teamwork and empathy influences their Independent Decision Making. Immersing children in grass root teams at an early age places emphasis on winning games and scoring goals; this means that success is only recognised when a participant has scored or their team has ‘won’. At Young Elites we are constantly Challenging Perceptions to assure that development is consistently the primary focus.

5.The Journey | Challenging Perceptions

The beauty about the beautiful game is that it can be played by anyone, anywhere and even with anything (bottles, oranges…). When children play football in the park, school grounds, grass root teams, back garden, street corners and academies, an undiscerning eye may only see a bunch of kids kicking a ball. Norms are reinforced and perceptions are embedded every time participants exercise their right to play the beautiful game. Challenging Perceptions is pivotal in assuring that children enhance their understanding of the game. At Young Elites we believe that success incorporates much more than being a top goal-scorer or winning team; we embrace and celebrate every pass, first touch, 1-2, drop of the shoulder, step-over and every other aspect of the game. We believe that football provides much more than just goals, points results, WAG’s and HAB’s; it provides a unique opportunity for young people to express themselves. Every Player-Coach Interaction incorporates a vital element of Challenging Perceptions and simultaneously reinforcing perceptions. This enhances the developing of norms within the learning environment.

 It is often our coaches stop the game to praise participants who play what may seems to be a simple pass; this provides a platform on which players can begin to appreciate the value in keeping possession when necessary. Contrastingly, we also shine light on players who show the courage to execute or attempt complex principles and techniques in dynamic situations. Dedicating a significant amount of time to assuring that players have the necessary support mechanisms to grasp various techniques, principles and ideologies is a minimum requirement here at Young Elites. Placing equal importance on developing and recreating perceptions provides a platform on which participants can embrace our culture of Excellency and enhance their football knowledge from a tender age. By zooming into techniques and principles that seem basic, we simultaneously Challenge Perceptions; this provides a healthy platform for participants to understand various elements of the game. Our Player-Coach Interactions continuously aspire to achieve Technical and Tactical Excellency. Every member of our dedicated embraces this culture of Excellency and every interaction reinforces the importance of thriving for Technical and Tactical Excellency.

At Young Elites we believe that achieving Technical and Tactical Excellency is possible! Our dedicated team embraces this ideology of Excellency, and thrive to assure that our sessions are a manifestation of what drives Young Elites. A pivotal element in aspiring to achieve Excellency is assuring that our performers flourish within a positive and engaging learning environment. At Young Elites we are not content with merely producing technically and tactically gifted players; we believe we have an obligation to propagate critical thinkers who embrace the principles we passionately advocate. Our ambitious quest to achieve Technical and Tactical Excellency heavily relies upon embracing a culture that advocates effective Player-Coach Interactions. Our Player-Coach Interactions empower participants to Play Without Fear.

6. The Journey | Challenging Perceptions-Play Without Fear

The environment is a pivotal factor in assessing the extent to which a child can flourish. An in depth analysis of the learning environment needs to incorporate external and internal factors while simultaneously placing the child at the very core. External factors such as coaches, parents, other participants and facilities play an important role in aiding the development of the whole-child. External factors are tangible as they are clear for everyone to see and can be easily manipulated to meet the needs of children. At Young Elites we assure that our coaching methods and learning environment are tailored to meet the needs of children. We continuously review and revise our systems and procedures to assure that best practices are embedded, and points of improvement can be effectively addressed. External factors relating to the environment play a key role in the overall development of the child; due to the tangibility of external factors, it is possible to continuously assess the extent to which these factors satisfy and address the needs of the whole-child.

Challenging Perceptions goes beyond zooming into tangible external factors when assessing the extent to which a child is in-sync with the environment. Internal factors are a direct link to the relationship between the child and external factors. An external environment that is primarily result based places development as a secondary objective. This has an intrinsic implication on the child depending on their perception of such an environment. The challenge then is how can one assess the relationship between child-related intrinsic factors against tangible external environmental factors? A reliable tool to assess the relationship between child-related intrinsic factors against tangible external environmental factors is observing a child’s ability to Play Without Fear.


At Young Elites we value the importance in assuring that children have a positive relationship with the external environment. We place the developmental process of the whole-child at the core of our systems and procedures. Creating a positive and engaging learning environment provides a platform on which children can Play Without Fear. Our perception of success goes beyond goals and points; we place equal importance on the value of embracing and celebrating every aspect of the beautiful game. A child aware that a particular learning environment values a simple pass or dazzling step-over as much as a goal, is simultaneously aware that success surpasses the horizons of the net and league table. By Challenging Perceptions, we create and reinforce an environment that encourages children to Play Without Fear. Merely producing players that are programmed to conform to a particular system of play, or players that exhibit prescribed principles does not satisfy us here at Young Elites. We perceive football as an opportunity for children to express themselves in a manner that positively reflects their character and individuality. By empowering our participants with the necessary knowledge, environment, attention and care, we allow them to Play Without Fear. There is no greater satisfaction than witnessing a child transition from being a shy and nervous beginner to a brave and courageous Magician who perceives the beautiful game as an opportunity to positively express their unique character and individuality. 

7. The Journey | Enhancing Progression


Assuring that continuous development is a primary focus is pivotal in assuring that participants widen their ability to critically analyse situations and independently make decisions. Our ability to share advanced principals with young participants creates a healthy platform to provide an in-depth insight into various principles, techniques and ideologies. We equip participants with the essential tools to allow them to independently recognise and retain relevant information from the environment. This process demands a syllabus that embraces the importance of a situation-specific approach when zooming into various principles, techniques and ideologies. Creating players that merely conform to prescribed systems compromises sustainable development. At Young Elites we aim to produce flexible players that have the necessary tools to adapt to situations.

As football continues to evolve and the level of competitiveness increases across grassroots to professional standard, it is pivotal for participants to possess the ability to adapt. Our coaching syllabus provides a healthy platform for participants to apply a wide range of principles, ideologies and techniques in a variety of contexts. The ability of our participants to possess and exhibit the flexibility to adapt to a variety of situations heavily relies upon assuring that our sessions value the importance of incorporating cognitive elements. We encourage our participants to critically assess every principle, ideology and technique. Combining a critical approach when assessing various principles, ideologies and techniques with an environment that encourages creative thinking creates a platform on which our ‘Magician’ sessions continuously propagates flexible players who can adapt to multiple systems and conditions of play.

Enhancing Progression goes beyond implementing support mechanisms aimed at avoiding the onset of technical-plateau. There is often the misconception that development significantly slows down or completely halts at the very moment a player exhibits technical-plateau; at Young Elites we believe that technical-plateau is a by-product of cognitive-plateau. The moment a child seizes to imagine things and think beyond the constraints of their environment, is simultaneously the moment a child begins to technically plateau. Our syllabus demands participants to perceive sessions as an opportunity to exhibit their ability to visualise scenarios when exploring principles, ideologies and techniques.

8. The Journey | Assessing Progression


Assessing progression is paramount in not only assessing the relevance of our curriculum in meeting the needs of our participants, but in also assuring our participants have the necessary education to guarantee their longevity in a dynamic and increasingly competitive environment. We encourage children to play other sports in our quest of combating early specialisation. We find great value in assuring children have life experiences beyond football to maximise their opportunities of widening their social relationships and also enhancing their physical literacy.a