Planning your soccer training / football training session

To run a good soccer training / football training session it takes a lot of pre-planning. You need to plan the session and have a goal of what you want to have achieved by the end of the session. Planning also means making sure you have all the equipment you need and that everything you have is in the proper condition like pumping up balls, washing bibs etc. As a coach you should set the example by being the first person to get to soccer training / football training, if you are coaching out on the grass you can set up early but if you are on an Astroturf you need to get on there as quickly as possible so not to lose too much time setting up your equipment.

When planning always have short term and long term goals. Each soccer training / football training session needs to be used to get ready for the next game but you also need to develop your players towards a long term goal of the level you want them to be at. Each soccer training / football training exercise you do should be geared towards achieving those goals. You need to be prepared to adapt throughout the season when you notice things your team needs to work on then you need to build them in to your soccer drills / football drills. As well as looking at the team as a whole be sure to look at every player individually as each player will have different needs and different things they need to improve on. As well as having soccer drill / football drills for the whole team you need to also design individual soccer training / football training exercises for different players or different sets of positions as there are things the goalkeeper needs to learn which the midfield don’t and so on.

Research your soccer drills / football drills fully. Make sure the soccer drills / football drills fit with your short, medium and long term goals for your team. Soccer drills / football drills should be progressive to push players beyond their comfort zone and to keep them fresh and enjoyable. There are lots of online resources for soccer drills / football drills but beware - many online soccer drills / football drills websites only give you half of the soccer drill / football drill leaving you to figure out the rest. Look for football drills that include a technical phase where players learn the skill or football tactic you are trying to coach, a second phase that puts them under limited pressure using the skills they have learnt and finally finishing with a small sided training exercise that brings those skills in to a game environment.

To stop your players from wondering and misbehaving choose soccer drills / football drills that everyone is involved all the time. Try to avoid soccer drills / football drills where only one or two players are active at any one time with the rest watching or waiting for their turn. Have soccer drills / football drills which involve the whole group or soccer drills / football drills where you have one ball per player or one ball between two. Soccer training / football training should be about getting all your players as much time on the ball as possible and being as active as possible. You will find a good resource of soccer drills / football drills, here on

Extracts taken from ‘A guide to surviving youth football’ by Adam Sibley. Visit for more information

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