Learn by doing soccer coaching tips

Learning by doing is an important feature of youth soccer coaching and one which soccer (football) coaches should think about and incorporate with every training exercise, basic soccer drill or soccer coaching session. These coaching tips and drills are ideal for an indoor training session, too.

Youth soccer coaching tips

Discovery learning is based on educational theorists who say the best learning for children takes place when they are learning by doing.

The key to "discovery learning" for a soccer or football coach is not giving the players the answers to the problems. Let your football players take the lead and you act as a guide to keep them focused and co-operating.

Think, pair, share

Give your players 30 seconds to individually think about a game situation. Then pair them up and get them to spend another 30 seconds discussing their thoughts. Finally, invite each pair (or some of them) to share their views with the rest.

Peer feedback

Instead of always giving the players feedback on what they are doing, give your players the chance to do it. Have two or three players stand out of a soccer drill or game to view it from different positions. Then get them to give feedback to the others on what they observed.

Peer football coaching

Set up a basic soccer (football) drill then nominate two players to coach it. They have to coach the training session and give feedback at the end.


This is important for effective discovery learning. Given that discovery learning requires a higher degree of discussion than normal, it is best suited to pre-season, indoor or good weather soccer training sessions. This means you don’t have to worry about players standing around getting cold.

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