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Best Practices for Coaches

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·      Plan your Sessions around one training theme

·      Arrive early to set-up training session

·      Stay positive and project your voice

·      Dress the Part (uniform, footwear, and body language)


Coaching Technique

·      K.I.S.S. (Keep It Short and Simple)

·      Encourage players to start warming-up and working on ball skills as they soon as they arrive to practice

·      Coaching Area: Stay out of the way of play

·      Use Freeze Method (In and out, in 60 seconds)

o   Freeze

o   Show Corrections

o   Demonstrate

o   Play

·      Use Q and A to engage players

·      Use Progression in training to make session’s more challenging

o   Introduce pressure

o   Change conditions (rules/limitations)

o   Time Limits

  •    Keep Lines short or eliminate use of lines
  •   Keep Players moving
  •   Enforce the rules of the game
  •     Avoid playing. Every touch you take is taking away a players touch

 * Most Important *
At this stage kids want to play and will learn a lot from the game in it's purest form.

Match Day


·      Match-day warm-ups should prepare and focus players. Start with a dynamic movements and then boost your players’ confidence by practicing fundamental skills of dribbling, passing, communication, etc.

·      Goal Keeper warm-up after dynamic stretch must be 1 to 1 feeder. Practice ball handling, footwork, collecting, positioning, distributing, etc.

During Match

·      Don’t over Coach: Allow players to think for themselves and make mistakes. This is a important part of learning.

·      Don’t coach the player on the ball

·      Avoid yelling shoot and pass. (This adds extra pressure and could distract the player)


·      Keep team talk brief: Highlight one aspect your team is doing well. Then a aspect the team can improve on

·      Ensure you players stay hydrated

Post Match

·      Congratulate your players for their performance and effort

·      Keep team talk brief: Highlight one aspect your team did well and highlight what they can improve on. 

Recommended Training Session Layout

Stage 1: Warm-up Phase

Warm-up                                                                                                                           10 minutes

Encourage players to dribble and move in a 25x25 or 30x30 space. Maximize their touches. Encourage players to keep their heads up and avoid collisions. Always keep the ball moving. Begin incorporating training theme at this stage.

Tell players the training theme of the day. Also Reinforce last training session theme at this time with a Q & A.

  • Mastery Touches – Dribbling, toe touches, insides/outsides, and rolls
  • Turns – Drag backs, outside hook, inside hook, step-over, Cruyff, and Stop Step Turn
  • Take on Moves – Side step, scissors, outside inside, roll and take, and fake and take
  • Incorporate Speed and Agility as needed. You can also incorporate games near the end to reinforce skills learned.

Stage 2: Orientation Phase                                                                                            15 minutes

Technical Training (Non opposed)                                                                        

During the technical training work on technical principles of the game for example passing, dribbling, shooting, heading, tackling, ball control, and defending.                                                                            
Continue to focus on the same aspects as above but add pressure to the activity.

Small Sided Possession Game (Small Numbers)                                              

Incorporate pressure and tactics to the technical training above by adding goals. (Actual Goals, passing achievements, and limitations/conditions) Keep numbers 4v4 or lower.

Stage 3: Learning Phase                                                                                                20 minutes

Small Sided Possession Game (Large Numbers)                                             

Expand the game above and increase team size. Begin focusing on the instruction of the sessions theme.

Tactical Concept (Half-field)                                                                                

Demonstrate tactical concept that incorporates and builds on training theme.

Stage 4: The Game 

Full Sided Scrimmage (W/ Instruction)                                                                         10 minutes

Look to coach aspects learned during training session and challenge implantation.

Scrimmage  (Free Play)                                                                                                   20 minutes

Let the kids play. Sit back and watch. Limit game interruption.

Cool Down                                                                                                                         5 minutes 

Players should be lead through static stretches to properly finish their session.

* Remember to stick with one theme throughout the session. At times you may be tempted to coach a different aspect of the game. This is fine but try to keep it limited and try to reinforce training theme.

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