Tag: coaching

“WHEN ARE WE HAVING A GAME?”

“When are we having a game?” – I’d be willing to bet that this is the question that coaches up and down the country probably get asked most often.

Why is this? Don’t these kids realise how much time and effort we’ve put into researching and planning this nice, neat and tidy drill? Those six words are enough to sink the spirit of the most well-intentioned.

What is a game?

Noun: 

1. A form of competitive activity or sport played according to rules.

2. An activity that one engages in for amusement.

A game in a coaching context isn’t necessarily ‘the game’ – the version they experience on a weekend. Although, it may well be. A game, simply, may be a practice that has rules, some form of scoring system and/or competition.

Why use games?

Unlike repetitive drills, the decisions that the players make in games are not pre-determined by the practice or the coach and the outcomes are uncertain. A bit like a match.

Games provide excitement through their realism and they engage. They can be manipulated to challenge the players appropriately.

A game in a coaching context isn’t necessarily ‘the game’ – the version they experience on the weekend.

These ingredients of freedom offer a glimpse as to why games are so enjoyable.

‘I’m going to stop learning this because it’s too much fun,’ said no-one, ever! Games give the players the opportunity to develop their craft for the match.

A few years ago, as a frustrated high handicap golfer, I figured out the main reason (among many!) that was stopping my aspiring path to single figures – my short game.

The constant, repetitive drills I was practising ripped straight off YouTube we’re bringing short term success on the practice range but my handicap remained closer to my age than I wanted. I couldn’t repeat it when it mattered.

A friend then recommended some simple chipping games. They provided me with variety, fun, challenge and engagement. I found myself regularly in states of flow in practice where hours went by without me noticing. I was competing. Against myself. Trying to beat the game.

If us adults weren’t around, games are what the players would play. Ever remember queuing up ten deep or standing in nice neat lines during break time at school? Nor me. Remember Wembley Doubles, Heads and Volleys, Three-and-in and everything else we played on the street? Me too. There was a reason for this. We were, perhaps unintentionally, developing our craft.

So what are we to do?

It’s training night and the parents and players have arrived. The latter giddy with excitement. The former interested to see what practices we have prepared to teach to their sons and daughters.

We need to reassure the parents that developing players learn best through games. That such practices will often look chaotic and messy instead of being tidy and regimented. A bit like a match.

Keep it simple. One of the reasons why our beautiful game is the world’s most popular sport is due to its simplicity. Two teams, two goals, one ball.

The same can be said for the practices that we design for our players to learn from. If in doubt, think ‘how might I add simple rules, scoring and competition?’ Or even ask the players what they would do. They may surprise us.

Maybe where we’ve gone wrong in the past is because we’ve used ‘the game’ as a carrot – ‘If you’re good and do these drills then we’ll have a game at the end.’

Or ‘It’s your game time at the end you’re wasting.’ This carrot is one that is often dangled until the end of the session. Until we feel as though we’ve got what we want from the session.

Games can take place whenever possible – not just at the end of a session as a carrot for good behaviour

I’ve often had coaches ask me why their players’ behaviour is erratic until they have a game. The irony is that the thing we are trying to help the players get better at (‘the game’) is the thing that we often try to use to control their behaviour. The thing that we don’t feel that they’ve earned until they’ve ‘mastered the basics’.

Why is this practice so common? It’s similar to telling children that ‘if you’re good and eat all your vegetables then you’ll get a desert.’ (Is it any wonder that vegetables – and indeed repetitive drills – have such a bad name among so many kids?).

What this tradition of coaching practice also does is wait until the players are more fatigued – at the end of the session – until they start practicing the things that they are more likely to be repeating at the weekend.

‘We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training.’ – Archilochus, Greek Soldier, 650 BC

So when are we having a game?

Whenever possible.

I set myself a challenge some years back now to eradicate this question from my coaching. The players I’m lucky enough to work with currently trust that our practices will be all about games.

I’ve noticed that players who are trained on a diet of games arrive at training much more relaxed as they know that their session is not about to be dominated by the coach and they will have the chance to apply and expend their stored creative energy.

About The Author

Name: Jack Walton

Title: regional coach development manager

Follow: @jackwalton1

WHY GAMES ARE SO IMPORTANT TO YOUNG PLAYERS

This article looks at using a more games-based approach for players aged 5-11 in the Foundation Phase and the potential benefits of this way of working.

