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Core Development Philosophy

An area that sets HHFC-Academy apart is our unique and proven approach to developing players. Instead of focusing solely on immediate results – a win at all cost approach that compromises the individual development plan for short term rewards — we view the development of our players as a process with the goal of shaping players at all levels to reach their full potential

Our approach to our development philosophy is rooted in two key educational pillars: 

The training using the Xcel-Coaching Model  and the age-appropriate Growth MindSet


Below we discuss each key pillar.




The Growth Mindset philosophy is based on research from Stanford Psychology professor, Carol Dweck, who places an emphasis on building confidence through the process of improvement.  A player with a “growth mindset” believes that they can cultivate their skills through effort, persistence, and enjoyment of growing – and will continue to work hard in the face of setbacks.  The focus here is on the journey and enjoying the process of improving. 


Ultimately, it’s about fulfilling a player’s full potential by curating a passion for learning and seeking opportunities to grow.


In contrast, is the fixed mindset, where a player believes their basic abilities are just fixed traits that cannot be changed in any way.  And that success is the affirmation of these abilities.  This mindset leads to avoiding failure at all costs, avoiding challenges, and not taking risks. A player with a fixed mindset lacks confidence in their potential to improve and so often feel the need to constantly prove themselves.


At the heart of what makes the “growth mindset” so powerful is that it creates a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval.

In translation onto the field, this means putting our players in the position and encouraging them to take risks with the goal of growing and placing an emphasis on learning through experience. Our focus is on building complete players that are on competent in 1vs1 situations and also tactically sound.

Xcel-coaching Logo

Xcel Coaching® is not another coaching system, it's a systematically researched scientific age-appropriate coaching model to develop soccer players between the ages 7 -18.


Xcel Coaching® has been developed over 25 years ago, the first-ever, age/physical-appropriate program for training soccer players.


Since then it has been refined, expanded, and updated to include the most valuable current trends in coaching.


Xcel Coaching® has been developed and researched by Master Youth Coach Vasco Nunes under the guidance of the late Professor Horst Wein.  Vasco Nunes has a Ph.D. in sports science whereby much of Xcel Coaching® methodologies were part of his research. Many clubs around the world have implemented the Xcel-Coaching® Model.


These clubs are referred to as Xcel Coaching® Partner Clubs.

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