Author Archive | David Clarke

Fit and focused feature

Fit and Focused

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. Why use it This is a refresher for players to get into supporting positions when they are near the player with the ball. Set up Use […]

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My team are too quiet feature

My team are too quiet!

“My team are too quiet. How can I get them to recognise the good positions of their team-mates by being more vocal?” Answer Volume and vocal confidence has to come from you, the coach. There’s a fair chance that if you’re a quiet coach, you’ll produce quiet players. Similarly, guys who are loud bring that […]

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The conductor feature

The Conductor

If you want your players to learn how to win back the ball and retain possession, just follow the instructions of the ‘Conductor’. Why use it Players can get great experience by analysing a game as it is being played. This is a simple defence game – if players can work out the best positions […]

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Defend against the long ball feature

Defend against the long ball

At grassroots level, the long ball is more common and where coaches have less time to drill their back four it can be a real thorn. It takes discipline, organisation and concentration to counter the threat of the long ball – but with your back four well coached the tactic rapidly loses its effect. The […]

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Badlands feature


With the opposition hitting long balls over the ‘Badlands’, this session teaches defenders how to clear the long ball and attackers how to press to prevent the long ball. Why use it This shows teams how the front men can pressure and block long passes. It also shows defenders how to clear them. It is […]

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Goalie attacks feature

Goalie attacks

In this game-like scenario, if the goalkeeper launches an attack it counts double and shows goalies how to be part of the build up. Why use it This game lets you integrate the goalkeeper’s role so he plays a big part in team build ups, just like they would in actual matches. Set up You […]

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One nil up, two men down feature

One nil up, two men down

Your team is 1-0 up but your opponents have a two-man advantage. A game to teach each team the importance of setting out the tactics to hold on to a lead. Why use it This is a great scenario to challenge your players. One team is 1-0 up but loses a man and the other […]

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My players want to swap positions feature

My U11s players want to swap positions

“Some of my Under 11s want to swap positions just as I had found them the perfect places to play. Should I agree?” Answer In a word, yes! It’s a tricky one, but the long and short is that we’re all in youth coaching because it gives kids enjoyment, plus a sense of contributing towards […]

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