For many young children, playing in games of football is the driving force behind their early engagement with the sport and their motivation, enthusiasm and focus remain high when taking part in these games. To clarify, games can be small-number games in training (such as 1v1, 2v2, 3v3) as well as any suitable competitive small-sided game format as part of a league, festival or tournament.

The Foundation Phase 'experience'

Small sided games are valuable for the development of foundation phase players

The players need this exposure to help their development. The part that we play as adults and coaches is to help manage the ups and downs, the successes and disappointments and the development opportunities that these encounters will provide. We must create an environment that is safe and supportive whilst being competitive and player centred. If we can provide this then there is an increased chance of players staying with the sport and as such giving us, the coaches, a chance to develop them even further

The Approach

If you have the opportunity to take your team indoors to play Futsal in the coming months you will have the perfect opportunity to help players begin to understand the game. Try to place your players in a wide range of different situations. Help them to recognise the situation they are in and then work together to arrive at the most effective solution or outcome. This will take time as these solutions will have to be tried and tested over a long period of time and through a large number of similar repetitions.

For example, in a game of Futsal the player will be challenged to process: where they are on court, how much space they have to play in, how much support (if any) is around, where the pressure might be coming from and how many defenders might be present (this is not exhaustive but gives an idea of all the visual and perceptual processing that might be going on).

The Foundation Phase 'experience'

Futsal is the perfect activity for the winter months

When the game is going on this will happen in a very short space of time and will require a huge amount of practice to refine the processing of so much information. That is why this approach is a long term one involving lots of repetition of similar but not identical situations and through a coaching methodology that helps and supports the player to make sense of all the information coming in. The role of the coach will be to help the player understand their own capabilities and to support them as they experiment and explore how these capabilities can provide effective solutions to the many situations they will encounter in the game. This approach will also help the player and the coach identify areas that need to be developed in order to be more effective in what they do.

Pete Sturgess is FA Technical Lead for players aged 5-11.

About Pete

Name: Pete Sturgess
Role: FA Technical Lead for players aged 5-11
Follow: @Sturge_p

HOW FIFA 18 CAN HELP ENGAGE WITH YOUNG PLAYERS AT TRAINING

Creative ways to use the popular football video game to connect with young players.

This Christmas many of the players we coach will enjoy playing the newly released FIFA  video game.

Parents will battle with their children, bargaining and arguing about how long they can play for, and at what time of day.

Although some may be sceptical about too many hours in front of a screen, the careful design of video games also provides high potential for learning.

Playing video games tends to be so enjoyable that people view video games as a form of entertainment rather than education – but there are many hidden benefits.

Video games have the ability to place people into the state of ‘Flow’ – a psychological state that boosts learning and performance.

This ‘Flow Zone’ is characterised as a state in which someone is completely immersed in the activity, and thoroughly enjoying the process of the activity (intrinsically motivated).

As a concept, it was first shared by Hungarian psychologist, Mihály Csikszentmihályi, in the 1970’s, who found that the feeling of flow is dependent on three conditions:

  • The activity has a clear set of goals
  • Clear and immediate feedback provided
  • Person must have confidence in their own ability to meet goals of the activity

These conditions are common of video game design. And as grassroots football coaches, there is an opportunity here for us to harness our players’ engagement with FIFA to help them to learn more about the game of football.

Digital Coaches

To do that, the following may be helpful when attempting to link learning from FIFA  to your team’s training sessions or matches:

  • Set tactical challenges – use learning focus of the training session to devise specific challenges for players to focus on when playing FIFA.

For example, if the learning focus of training is ‘positive and enthusiastic defending’, the FIFA  challenge could be to ‘try and prevent Messi from dribbling’.

To support the player during their FIFA  challenge, request that players jot down their progress in the challenge as it happens. An advantage of football video games, compared to physical football is that players have a PAUSE button – they can use this to their advantage in order to spend time explicitly reflecting on their learning.

  • Multi-player (with team mates) – organise your team into two smaller sub teams, so they work collaboratively to outwit their opponent in a FIFA  game.

Ask each sub team to develop an ‘in possession’ and ‘out of possession’ strategy, which they can present at training, prior to their FIFA  game.

At the next training session, each sub team can then present how their strategy developed or changed during game play, and why.

  • Select a particular FIFA character – for the next training session, challenge players to extend their commitment to the character, on to the pitch.

