Dave Clarke is the former head coach and editor of Soccer Coach Weekly.
As well as being a skilled journalist and editor, Dave has excellent coaching credentials, having coached U9s - U16s at grassroots level for over 20 years.
He holds a UEFA B license and is qualified in FA Youth Award modules 1, 2 and 3, as well as the Coerver Youth Diploma Module.
Soccer drills and small-sided games by Dave Clarke
We had a meeting this week at my club, where we were discussing the changes we face in a few months time. My U10s team goes from 7v7 into 9v9 and that means we are facing offside decisions. So how does a coach go about preparing for that? MORE
As coaches we are all obsessed with keeping possession of the ball... of course we are the best teams all do it and if you've got the ball the opposition can't score. And there is just that other coach called Pep Guardiola who swears by it... MORE
Fast is a word I like to use when my teams are attacking. Do it with speed and watch the opposition shrink away from it. It makes life difficult for your opponents and helps your team to dominate when in possession of the ball. MORE
The season has suddenly taken off again after 4 months of Coronavirus lockdown. I've been coaching for 14 hours for the last two weeks in an attempt to get the players back into some kind of shape for playing matches. It has its benefits but also it has a downside. Two of my players picked up injuries, one an ankle injury and the other had what he called "tired legs". Find out how we got on... MORE
The time trial game places the attackers under high pressure in order to get them to attack at top speed and score goals in the allotted time. How many goals can the attacking team score before the time runs out? MORE
Players need to be able to create space to either play forward or switch play. It helps them to set up positive attacking options. Moving the ball quickly with both long and short passes gives teams the chance to create 1v1 situations or overloads which are key situations for exploiting the opposition. Knowing when to... MORE
Fast passing games help teams to keep the ball when they play in matches. This unopposed game helps develop first touch, movement and accuracy. Great session to get teams passing the ball with speed. MORE
I was talking to a coach this week about how to control balls in the air, especially when heading the ball in training is off the menu for most clubs. I imagine that there will be much more of a contest to win the ball with a volley once it has dropped from head height. So how do you coach controlling balls in the air? MORE
This week I have been reunited with parents and players from my teams because the club I coach at has used the Easter school holidays to give back to the players what they have been missing for the last four months. So this week I have been coaching full days – around 7 hours – in three sessions. I've coached U9s, U10s and U13s boys and U11 girls. I really enjoy it but it does come with some very obvious problems. MORE
Now we are back playing matches and training after nearly four months of lockdown I can certainly notice the difference in my players. It isn't like when they come back from summer holidays because that is usually just down to a bit of fitness and rusty match play. So how can you relight their fire? MORE
A high pressing game gives teams a huge advantage when they win the ball back because you are close to your opponents goal. Lose the ball, win it back in 6 seconds is a rule that I use in training sessions. But how does that work? MORE
Player trials are likely to be one of the most stressful events facing young players after they have been missing games due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Even the most confident players will get stressed out when they have to put their talents on show to a new group of coaches and players. And now without the help of a full season behind them they will feel a lot more exposed than normal. MORE
I've watched every game that Leeds United have played under Marcelo Bielsa in the Premier League this season, and boy is it fast! It is a game played with fluidity right across the pitch at speed – crosses fly into the penalty area. And if you lose the ball to them they counter attack in an instant, a great tactic for youth teams. MORE
Often in crowded areas of the pitch teams lose the ball by trying to hold on to it or with misplaced passes. Short passing in areas like the penalty area is key to keeping the ball and creating space for the goal scorers. MORE
Playing a ball into a striker in space gives that player the chance to run with the ball and beat a player and smash the ball into the net. Use this session to give your receiving strikers practice in beating players and scoring goals. MORE