PSV Youth Programme
PSV Youth programme teaches through involvement
All of PSV’s youth teams take part in PSV’s social projects. Each team is linked to a project and then conducts activities to benefit that project three times a year. ‘In this manner, the young players grow familiar with the other side of the coin.’
The process of coordination and division takes place at the start of each season, says Rick van Rooij.
As head of societal and social supervision, he is closely involved in the coordination of the various projects. ‘The head of the youth programme,
Art Langeler, mainly concerns himself with matters pertaining to football itself, while I deal with education, host families, transportation and the wellbeing of the players. I create links between all those disparate components.’
Van Rooij says that it is very important to him that PSV players also grow in a social sense. ‘Sometimes, the boys of PSV 1 have to hand out diplomas. Some of them do not know how to handle themselves in such situations, simply because they are not used to them.’ PSV wants to prepare its youngest players for such situations to familiarise them with the role they will play once they join the first team.
‘By participating in the social projects, they learn that they are doing well because they are talented. At the same time, they realise that there are also large groups of people who are less well off, because they came into contact with these people when they were still part of the youth teams. In this manner, PSV’s young players grow familiar with the other side of the coin.’
It is about creating social involvement. ‘We allow players to experience at a young age what they can do for others. This teaches them that the life of a professional football player extends beyond the foot- ball field itself. Take a project like the Dutch Street Cup, for example, which focuses on the personal development of socially vulnerable youths.
Perseverance is very important to those kids, but the same goes for up and coming professional foot- ball players. Their backgrounds may be different, but the traits needed to achieve their goals are the same. The same goes for the other projects. They all learn from and with each other.’