NF Academy Methodology

Our mission: The Player Development

NF Academy Methodology

In all our programs, activities, or training sessions, our main goal is player development. NF Academy coaches’ mission is to attend the camp and teach something new or improve the youth player’s skills.

The main focus
There are many different areas that a football player has to learn and develop. Still, NF Academy identified one as the primary skill: the power of reading the game and making the best decisions in different game situations. Regardless of the technical level, if a player decides wrong frequently, that player will never reach an excellent performance.

This characteristic is also the paramount need that our coaches identified in most of our participants. When players improve their decision-making, their parents and coaches will note a fast and impressive progression in their performance during the matches, especially in the early ages.

The player as a team member
We are not a football club, but it is vital to work within a collaborative environment with all its intrinsic details: social skills, capacity to motivate their colleagues, stay focused, help the team to keep the collective focus and motivation during a match.

It is essential to realize that if a player does not know how to behave collectively, he will not succeed. This necessity is reflected in our training sessions; the focus is on individual development through learning within a collective environment.

The individual player development
If we have to identify our second priority, we will say the individual technique development. It is crucial to know when to make a pass or shot, but you must have the technical capacity to execute that pass or shot with quality.

In the last three years, NF Academy has built several different programs to offer what the player needs based on his level, age, position, and own goals. Our coaches are really experienced in developing youth players; they will quickly identify each player’s needs and work together to fill the gaps.

Take a look here at the upcoming NF events ->

The power of a professional and experienced Coaches team

NF Academy Methodology

The pillar of NF Academy’s effectiveness is the coaches. For our players to achieve great results, they have to work with the best.

Our programs are led by:
– Leader Coach
– Assistant Coach or Assistant local Coach to support translations when needed

Standard of excellence
When we say that we have Top Coaches, it is not because we think they are reasonable; it is because we look at their background. All the NF Coaches have five characteristics that we believe are important to keep the high-level and effectiveness of our programs:
– UEFA graduation
– Minimum of 10 years of experience
– Background in medium/high-level environments
– Passion and experience in work with youth players
– Excellent human beings

You can read more about our coaches here ->

The Portuguese philosophy
All our coaches studied and got experience in Portuguese Youth Academies. Why did we make this selection? Because the Portuguese methodology has already proven to be one of the most successful in the World. Not just looking to the youth talents Portugal produces, but also the top Portuguese coaches that today led top European clubs.

In the last 20 years, Portugal has built some of the world’s best players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, João Félix, Diogo Jota, João Cancelo, and many others. Portuguese academies are doing a great job, and having coaches with a background in top Portuguese academies like Sporting CP and SL Benfica is a significant boost for our players.

Besides, in the last years, we saw many Portuguese coaches join some of the world’s biggest clubs. Further proof that Portuguese sports schools and clubs are a real factory of talented coaches.

Training principles

NF Academy Methodology

The training sessions are based on goals and principles and not on pre-defined exercises.

We present the different goals from our other programs to our coaches, and they can build an entire training program based on these same goals. This means that even if a player attends more than one camp, he will not always do the same exercises, even training with the same coach again.

Our 3 steps to run an excellent technical local program
As we already explained, the main goal is to improve the game reading capacity of the participants. For that, we work with the game principals. If they start understanding these principles and making the correct decisions during the different match situations, they will improve a lot as football players, regardless of their technique capacity:
– Step 1 – Offensive principles: Progression; Offensive Cover; Mobility; Space.
– Step 2 – Defensive principles: Delay; Defensive Cover; Balance; Compactness.

The 3rd step is focused on individual techniques from each player. It is also when our coaches give some direct feedback and guidance to the players about their performance during the camp:
– Step 3 – Competitive exercises promote individual technique development: Dribbling/Tackling, Finishing, Ball control, Heading, Goalkeeper Stances, 1vs1 situations, and others.

Intensity and Complexity
Adding intensity to our training environment and the player’s mindset will turn the training session more productive and challenging. Our coaches will increase intensity during the training session and the entire program, depending on the player level.

They will do the same with the complexity of the different exercises, starting with more simple exercises and adding more variants to make them more complicated.

Take a look here at the upcoming NF events –

Working hard to create real opportunities for NF players

NF Academy Methodology

A football player has to work hard to reach a medium/high-level to start taking some opportunities. But, sometimes, even good players don’t get many chances at all.

That has been one of the objectives of NF Academy in the last year. In addition to our high-level training programs focused on player development, we are looking for solutions to create real opportunities for our players to take the next step in their careers.

Official Scouting Partner for Sporting CP and International Opportunities
Our coaches do an internal evaluation of all participating players. Based on the evaluation and the player’s level, we give invitations to train with European academies of top quality, our scholarship program, participation in elite international tournaments with our elite teams, or participation in international training camps.

Throughout the last year, many players have participated at a local camp and have been chosen and invited to train with top quality academies.

See here all the players that already train with top clubs –

NF Qualification Camp
At NF International camps, we will choose two up to four winners of the “Player of the Camp” from this age-group: U13, U14, U15, and U16. These players will receive an invitation to participate in the NF Elite Qualification Camp at the end of the summer.

During this event, Sporting CP will have their scout present, and he will select eight players winning an entire week of training at the academy of Sporting CP. NF Academy will cover all sport costs for these players.

See here the last “Players of the Camp” –

NF Scholarship Program
Each year we select players for our International and Regional Scholarship. In collaboration with the player and family, we give our full support in developing the player and creating career pathways to a professional contract with top academies.

Through our collaboration with NFPM, we finance development activities for players and prepare them for a professional career abroad.

To be selected, we need to see an international potential in the player, and the player needs to show a commitment to work hard and focus on the goal to reach a professional career abroad.

Read more about NF Scholarship program –


Date Program Country Place Age Group
01 - 07 Jul 2024 NF Selection Tallinn Cup Estonia Tallinn 2013-2008
15 - 25 Jul 2024 NF High Performance Portugal Rio Maior 2009-2006
29 Sep - 05 Oct 2024 NF Elite Training Camp
Week 40
Portugal Lisbon / Estoril 2009-2014
06 - 12 Oct 2024 NF Elite Training Camp
Week 41
Portugal Lisbon / Estoril 2009-2014
13 - 19 Oct 2024 NF Elite Training Camp
Week 42
Portugal Lisbon / Estoril 2009-2014
27 Oct - 02 Nov 2023 NF Elite Training Camp
Week 44
Portugal Lisbon / Estoril 2009-2014

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