A player might choose to be John Stones on FIFA, so at training encourage the player to play like John Stones. This will encourage them to reflect on and explore Stones’ technical, tactical, psychological, social and physical attributes.

  • Arrival activity – reenact memorable moments from previous week’s experiences of playing FIFA.

Set up a space on the pitch for players to share their experiences of playing FIFA.

This might involve some players working in small groups or pairs to demonstrate specific plays, some players working individually to practice particular skills, or some players simply talking to one another about new problems or solutions from FIFA .

Amy Price is Lecturer in Physical and Sport Education at St Mary’s University in London. Amy holds the UEFA A Licence and is an FA Coach Mentor and Level 1 and 2 Tutor.

Kids “released” age 9 in Grassroots, really!!!

Right where do I start?

For over a decade I have been involved in the local football league. During this period I have spent time as a coach, mentor, referee, physio, kit man, refreshments stall worker etc. For the past two years I’ve been spending my Sundays as a League Rep at local youth games.

Recently I came across a team I briefly coached a couple of years ago. Lads of 9 years age now but I noticed a couple of the lads I remembered were missing. I asked some of the parents where these lads were. I assumed they had been lured away by the modern life of computer games and had lost interest in football. A parent rather sheepishly told me that they had been ‘released’ as they weren’t of the standard of the others. I asked them if they thought that was fair to them. The parent agreed it was slightly underhand but understood the coach’s views.

My response was “the team has a coach”? The parent was taken aback and I carried on by telling him that if he was any kind of coach then dropping kids and replacing them with better ability kids isn’t coaching. A coach can bring out ability. I’m not saying a Pele can be created from nothing but given good coaching a kid can be taught to play the game well. These kids who were cast aside were good kids with equally good parents and it makes me genuinely sad to think these kids have been removed from a team with their mates due to the fact that their coach lacks the skills to develop them. I left the parents with a warning that a coach with such a big ego will always be looking for better players and to watch their backs because if their kids fail to perform their coach won’t have any hesitation in replacing them too.

This sadly happens all too often and these coaches should hang their heads in shame. They bandy words like ‘development’ and ‘respect’ around……………..rubbish, talk is cheap and their actions speak far louder than their hypocritical rhetoric. Hats off to the genuine coaches out there developing kids with skills and attributes that will enhance their lives rather than the ‘poach not coach’ types so desperate to win games to massage their egos. I’m afraid the youth football at grassroots level is in a dire situation in this country. A huge shake up is needed and despite the FA guidleines and good practice ethics these egomaniac coaches exist in huge numbers up and down the country.

Yours in Sport

Phil

GET EXTRA GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT THROUGH THE FA’S COACH MENTOR PROGRAMME

The FA Coach Mentor Programme is a major investment in the grassroots game and offers on-the-ground support to FA Charter Standard Clubs and coaches.

The FA sees the development of coaches as central to the development of the game, and working collaboratively accelerates learning and supports coaches’ development.

Mentoring support at a club could include:

  • Developing a whole club philosophy
  • Group coaching demonstrations
  • 1:1 coaching, match-day observation and support
  • Signposting to relevant courses and events
  • Needs analysis for individual coaches
  • Modelling of coaching sessions for individual coaches
  • Individual feedback
  • An individual learning programme

In 2015/16 the FA Coach Mentor Programme supported 9,383 coaches and 615 clubs.

Receive support from the Coach Mentor programme…

If you are part of an FA Charter Standard Club and would like receive some support from one of our FA Coach Mentors please contact your Football Development Officer at your local County FA and the Regional Coach Mentor Officer in your region (details below). When making initial contact please include your name, club name, number of teams and County FA affiliated to.

The Coaches Library HERE

The FA Coach Mentor Programme is also committed to providing 5000 hours per season specifically to work with BAME, female and disabled coaches across the country.

If you are a BAME coach and would like some support from one of our Coach Mentors, please contact Steve Smithies with your name, club name, age group and the County FA that you are affiliated to – steve.smithies@thefa.com.

If you are a female coach and would like some support from one of our Coach Mentors, please contact Samantha Griffiths with your name, club name, age group and the County FA that you are affiliated to – samantha.griffiths@thefa.com.

If you are a coach with a disability and would like some support from one of our Coach Mentors, please contact Kevin England with your name, club name, age group and the County FA that you are affiliated to – kevin.england@thefa.com.

