International Development Fútbol Philosophy

International Development Fútbol (IDF) of the Triangle is a player education program whose objective is to develop technically proficient and creative players who can excel in the modern game at either the college or professional level, if they so desire. We do so by providing an international level player experience.

The IDF development process begins with our ability to identify talent and work with such talent in an environment where achieving excellence is the ONLY standard. The level of expertise in our program makes it possible for us to educate most players, with varying levels of athletic abilities, giving them a chance to be successful at an older age.

Currently our program runs for ten (10) months each year and focuses on youth ages U7 to U18.  We serve families and players from throughout the triangle area, which include Apex, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Morrisville and Raleigh.

The “IDF Way”

 The single most important function of IDF coaches is to deliver the IDF player education philosophy.

All IDF coaches work within the IDF curriculum and deliver training sessions based on the player’s needs at that stage of his/her development.  An appropriate coach/player ratio is maintained for each practice or activity.

IDF coaches are knowledgeable, organized and enthusiastic. They are required to plan and prepare for practice in advance so the needs of every player can be met at every single practice. Through its high standards, IDF creates a learning focused and fun environment that is both nurturing and demanding. For this reason, IDF players are always excited to attend practice and the benefits are tangible.

Players at IDF will learn from all IDF qualified coaches.  All IDF coaches work with all the players through multiple age groups based on ability and stage of development. At IDF, coaches are not assigned to a specific team or group of players, coaches work with all the players.

Because our program places a premium on working with both players and parents, we have enjoyed an extraordinary level of success locally, nationally and most importantly, internationally.  Since inception, IDF has embraced a very clear philosophy, we know who we are, we know the kind of players we are developing and this is reflected in everything we do, how we play, dress, communicate.

The IDF Player Experience

The IDF player development program consist of 3 distinct progressively inter-related phases:

Age 6-11 Years: Foundation Phase, Focus on Fundamentals:

Most players this age group enter IDF through what we call the Next Generation or NextGen program.  At this stage the emphasis is on player movement, coordination, passing, receiving, and working towards developing a world class first touch, while nurturing the love for the game.  Activities at this stage are conducted in a creative and enjoyable way to keep the youngest minds engaged to foster learning.

Our players at this stage learn how to train while mastering the skills, discipline and progressive focus and it is great to witness how quickly their love and desire to attend practice develops and flourishes. During this moment of their development they will be exposed to all of the ingredients that will prepare them for the next phase of their education. The outcome from this stage of development, is a player with a technical base, with little to no fear of making mistakes and prepared to enter the next phase of his/her education.  Players at IDF are often asking to have practice time extended because of how much they enjoy the exercises, which are used to teach the fundamentals.

The process of player development works flawlessly when supported by the parents.  In this regards, IDF insists that when parents, players and coaches work together (The Magic Triangle), player development is accelerated, especially at this impressionable age.

IDF Parents – Shantonu and Sugata Mazumdar. (January 2016)

“Our son, Shanjan, joined IDF in a training capacity in January 2013 when he was 7 years old, and full time with the program in the Fall of that year….

“… We feel that IDF has given Shanjan a great platform to develop his talents and will be fundamental in his development as a football player and person. We would recommend the program to any parent looking for a solid soccer foundation for their child through exceptional coaching and training.”

Age 12 – 14 Years: The Technical and Tactical Education Phase:

During this phase, technical development continues coupled with an introduction of some basic tactical concepts that ensures proper translation of acquired technical ability from training to match situations.  In addition, players are introduced to resistance training with careful consideration being given to Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD).  The LTAD work, is supervised by a qualified professional who understands how it applies to the development of soccer players.

In this stage of development, through observation, the players’ abilities are identified and developed from a positional play perspective.  For most players, this identification is self-evident however, we exercise patience and caution for the few who may need further observation, experimentation or just time to develop to their fullest potential without undue pressure.

As we continue to educate players in this phase, we work with them to determine and to develop the assets they will need to play effectively in particular positions.  At this stage our training sessions are still group sessions with individual needs incorporated.

At the end of this intermediate stage of development, our players are well educated on the HOW, WHERE, WHEN and WHY we do things the way we do.


Age 15 – U18: The Tactical & Team Education Phase:

In this phase, we work with players to integrate the technical and tactical information from the previous phases into the team environment.  Typically, at this stage, players would have been with IDF for several years and should have acquired the fundamentals that will allow them to be proficient in a team environment.

Our players learn how to become a team player, how to function in a professional or college environment by also developing mental strength and tactical maturity.

Coaches are continuing their efforts to ensure players understand how we play as a team and are applying the technical and tactical education appropriately to the team environment both in practice and in games. At this stage, technical/tactical frequency increases to 4-5 times per week. In addition, resistance training continues as well and players are challenged constantly to watch and critique professionals as well as their matches.

Players get exposed to a broad range of professional opportunities with trips to European professional clubs to compete. It is a critical part of our philosophy that we produce players that are technically and tactically adept enough to function effectively in the college, semi-professional and/or professional environments anywhere in the world.

Finally, IDF coaches frequently check to ensure that players understand the philosophy of the club which is driven by a desire to produce technically proficient and intelligent players.  IDF training sessions are focused on players being comfortable on the ball and the ability to bring the ball out of the back during matches and enter the attacking third comfortably. Coaches also look for evidence of such understanding during practice sessions, in the first instance, and ultimately in games.