Grassroots Coaching
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Football Coaching – Made simple

When football coaching try and apply the following simple basic principles of play in whatever football coaching session you do.

It is easy to forget, with talk of tactics and formations, that football is in essence a very simple invasion game. You have the ball, you try and score. You don’t have the ball, you try and stop the opposition. This is where good coaches, simplify the game by applying the key attacking and defending principles of the game to everything they do.

I watch lots of games and have coached at all sorts of levels, from grassroots to professional and the one thing I would say to all coaches, be them beginners or UEFA “A” qualified coaches, is K.I.S.S – Keep It Simple Stupid and this applies to the basic, but key attacking and defending principles of the game.

Football Coaching – In Possession

Create Space as a team and as individuals – attacking team shape

  • Can the players spread out quickly, both across the pitch and from back to front. Make the pitch as big as possible.

High tempo possession based football

  • Can the ball be passed quickly and where appropriately, positively and with an attacking, penetrative  / goal intent

Playing out from the back

  • Where appropriate, can attacks be built from the back rather than the ball kicked long from the GK and from back to front? Although, there will be situations when going direct and long  might be the best way of playing out from the back

Transition: counter attack

  • If possession is gained, can the team effectively counter attack, quickly, effectively and directly  if possible, if not through possession

Football Coaching

Football Coaching – Out of possession

Defensive team shape

  • As soon as the ball is lost, quickly get players behind the ball, be an organised, compact team that defends the goal as its first priority.

Making play predictable

  • Via the defensive team shape, try and keep the play in front of the defenders, make the opposition pass square and backwards. Make if risky and difficult for the opposition to try and play forward and penetrate

Pressing from the front

  • Working on triggers and where appropriate can the team defend from the front and get pressure on and around the ball. This starts with the forwards pressing and harrying the opposition defence from an organised and structured team shape

Transition: 5 second regains

  • Can the team try and regain possession within 5 – 7 seconds and then counter attack quickly
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