Grassroots Coaching

Football coaching young players

When football coaching young players use this multi goal game to develop and improve quick passing, support, switch play and dribbling skills. It is a conditioned game, that is fast moving, intense, challenging and competitive.

The game will create 1 v 1, 2 v 1 and 2 v 2 attacking situations. The game will also encourage players to react quickly, both from and an attacking and defending perspective.


  • Play 1 v 1 in 3 zones with goals at each end of all the zones. These players are conditioned to stay in their zones
  • Two play makers for each team. The player makers can move and play in any of the zones.
  • Supply of footballs with the coach / server.
  • The size of the zones and the goals can be adjusted to suit the age and ability of the players, but suggest goals that are 3 – 4 yards wide and zones 25 x 10 yards.
  • If the ball goes out of play the coach / server immediately passes a ball quickly onto the pitch to one of the play makers and a new game begins.


  • Ball is served from the coach / server to one of the play makers and the game begins.
  • Play maker on the ball decides how and where they want to attack
  • Attacking team try and score
  • Play makers to make runs to support the ball and to help out defensively
  • As the ball is passed from zone to zone, play makers have to adjust and react.
  • If ball is lost, team who win the ball try and counter attack.
  • If ball goes out of play, coach / server immediately passes a ball quickly onto the pitch to one of the play makers and a new game begins.


  • Play lots of games over periods of agreed time and see which team can score the most goals.
  • Play first team to score set number of goals


  • Rotate the play makers often with other players.
  • Make the zones bigger and play 2 v 2 in each zone. Play makers are still the only ones who can move from zone to zone.
  • Make one, two or three goals full size and play with GK’s (depending on numbers and GK’s available)

Coaching tips

  • Players in the zones who are playing in the team that have possession to work hard to find space to receive the ball
  • Accurate quick passing
  • Good communication between players
  • Try and create 1 v 1 attacking situations
  • Try and create quick 2 v 1 attacking situations
  • React defensively to restrict  2 v 1 attacking situations, work hard to make it 2 v 2
  • Counter attack quickly if ball is won
  • Switch play quickly to try and create 1 v 1 and 2 v 1 attacking situations

Tip: When football coaching young players, make sure that when you make a coaching point, the players have a visual picture of the coaching point you want to make. For example, in this game you might want to make a coaching point about creating space to receive the ball to dribble. Rather than just talk through the point you want to make. Recreate a learning picture so that the key player you want to make the coaching point to, the ball receiver, is in a position where they can receive the ball, then encourage them to create space by for example, checking away then back, to then receive the pass, turn and face the defender and be in a position to dribble. Initially do this recreation demonstration as a walk through, then get them to do it live and at full speed.

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