Pace setters

Ideal for grassroots teams to push opponents back and score against them. It helps teams break at speed quickly getting to the heart of the opposition defence MORE

Arrival activities


Rondos: great fun, great learning

My go to activities when players have had been on the summer break are Rondos – and with this being one of the longest breaks from playing due to lockdown I am going to be using Rondos over the next few weeks to get players back up to speed. MORE

Return to play

Return to play: Circle passing

There are a number of places where the social distancing rules are not the same as here in England, and I've been asked for sessions that are non contact but not just 5 players so this ssession can be used with any number of players. MORE

Arrival activities

Warm up circle

Great for any age group, getting brains warmed up with gentle running and getting players to concentrate and think about what they have to do. Simple but very effective. MORE

Rondos passing


Line breaking passes

The key rondos passes can be used in tactical play during matches to play between the lines with the key play splitting lines of defence to create goalscoring runs MORE

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I use Rondos every session

When I am planning my coaching sessions or thinking about warm ups before a match I always start by planning in a Rondo. It is a great way to get players ready for training or for a match – and they never complain about doing it because they love it. MORE

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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

Warm Ups feature

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How are you starting your coaching sessions?

I cannot second guess when we will all be out of this strange way of coaching with no opposed sessions but hopefully it will be fairly soon. To that end I continually remind myself that I will be going back to getting my players warmed up in a different way to how I am doing it at the moment. MORE

warm up sprinting

Warm Ups

Agility square

Get brains and muscles into gear with this quick warm-up for training. It works on movement, agility and vision. MORE

Warm Ups

Player positions for support

Use this fast-paced training game to get two centre midfielders and a defensive midfielder moving quickly into positions to support each other, just like they would in a match. MORE

Small-Sided Games

Wingers dropping back


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

Organised to attack

Hit wide areas

This session focuses on hitting wide areas with the use of group attacks and switching. It works on the basic play used to develop attacking moves to get from one third to the next to create goal scoring chances. MORE

How to coach goalkeeper kicking and handling drills- part 1 Practice plans

Safe hands and safe feet

The ability to deal with balls that come to the goalkeeper from all angles is one of the most important parts of a goalkeeper’s game. It relies on positioning, technique and good decision making. Most importantly, keepers need to be good with their feet as well as their hands. MORE

How to coach instant shooting - part 1 Practice plans

The instant shot

Striking the ball first time at goal requires good service, timing and technique. With benefits including reducing the amount of time keepers have to prepare themselves, it’s worth giving it a shot. MORE

How to coach creating space to shoot - part 1 Practice plans

Create space to shoot

It’s not always necessary for an attacker to go past a defender in order to shoot – sometimes a trick or a feint creates enough space to get a strike at the target. MORE


Looking beyond winning

In this podcast Dave Clarke talks to Chris Panayiotou the Director of Coaching for Virginia Rush senior boys about looking beyond winning with an emphasis on educating players and parents in the philosophy he has for Virginia Rush MORE


Win games like the Champions

Liverpool are the Premier League Champions. Feeding strikers like Liverpool do with their amazing front three is the best way to get your team on the front foot and destroy the opposition before they have woken up. MORE


Touchline Tales: Episode 3 Coach Mentors

In this podcast Dave Clarke talks to Andy and Paul from Go4Goal about the use of a mentor both for head coaches and for the head coach mentoring the coaches underneath them. Including coaching technique, focus and following a season long philosophy MORE


Closing Down Opponents

Central defenders and supporting players have a vital role in stopping the opposition’s build up play. Players will work on the defending angle of approach to try and force the attacker away MORE


Perfect set pieces for next season

My team will be back to normal training in just a week leaving the best part of a month to get ready for match play. There is all sorts of things to work on but one thing that is often neglected is working on set pieces. MORE


Planning my next training session

At my club we are going to coach right through to the new season with no break. My players are desperate for some contact games but I am careful they don't go too full on because they haven't done contact for some time. MORE


Time to build your squad

With the move back to contact in my area of the world it is now a great time to run trials to build your squad for next season. It is not something I have given time to yet because trials when play is non-contact is not ideal. A player might be brilliant with individual skills but put them in a match situation and they will show a different side – and that includes player attitudes. MORE

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