EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Ask Dave

Got a coaching question?

Dave Clarke, Soccer Coach Weekly’s head coach and editor can help.

As a volunteer dad, Dave started coaching his son’s team 20 years ago. Now educating 500,000 coaches every week he is a highly experienced FA level 3, UEFA B youth coach, lecturer and course tutor.

He has been at the helm of Soccer Coach Weekly for over 10 years and is also the Consultant Coach on the LMA’s Elite Soccer.

It’s always good to have somebody to ask for advice when you encounter a problem with your team. Whatever your coaching problem, Dave is perfectly placed to help.

Ask Dave

Check out recently asked questions to get the advice you need. If you are a subscriber drop Dave a line (you’ll find his contact details in this week’s issue of Soccer Coach Weekly digital magazine) and he’ll even send you the resources you need from our library of coaching sessions.

What’s the best way for grassroots youth coaches to...

in Ask Dave

There are a couple of ways that any coach can improve on reading the opposition. The main one being to see how they line up at kick-off and work out what formation they are playing, because that will give you a good idea of the way they are going to approach the game. MORE

I am coach of an Under-13 girls team and...

in Ask Dave

First of all, we wish your player a speedy recovery – breaking a leg at such a young age is extremely unfortunate. In terms of what happens now, I’m sure you’ll quickly find a replacement given the popularity of the girls’ game in the US. But in the meantime, why not try to turn this into a positive for your other players? MORE

There are 18 players in my new team. What...

in Ask Dave

Well this is one we’ve all come across in the past. Indeed, many people will struggle to remember the name of a person they’ve just been introduced to, and that’s because our brains are too occupied with presenting ourselves in a likeable way that we therefore switch off from importing information as we normally would. MORE

I understand you coach your sons’ teams ... I am now coaching my own child ... what advice would you give?

I understand you coach your sons’ teams … I...

in Ask Dave

Don’t build your team around your child. You might truly believe they are among the more talented and intelligent members of the team but resist the temptation to make them the main striker, captain, penalty-taker and free-kick specialist all rolled into one. MORE

Can speed be coached and if so how do I coach it?

Can speed be coached and if so how do...

in Ask Dave

Speed can definitely be coached, but if a player is only ever trained for endurance, that speed will not increase. He may be able to run for longer, but the basic speed will remain at around the same level. MORE

A player wants to go on a diet but...

in Ask Dave

I wouldn’t encourage any child to diet, because there are better methods. The first is obvious – do more exercise. And given this child plays soccer, he’s in the right place to arrange a programme of additional exercise. MORE

What formation would be best to use for very technical and ambitious players?

What formation would be best to use for very...

in Ask Dave

Playing a 4-4-2 diamond presents a really flexible set-up that ticks all the boxes. Wing-backs can push forward to assist the two strikers and become engaged in wide midfield situations, meaning centre-backs have the added responsibility of moving across to cover. MORE

How long should my small-sided game take at the...

in Ask Dave

There’s no set answer to how long a small-sided game should be. It depends on the number of players you have – a 4v4 game isn’t going to last much more than 10 minutes and, for most coaches, it’s the period of time left between the last drill and when parents turn up to take their kids home! MORE

How can I stop getting wound up by comments against my team from the opposition manager and linesman?

How can I stop getting wound up by comments...

in Ask Dave

Tactical understanding and implementation? People skills? Whatever you put at the top of the list you can guarantee that the skill you pick is governed by the front part your brain – the intelligent brain. What we know in science is that your front brain will tend to switch off in times of extreme stress and emotion. MORE

My team are disorganised from throw-ins and we often manage to give the ball away. Do you have any quick tips to help us improve?

My team are disorganised from throw-ins and we often...

in Ask Dave

Throw-ins can be stressful for youngsters. Not only does the player need to get the ball back into play legally, but he’ll want his team to retain possession too. Add in the fact that a player has only a 180 degree area for distribution and you can understand why panic can set in. MORE

6 tips for sharp shooting

We run shooting drills but our strikers still can’t...

in Ask Dave

Your players need more repetition of the goalscoring technique – I know that isn’t easy because your players will say they are bored after so many times running through the same drill, but if you play some fun sessions that have shooting as the main focus, you will get a lot of repetition without players noticing. MORE

Jose Mourinho and Willian

The soccer is ugly and it hurts to watch....

in Ask Dave, Team Management

QUESTION Watching my team play is a different story from one game to the next – we have a very successful and strong GK and defense. Our forward line is also very athletic and successful. My question is about our midfield… specifically the centre midfield. They are not the athletes the rest of the team... MORE

My players dont talk to each other featured

My players don’t talk to each other

in Ask Dave, Team Management

“How can I get my players to communicate better with each other on the pitch? They are so quiet during matches that it really costs us…” Answer Communication is key for any team setup, but there are some very good reasons that kids will often stay quiet during matches. Sometimes they feel embarrassed at speaking... MORE

How Do I Coach Speed feature

How do I coach speed?

in Ask Dave, Team Management

“How do I coach speed? Can it even be coached or is it something that is preset in a player?” Answer Speed can definitely be coached, but if a player is only ever trained for endurance, that speed will not increase. He may be able to run for longer, but the basic speed will remain... MORE

How Do I Get My Players To Make The Right Decisions.

How Do I Get My Players To Make The...

in Ask Dave, Team Management

Question: I coach a team of Under 10s – a few of them are very comfortable with the ball at their feet and love to dribble. They are now getting to the stage where they are acknowledging that sometimes passing as opposed to dribbling may be better for the team but are finding the decision making process difficult. I.e. when is... MORE

What's it like to be coached by you

What’s it like to be coached by you?

in Ask Dave, Team Management

As a coach I know I have a lot of responsibilities, so how I coach and how I get my points across are vital to the progression of my players. It is not just about progression on the pitch either – my coaching should also help them learn how to achieve their life goals away... MORE



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