Become an FA Coach Mentor…

If you are interested in becoming an FA Coach Mentor please check your local County FA website for vacancies. If no vacancies are available contact the Regional Coach Mentor Officer in your region (details below) who can provide an update of the programme in and around your area.

Pre-requisites to become an FA Coach Mentor are:

  • Minimum FA Level 2 in Coaching Football
  • Member of the FA Licensed Coaches Club
  • Valid FA CRB

Your Regional Mentor Officers…

North West – Steve Smithies – steve.smithies@thefa.com
North East – Graeme Carrick – graeme.carrick@thefa.com
East Midlands – Samantha Griffiths – samantha.griffiths@thefa.com
West Midlands – Andy Somers – andy.somers@thefa.com
East – Darren Moss – darren.moss@thefa.com
South East – Kevin England – kevin.england@thefa.com
London/ Armed Forces/ Jersey/ Guernsey – Kevin Green – kevin.green@thefa.com
South West – Ciara Allan – ciara.allan@thefa.com

‘Why do I only come on if we’re winning by loads or losing by loads?’

So why did I want to be a football coach and what did I think I would get out of it? The answer is not as simple as you might think. Actually it’s a bloody tough one to consider but I’ll try and be as honest as I can. When a parent looks over and notices that their child is a substitute it’s not a nice feeling. No parent ever hopes that their child will not be in the starting line-up. Internally you rationalise that it will be one of life’s lessons, or you might tell yourself that it is in the interest of fairness, and everyone must accept that they can’t play every game. It’s a fair selection process, nothing more and next week it will be someone else’s turn to sit it out.

But if you see this happen week after week it starts to become an emotional burden and difficult to bear witness to. After all, you live with this budding Lionel Messi; you’re the one who notices where he’s put his favourite teams’ calendar pride of place just where he can see it before he goes to sleep at night in his bedroom. The excited young wide eyed boy that asks you if you think they’ll play today as he busily struggles to get his socks over his shin pads. When my own son was 8 I asked him what he wanted to do when he left school. He told me he’d be a bus driver through the week and play for Manchester City at weekend. Innocence is a beautiful thing in children; everything is so black and white. Life is simple and anything is possible. How utterly disheartening then when you see that it is your child, yet again that is keeping his squad jacket on, that is freezing on the touchline patiently waiting for his coach to tell him to get warmed up.

It’s even worse if your son like mine, is the sort who will just stand there until he’s told to warm up. He would never dream of asking his manager when he’s going on. The car journey on the way home becomes abject misery. At first you can tell them that they’ll get their chance eventually. Then you tell them if they work hard, and keep trying, their chance will come. Then if you’re stupid like me, you’ll tell them it’s because they are not working hard enough. Our journey from hell was after a game for under 11’s in December 2013. It was a miserable wet and cold slate grey Manchester morning. The team were at home entertaining a local rival. I looked over as the lads warmed up with Coach hoping that my son might finally get to start a game.

He wasn’t their best player but he wasn’t their worst either. Not that that should matter. The parents were huddled closer than might be considered comfortable due the biting wind that was driving the Manchester rain into our faces. We were cold but at least we were dressed for it. The lads on the pitch were ringing wet through even in their training coats, and by now as muddy as they would have been if they’d have just played a full game. The referee, who looked about 90, and had the whitest skin I’ve ever seen, seemed not to notice the weather at all and offered a casual ‘morning’ to the Captain and the clad ensemble of parents that were eager for the game to get going. ‘Ref any chance of 5 minutes each way in this?’ one of the parents shouted, but the ref didn’t respond he was busy getting his linesman flags out of his bag. It is at this point as a parent that you have got to have your wits about you.

If you’re caught off guard and not paying full attention, you will eventually look up to see a referees flag practically shoved up your nose, and a ‘appreciate that, thanks’ message from the ref who has spun so quickly on his haunches, you can’t even recall the moment you accepted the flag into your hand. So that’s what Derren Brown does with his Saturday mornings….. Any attempt to pass the flag on yourself is rendered futile because, at that moment as you look at all the other dads, you realise that you are actually alone, and every other man and his dog has retreated to a safe distance of roughly fifteen feet away. ‘You X%$?X’ I turn to my wife and say pathetically, ‘I’ve got to do the flag again’ ‘mmm, you’ve made more appearances with that flag than our son has played all season’. I look at her apologetically, ‘get someone else to do it for a change’ she instructs. The dads looked at me apologetically, but not apologetically enough to actually take the flag. Derren Brown’s whistle signals kick off, I hastily get into position as linesman and look around the pitch for my son. He isn’t there, I look over at Coach and, oh yes there he is, the one shivering behind the other three subs. The game was 1-1 at half time which I knew meant that he wouldn’t be coming on any time soon.

