Whatever your training session, condition it so that the players can gain success and understand the objectives of the session. For example, in a passing drill, overload the drill so that there are more attackers than defenders. Initially, you might consider conditioning the defenders to jog or provide passive defending. Once the players understand what is required from them and have had success, take off some of the conditions to progress and develop the session. A coach can also set targets and goals so that all the players can have initial success. For example:
Shooting: There should initially be no pressure on the players therefore allowing them to focus on their technique. The goal should be large enough to promote success and to make the practice realistic. Allow the players to shoot from closer in and then increase the distance.
Passing: Ensure that one of the teams has a numerical advantage e.g. 4 v 2 possession game so that they are able to successfully keep possession due to having more players. Gradually even up the teams during the session to increase pressure and realism.
Defending: Consider the size of area. For example, when conducting a 1 v 1 exercise, it should initially be quite small thus favoring the defender.
Players who successfully meet a given challenge are enthusiastic about facing a new, tougher challenge, whereas players who immediately experience failure will simply opt out. The level of difficulty can then be progressively increased for the players who are consistently achieving success, therefore developing the players abilities.
Coach through games
Fun games and activities are a proven method for ensuring that players learn and pay the most attention to a task. Repetitious drills will turn the players off the game, especially if they are inactive for long periods of time. There are many games and drills which can be utilised to teach valuable skills while the players are having fun. Games and certain training activities can be very anaerobic and hard work, so players will need frequent stops to rest and recover - use these rest periods to make coaching points. By using the following methods you can ensure that the learning process continues whilst the players continue to have fun.... (read more)
Conditioning games to develop the training session
Many training sessions comprise a warm up, a series of drills or activities, often unrelated and not progressive, followed by a regular game. Even when the earlier drills have been linked and related to an ongoing theme there has often been little transference of those skills to the game itself. For example, the session might have started with some shooting drills to improve technique, progressed to shooting with opposition involved, then finished with a game that had no real relevance to the theme - shooting. Very often technique work and drills can sometimes be seen by the players as something to endure before playing a 'proper' game. When this tends to happen the players can often revert to old habits and very little improvement and learning, in relation to the theme, would be witnessed in the game. The conditioned game as a 'bridging activity' provides this vital missing link, between the theme of the session and ensuring this is followed through into the game at the end of the session.....(read more)
Training time frames
More frequent training sessions and shorter periods of training provide a better framework for ensuring football skills are retained more successfully. Players will tend to retain improvements made over a longer period more successfully if they have lots of frequent, shorter training sessions.
For older and more experienced players, lengthier training sessions with less rest periods are more effective for learning. You can concentrate your coaching on specific skills by adding progressions and conditions to the main theme.
Repetitive drills are not as effective as varied and progressive drills for long term learning.
Focused, concentrated and lengthier practices assist a fast rate of initial learning in the basic skills required of football. For example to improve the push pass in young players, spending time on encouraging the players to practice repeatedly and focus primarily on the technique of the push pass will assist the players to quickly develop a good technique. In reality, the players will get bored and or fatigued, so you need to find lots of innovative and progressive ways and drills to focus the training session on developing the push pass to ensure the players don't get bored and still enjoy the training.