Football coaching tips

If you want to be a great coach of , we’ve got some tips to help you. In this section you will find advice on planning, preparing, conducting and evaluating your training session to further improve your skills as a football coach . . .

Be organised - Plan > Prepare > Conduct > Evaluate

Plan – Define your football coaching plan not for just the next football coaching session but for the coming weeks. Your plan should include what it is you want to achieve by the end of the period. This will help you make your sessions progressive from week to week by building on the knowledge and experiences your players have gained over time.

When planning your football coaching sessions, try and keep them fun and involve all of the players all of the time, preferably in small groups so they get plenty of touches.

Make the content of each football training drill progressive, for example, in the first 10 minutes you might work on a particular football technique. Typically, this would be unopposed to allow the players to master the technique. In the second phase you might want to progress the football drill to create a game like situation with conditions that make the drill progressively more difficult. Lastly, a small sided match where players can employ what they've learnt in a game environment.

Prepare – Research your football training session and put together a drill that fits in to your football coaching plan. The plan for your football drill should include:

  • Key objectives of the drill, ie. what do you want to achieve by the end of the session?
  • football equipment requirements
  • Action plan from last session
  • Warm up activities
  • Set-up instructions
  • Session content (main theme such as learning a new football technique or skill followed by a small sided game/match that allows players to put in to practice what they've learnt)
  • Technical football information / football coaching tips
  • Cool down activities

With your football coaching plan memorised (or in your pocket!), you should aim to arrive for the football training session well in advance. Your jobs may include:

  • Running through the football training session with your assistants
  • Putting up the goals
  • Marking out the football training area with cones
  • Pumping the balls up
  • Splitting the bibs
  • Checking over the playing surface for dangerous objects
  • Distributing balls around the football training area

Conduct - Now you have planned and prepared your football coaching session it’s time to start your football drill. Let your players know what you will be working on in the football training session and what is expected of them.

When talking to your players, make sure their backs are to the sun and they are looking away from any distractions. Deliver your instructions and commands in a short, precise way and involve players in your demonstrations. Here is a great rule to follow when trying to get your message over:

TELL ME AND I FORGET
SHOW ME AND I REMEMBER
INVOLVE ME AND I UNDERSTAND

Once the players understand the drill, get them started and take yourself out of the football training area and observe the behaviour and attitude of the players.

If the attitude and behaviour is good, you will have chance to analyse the players performance and address any issues. If you need to help/instruct players, step in to the football training area, deliver your message, demonstrate and have the players you're working with recreate the situation with a positive outcome – all in no more than 60 seconds! If play is stopped for too long or too often, players can lose interest and become bored.

Be adaptable in your approach. If the football drill is not working, don’t hesitate to change it for the better. This could include making the drill harder or easier to suit your player’s needs by adding, switching or removing players or increasing / decreasing the size of the football training area. Use your football coaching knowledge and imagination to adapt the drill to suit your team’s specific needs.
Your time with your players is limited so use it effectively.

Evaluate - Evaluating your football coaching session will help you improve on areas of personal weakness and form part of your action points for the next football training session. This is a vital process if you want to improve as a coach in football. For example, were the key objectives met, was the organisation of the football training session good, did players understand your instructions clearly and easily. Also, use those around you for feedback – how did they think the football training session went?

There is not one thing that will make you a great football coach but a combination of many factors. To help you create your next football coaching plan, visit our football training drills database.

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