Most of the parents including my wife had retreated to the safety of some trees to shelter from the downpour. I however had official flag business to attend to. I stood miserable and cold on one side of the pitch while my son was no doubt doing the same on the other. The second half saw us score another goal with just 10 minutes left. Great for the team but not so great for the subs. Coach did his best to get the lads on before the final whistle which saw my sons stats as “played 60 seconds, touches 0” As I walked towards the ref to give him his flag I heard him say to my boy ‘well played there young un’. I didn’t speak to coach after the game and we didn’t wait for his team talk.

The three of us just trudged to the car wet through and freezing cold. In the car he started pushing all the right buttons, ‘Why am I sub every week? ‘Why do I only come on if we are winning by loads or losing by loads?’

Why why why….

He was right of course, why indeed?

But I was as fed up about it as he was. I didn’t want see other people’s kids playing football every week. And so I snapped, at my ten year old son, who just wanted to be in a team, play football and drive buses.

Anon

Mini Soccer Summer Festival Under 7s

Tournament Name: Mini Soccer Summer Festival Under 7s
Tournament Date: 26/08/2017
Tournament Organiser: Micky Tully
Tournament Web Address: www.goalsfootbal.co.uk
Team Age Groups: Under 7’s
Entry Fee per team: £15.00
Tournament Email Address: newcastle@goalsfootball.co.uk
Address 1: Goals Newcastle
Address 2: High Gosforth Park
Town: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Post Code: NE3 5HP
Tournament Image: Mini Soccer u7s_quq9mx.jpg
Tournament Information: Summer Festival will run from 10am-2pm, Food & Hot Drinks Available through the event, Free parking at our club. Every child will get a medal for day part in the Festival.

RIP – Shropshire Coach dies of suspected heart attack at football session

It is with great sadness that teacher and Allscot U14 manager Craig Colley, who was head of the English department at Lakelands Academy in Ellesmere, died whilst at the regular evening training session of Shrewsbury Juniors Football Club last wednesday.

Official club statement;

It is with sadness and deep regret that we have to release a status on coach Craig Colley, who sadly passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday evening.

Craig was fairly new to the Allscott setup, joining this summer to form the new U14 side and his impression was felt amongst us all.

His passion, desire and love for the game, his players and parents was something to behold.

Our first team will hold a moments reflection before their game this weekend in honour of Craig.

Our thoughts are with his wife Michelle, daughter Rhian, son Finn and all of his family at this sad time. #WeAreAllscott

Image credit Shropshire Star

Roach Dynamos Jfc

Tournament Name: Roach Dynamos Jfc
Tournament Date: 05/08/2017
Tournament Organiser: Melanie Greenhalgh
Tournament Web Address: www.roachdynamos.com
Team Age Groups: Under 7’s, Under 8’s, Under 9’s, Under 10’s, Under 11’s
Entry Fee per team: 45.00
Tournament Email Address: melaniegreenhalgh@yahoo.com
Address 1: Roach Dynamos Jfc
Address 2: Sutherland Road, Darnhill
Town: Heywood
Post Code: OL10 3PL
Tournament Image: CAD27768-F5E4-4523-BD3D-634CE0D91AD0_1r9e89.jpg
Tournament Information: Parking Available £2

Have we forgotten what kids football is for?

It’s really sad that people have forgotten what kids football is really about.

  • Is it about winning at all costs? No!
  • Is it about politics between parents/coaches? No!

We know, the same as in a lot of life situations that some children are more talented than others in sport. The same as I know there are people out there that are better brain surgeons than me.

Should we make the children feel inadequate because of this? Absolutely not! Should we involve the children in club rivalry? No! Should there even be club rivalry at grassroots level??!! As long as they’re playing and having the time of their life’s getting caked in mud on a Sunday morning.. what else matters?

We’re draining the life’s out of these kids week in week out.. The question is would I love my children and be any more proud of them than I am now if they were to be signed to an academy tomorrow..? The answer to that is.. I couldn’t possibly love or be more proud of my children no matter what they do!

