Team Management

These articles look at issues coaches face away from actually playing the game. Players and teams need to well-managed. Disruptive players need to be dealt with in a certain way, you have responsibilities towards the opposition, the league, the referee and the parents. These articles highlight some of the major problems you will face in team management and they offer great advice on how to deal with them.

Long ball teams feature

Playing against long ball teams

in Team Management

Defending against the long ball, or ball over the top, is a topic I have tackled throughout my coaching career – it can be a frustrating experience. Every team uses the long ball sometimes because it can be a very effective weapon. At grassroots level it is quite a common tactic that teams must defend... MORE

Winger won't pass feature

How can I get my winger to pass the...

in Team Management

“One of my U10 players is a very tenacious, very determined winger who makes lots of excellent runs past opposition players. He often gets into positions where he could pass the ball but usually he continues on until he runs out of room and either loses possession or the ball goes into touch. How can... MORE

Player attention span

Back after the break

in Team Management

I’ve been out and about this pre-season watching teams getting back into the swing of the new season. The weather has been excellent and some of the work by coaches up and down the country is a testament to how committed everyone is, from mums and dads right up to the head coach. Getting focused... MORE

see out a win feature

How can I help my players see out a...

in Team Management

“My players often struggle to defend a lead late in the game. What can we do to help us see our our matches a little better?” Answer Each team is different but there are usually a couple of reasons why some sides consistently lose the lead late in a game. I guess first of all... MORE

Parents feature

Too many parents want to help run the team!

in Team Management

“After a rousing appeal for volunteers I now have too many parents wanting to be involved with the team. What should I do with them all?” Answer It’s difficult bringing volunteers into a team, but it seems you’ve really sold them the team ethos, and it’s clear their sons must be enjoying their football too... MORE

Coutinho feature

Clever players win games – like Coutinho

in Team Management

Creating players who can win games by clever play and by using skills is one aim of a good training set up – or you splash the cash like Barcelona are trying to do with all that money they got from selling Neymar to PSG. It’s no wonder Barcelona are trying to buy Liverpool’s magician... MORE

Rashford feature

Create an X-factor player like Marcus Rashford

in Team Management

One of the stand out performances from the first matches in this season’s Premier League at the weekend was from the front two at Manchester United. The new man and the boy from the renowned Fletcher Moss junior football club. It was a Romelu Lukaku-Marcus Rashford show at Old Trafford that saw an attacking display... MORE

Tears training feature

Tears at training… help!

in Team Management

“A player left training crying after a hard tackle from a team mate and stayed away for two weeks. How can I integrate him back into the team?” Answer It’s unfortunate there was a two-week break, but getting the player back on the horse, so to speak, is really important, and this is a small... MORE

pre season without ball feature

Do you start pre-season with or without the ball?

in Team Management

This was the question I asked a group of coaches of various ages. You may be interested to know that 75% of them told me they always did the first couple of weeks’ training without the ball. Of the others, two coaches actually berated me for asking the question! “Why do you even mention training... MORE

Growth spurts feature

Back from holiday to find growth spurts in my...

in Team Management

I’ve just got back from a couple of weeks holiday to find my inbox is stuffed with questions from coaches who have, like me, got back and found a bunch of players they don’t recognize from the ones that took a break at the end of April. Here is a common question: “We’ve met up... MORE

How to coach pack attacking drills- part 1

Hunting in packs

in Practice plans, Team Management

When trying to pressure opponents, it’s important that players don’t work alone as they will be outnumbered and simply played around. The key to regaining the ball quickly is for players to work together and hunt aggressively in small groups. MORE

Soccer skills quarterback feature

Practice soccer skills like a quarterback

in Team Management

I watched an Under-14s game at the weekend, and was massively impressed by one young player who was very skillful and beat players with passes and skills and scored a great goal. All sports have players that stand out and we as coaches want our kids to develop as well but how do we begin... MORE

Soccer skills quarterback feature

Practice soccer skills like a quarterback

in Team Management

I watched an Under-14s game at the weekend, and was massively impressed by one young player who was very skillful and beat players with passes and skills and scored a great goal. All sports have players that stand out and we as coaches want our kids to develop as well but how do we begin... MORE

Parent as linesman

What on earth is going on with angry parents?

in Blog, Team Management

What on earth is going on? I thought I had cut out the angry parent confrontations years ago but they are still rumbling on. After a tournament we had just played in and got knocked out in the quarter final stage (but that allowed us to go home early!) one of the dads was insistent... MORE

Pre-season training feature

Are you ready for pre-season training?

in Team Management

The first week back at training often means pain in terms of getting back to fitness. Depending on how your players have spent the summer it can be hard work for them. Muscles seize up, legs tire out and the next day players feel stiff and sore. Getting in shape for the big kick-off means... MORE

My team are too quiet feature

My team are too quiet!

in Team Management

“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... MORE

disruptive players feature

How do I prevent disruptive players ruining my sessions?

in Team Management

“I was left to coach Under 14s by myself. My session worked but it was ruined by disruptive players. How can I ensure this doesn’t happen again?” Answer Handling that many 13-year olds is not easy and I have been in your situation many times. I’m sure you handled the problem well but at the... MORE

Coaching mistake feature

I admit it – I made a mistake in...

in Blog, Team Management

There are occasions when I do things that go against all the advice I give out and I’m not sure why I do it, or in this case, don’t do it. It shows how you can’t rest on your laurels in this coaching lark and I feel a bit of a chump for doing so.... MORE

Hey coach try being a parent featured

Hey coach! Try being a parent

in Team Management

One of the great things about the summer break from league games is that I can go and watch my own children playing in some of the many tournaments that take place at this time of year. Off comes the tracksuit and I can go and just be a “normal” parent watching a game. I... 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 to survive hot weather in training feature

How to survive hot weather at training

in Team Management, Tips and advice

“With training and tournaments scheduled for the hot summer weather, how can I protect my players from overheating before it’s too late?” Answer The last few days in the UK have seen some unbearably hot weather making training and tournaments great for the spectator but hard going for the youngsters. There are two key problems... MORE

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