2-1-2-1 formation

09/21/2018 | Formations

7v7 formations 2-1-2-1

This is the best formation for an all out attack. Check out the pros and cons of the 2-1-2-1 formation at 7-a-side for Under 9 and Under 10 teams. MORE

zonal defending

09/21/2018 | Defending

Defend together

Once your players understand the concept of zonal defending, this game allows you to put the system into context playing a game with lots of corners MORE


Forwards combine

09/10/2018 | Rondos

Combination Rondo

Midfielders who are looking to get the ball to an attacker need to create space to thread passes through, while target men need to learn to receive and control the ball. MORE

09/10/2018 | Rondos

Benefits of using Rondos for youth players

Rondos are vital to the training systems of some of the world’s top academies like Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Barcelona, and the success of Rondos for creating good team play has become increasingly popular for grassroots coaches to implement, partly due to their simplicity. MORE

Key Rondo passes

09/4/2018 | Email newsletters

5 great ways to use Rondos

Rondos are fantastic for training, for warm ups, for pre-season and to get players in the mood for working hard. They are directly related to the principles of play and link into systems of play – so 2v1 3v2 – and that works into practicing formations at all age groups. MORE

Turning to play forward

This exclusive session from Sean Dyche aims to encourage turning to open the opportunity to play forward rather than sending the ball sideways or backwards. Within this, it allows players to put the ball ‘at risk’. MORE

Deadly transitions

This session examines how we condition a player technically, tactically, physiologically and psychologically when attacking and defending transitions in a small-sided competition-based game. MORE

Position specific development

This exclusive session by Chris Hughton could be run on a weekly basis, or it could be linked to a tactical focus for an upcoming game. MORE

Small-Sided Games

Player movement in defence

09/19/2018 | Defending

Wingers fly in

Use this session to teach your wingers to cover the holes in defence that appear when your fullbacks are pulled out of position MORE

Wingers dropping back

09/17/2018 | Defending

Overload your defence

This is an effective training session to teach your wingers to drop back into defence to help the team in order to double up on attackers and win the ball MORE

midfield attackers

09/11/2018 | Attacking

Man in the middle

The scoring threat often comes from balls played into a central attacker, who must decide whether to turn the defender, hold up the ball or lay off a pass. Here, the central attacker has to make the decision to create a scoring chance. MORE

How to coach 2v1s - part 1

09/22/2018 | Practice plans

Make the most of a 2v1

The wrong timing or weight of pass, poor control, badly judged runs – all these factors and more can combine to ruin a perfectly decent 2v1 attacking situation. Don’t let your players make those mistakes. MORE

How to coach switching play- part 1

09/16/2018 | Practice plans

Switch up

When one side of the pitch is blocked by the opposition it is vital to “switch play” and move the attack to the opposite side of the field. A switch of play is used to create space to attack on the wings and may involve a 1v1 or 2v1 situation on that side of the pitch. MORE

Movement and possession

08/2/2018 | Warm Ups

Find the free player

This warm up is ideal for training sessions about retaining possession and finding players in key positions. This concept is really important for teams that manage to have the lion’s share of possession in games yet find the opposition denying them space in the final third. MORE

Goalkeeper movement

07/9/2018 | Goalkeeping

Goalkeeper work out

This fun pre-season training session for goalkeepers is based on one used by former Arsenal and Germany keeper Jens Lehmann MORE

09/20/2018 | Set pieces

Fast and furious

This quick free-kick is designed to catch opponents on the back foot. Without time to organise, they will be caught out not only by the speed of play but the switch of play. MORE

09/13/2018 | Set pieces

Top of the box

Winning a corner is reason to celebrate but only if you have a plan to create a goal when the corner comes in. Far too often players hit and hope with a cross into the penalty area but this idea will help create a goal scoring chance MORE

09/4/2018 | Tactics

Foraging forwards

This sets up the coming together of two different tactics – it’s build up from the back versus the constant threat of the counterattack from balls played behind the defence. MORE

08/31/2018 | Rondos

Rondo win the ball

This uses all the elements of pre-season training: passing, communication, movement, control, and with the progression comes a tactical challenge. Players need to concentrate and react quickly, so it helps with general fitness too. MORE



Is there something missing on match day?

Are your forwards missing that little bit of creativity in front of goal that makes the difference in winning or losing? You need to add an element of surprise to get them turning good passing moves into goals. Individual play becomes vital the closer you get to goal. MORE

Defensive Diamond featured image from David Clarke's Soccer Tactics Made Simple


Season planning: Organising your defence

A good way of working out player positions is to see how well they work in certain situations. Practicing with a diamond defence is a great way of organising your players at the back. MORE


Start your season with a midfield engine

I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but your midfield really is the engine of your team. Your midfielders need the energy and vision to create and drive attacks and the determination and awareness to provide defensive cover. And it’s up to you to equip your players with the skills and technique necessary to... MORE

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