I have a son that is a goalkeeper that makes some actual WORLD CLASS saves that I couldn’t..even if I tried stop myself.. and he thinks nothing of scoring goal kicks every now and then.. does he make mistakes.. yes… don’t we all!! But he loves what he does! And so do I!! I have another son.. that takes free kicks like I’ve never seen a 7 year old child take before, he’d put Beckham to shame and that’s not even being biased it’s been said by many people.. is he the strongest player on the pitch? No.. But do I burst with pride every time he touches the ball.. yes!

Download the Grassroots Report It APP Here

I have a TEAM full of players that have their own unique little things that make my Sundays and hopefully their Sundays amazing.. are they lucky to have me as their coach… No.. I’m the lucky one!! I don’t vision that we’re going to go on and be world beaters but that doesn’t mean them nor I don’t put the effort in each week purely on the basis that we love the game! No matter what, I can say I’ve taken part in their DEVELOPMENT not only as football players.. but actual human beings as well.

We have a right old laugh week in week out.. At the end of most games they’ll literally come and pile on me and bring tears to my eyes with the little smiles on their faces beaming up at me, hanging on my every word.

It doesn’t end there.. as I don’t just run a team.. I run a club.. and everyone that is part of our club I am proud of.. more so the kids.. after all.. they are what make it!! Let’s give them something back! They are not machines….please for the love of god stop treating them this way!

Yours sincerely,

Disheartened grassroots football manager.

Play of the Week – Pass and move

Give this great warm up and try and let us know how you get on.

Split your coaching area into 4

Once ball has been passed, encourage your players to be vocal and ask for it back in another zone.

No player to remain static.

This should be a noisy session as players ask, receive and request the ball back.

Progression via adding opposing defenders.

Get more FREE coaching session plans by clicking the image below

TOP 10 TIPS: HOW TO GET PLAYERS AGED 5-12 READY FOR THE NEW SEASON

With teams returning back to training over the next few weeks, Pete Sturgess, FA National Coach for players aged 5-11, outlines ten top-tips to help get young players ready for the new season.

The tips below are based on guidance from the England DNA Foundation Phase project – which you can read more about below –  and are aimed at those working with young players aged 5-12 for a six week period before the season starts.

1) You’re coaching children, not adults

Getting young children ready for the new season is not the same as the preparation an adult player might be involved in. Pre-season for adults has long been associated with running laps and doing ‘doggies’ until exhaustion. If you are coaching children you must allow all sessions to be enjoyable, exciting and active. This should also be the aim at any stage of the season, not just through the summer.

2) Use fun movement activities

Warm-ups for our young players should be engaging, enjoyable and active. Look to include a wide range of movements and activities that are fun to be involved in such as running, chasing, dodging, jumping, twisting and turning. Get the children laughing and out of breath.  Include throwing and catching where you can. Games like tag rugby or dodgeball are great warm-ups.

3) The ball

All players attend training so they can play football and have lots of touches of the ball. Make sure you use the ball in your sessions as much as possible.

4) Play a variety of games

Play lots of small-sided games using different numbers of players and on pitches of different sizes. Getting the players playing matches is a great thing to include early on in both an individual session and in the six week programme.  Try and play the format of football you play on matchday- this might be 6v6 or 7v7.

5) Big group, big area

During the first couple of weeks find time to involve all the players as one big group (or two smaller groups) working in larger areas. This lowers the intensity at the start of pre-season and eases the players back into action.

6) Make things harder as the weeks go on

Smaller groups in smaller areas can be introduced as the weeks progress. 4v4 would be perfect after week three(particularly if for the previous two weeks you have played 6v6 or even 7v7). For each session think about how you can make it slightly harder for the players by increasing the time spent on the task.

7) Create individual challenges

Respect each child as an individual and adapt the session or challenge for them. Over the six weeks (and throughout the season) try to pair or group players together for different outcomes so that their individual needs are met more often.

8) Add variety

 If you train more than once a week, try to vary the kind of things you work on during sessions. Try to change the session theme so that the players are not always undertaking the same repetitive actions.

9) Concise communication followed by chance to practise

With all the activities and games you use try to give small amounts of clear and simple help and advice followed by lots of opportunities for the players to practise. Always add lots of encouragement.

10) Make sure that the players want to come back

It is very important that your summer sessions involve play, enjoyment and football. Playing games in training is vital so get the group into small-sided games as much as possible. Create something so special that the players cannot wait for the next session.

This article was originally created for The FA’s England DNA Foundation Phase project