01/16/2020 | Blog

Why are the U14s so good?

Watching the Under 14s pass and move their way to a really pleasing victory this week I went home and decided I needed to see what I had worked on with this team when they were much younger and what had been the foundation for the way they were now playing. MORE

01/15/2020 | Blog

The 2% positive mindset

For a small minority of coaches embracing the unknown is something they like to do – it gives young players the added excitement of something new to test them and even though it is unchartered territory the rewards are much greater MORE

Arrival activities

12/17/2019 | Warm Ups

One-two work out

This five minute warm up drill is all about first touch and anticipating the pass. Good for fitness and getting players ready for movement and passing in matches. MORE

07/30/2019 | Warm Ups

Fast feet

A warm-up that will teach your players practise dribbling the ball with two feet and help them to learn how to change direction quickly MORE

07/25/2019 | Warm Ups

Diamonds sharpen skills

This session sharpens an array of soccer skills at the beginning of a season when players need to get their bodies back into balance and refresh their technique on the ball. This is a great session to use for sharpening awareness and coordination. MORE

09/10/2019 | Email newsletters

Stop match day mayhem

It was the first matches of the season in youth leagues up and down the country in the UK this week and it has been interesting to see the different reactions from the coaches I know. Most have been excited but some have been back to the “same old thing” with players turning up late and not being ready to play a match. MORE

08/14/2019 | Rondos

Simple rondo

This is a great session to warm up your players through a high intensity possession-based skills practice, with players developing the technical aspects of their game that can be used in high-pressure match scenarios. MORE

12/18/2019 | Warm Ups

Dribble and change direction

This is a great warm-up to get your players ready for a match or training session. Running with the ball under control, changing direction and passing MORE

09/26/2019 | Email newsletters

Get sleepy heads ready to play

Warm ups or arrival activities are the best way to get fuzzy minds focused on the game ahead. Afterall you don't want to be 3-0 down after 10 minutes before they wake up and react to the fact they are playing a game. MORE

07/17/2019 | Warm Ups

Bounce and go

A simple warm-up to get your players thinking about speed – both when running without the ball and when dribbling with the ball. MORE

Small-Sided Games

01/13/2020 | Attacking

4v4 with 4 goals

Obviously kids thoroughly enjoy scrimmaging and coaches can use games to teach players without them realizing they are learning. Not only does this game help players stay connected but also starts introducing finishing and expands players range of passing. MORE

11/28/2019 | Defending

Changing of the guard

Reacting to quick transitions is key to this session, as is holding onto the ball under pressure. This includes using clever play to shield the ball and get passes away. MORE

11/27/2019 | Ball Control and Footwork

Technical development

Every young player in your team needs to feel comfortable to have the ball at his feet all the time - especially in tight areas of the pitch. The final part gives ownership of the session to the players. MORE

How to coach lone stiker drills- part 1

01/17/2020 | Practice plans

The lone striker

A lot of teams now play with a lone striker supported by players from midfield. The modern striker must have a number of attributes. These include running deep to receive the ball, holding the ball up, dribbling at speed and shooting with either foot. This session aims to improve these skills in a number of 1v1 exercises. MORE

01/9/2020 | Attacking

On the rebound

Long shots often create chaos in the penalty areas of youth teams opening up chances from rebounds and blocks. Fire your team ahead by going long against tough opposition and score from the rebound MORE

12/24/2019 | Podcast

Get parents onside

Gordon Maclelland is the CEO of Working with Parents in Sport which supports organisations, parents and coaches in working together to provide children with the best possible sporting experiences. MORE

12/9/2019 | Set pieces

Brazil nuts

This was inspired by the Brazil national team. It needs space for the move to work, so think about it when your players are awarded a free-kick some 25-30 yards from goal MORE


Winning back possession

It may sound like I am being negative suggesting ways to stop teams passing but study any of the successful teams around the world and you will see the hard work that goes into stopping teams passing through or around midfields and defences. MORE


Coach education at its best

It is that time of year when coaches of all nationalities are drawn to the United States to gather together at the largest soccer convention in the world. Over five days there will be more than 250 educational opportunities for coaches MORE


Fun sessions to focus young minds

Getting back into the swing of training every week can be hard work. Certainly for me when faced with a dozen U9 players training last night was very stop/start as players got their legs working again and tried to pass and receive. MORE

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