Grassroots Coaching

Level 2 in Kent Day One

Level 2 Kent – Day 1

Today I started a 6 day Level 2 course, with Alan Walker, Lead Tutor of Kent FA. There were 28 candidates with various experiences of coaching. The ages ranged from 16 – to mid 50’s and there were two ladies on the course.

To develop a team spirit and for the coaches to get to know each other, we started the practical content of the course, with a fun warm up game that all 26 coaches participated in. This also allowed Alan and myself to take a look at their playing ability. As you can imagine, the playing levels were very mixed, with a couple of professionals and non league players, to middle aged men who hadn’t kicked a ball in anger for more than ten years and many who seemed to have their boots on the wrong feet!!

The warm up game, was played on a full size pitch, with all 26 players and 6 balls. The idea was that the players had to pass and move, using all the players, the 8 balls and the full pitch. Below is a cut down version of the warm up game, using 12 players and 3 balls.

The only information we gave them in this warm up game was to make sure they got the ball out of their feet and looked up to picture the pass before they passed and to encourage communication between the players.

Once this warm up game was over, we asked some questions of the coaches. We asked them why we wanted them to look up before they passed and why we wanted them to communicate with each other. Their answers then enabled us to lay down a foundation and understanding of encouraging their players to try and play with their heads up, to communicate with each other and to provide support for each other.

We then moved onto a simple pass and move technical session, encouraging the coaches to think about the basic fundamentals of the technique of passing and support movement.

The key technical factors we encouraged them to think about for the topic, The Technique of Short range passing, were, in a logical progressive order

  1. Control the ball out of the feet
  2. Head up, to “picture the pass”
  3. Straight, slight angled approach
  4. Non – kicking foot alongside the ball, body shape compact and over the ball
  5. Strike the ball with a firm side foot and through the middle – centre of the ball
  6. Kicking foot follows through to the target


  1. Communication – verbal and with gestures from receiving player where they want the pass to be played
  2. Movement after the pass to find space and be a supporting player
  3. Decisions on accuracy, timing and weight of the pass
  4. Decision on first time pass or control and pass

We coached a range of attacking technical topics, such as create space, support play, run with the ball, dribbling etc. Always encouraging the coaches to focus their understanding on the logical, progressive order for the key technical factors for each topic and to focus the coaches on the coaching formula to use Explain, Demonstrate and Imitate.

We also encouraged the coaches to think and work on the following coaching information:

*Get the players and equipment organised quickly *Do a walk or slow jog through demonstrations so players understand the pattern of the exercise and what you are trying to achieve *Let the players have a few minutes of practising the pattern of the exercise before trying to coach *Stay outside of the area, so you can observe the exercise and players performance better *Coach in a logical, priority order, reinforcing the key technical points, with brief explanations  ( E )-  and lots of visual demonstrations  ( D ) *After you have explained and shown the players what you want, let the players practice what you have demonstrated ( I )-  it is the best way for them to learn *Use good practice  things players have done well, as well as mistakes, to reinforce  technical information *Challenge the practice and players performance  by using progressions and challenges to the session.

To challenge and progress the Technique of short passing, we now added used a total of 10 players, 2 balls and 3 defenders in an area 30 x 30 yards. This progression to add defenders now made the session a skill. The skill aspect was that the defenders challenged the players decisions on not only using an appropriate short passing technique, but also their decisions on whether to pass first time or control and pass and the need for the players off the ball to quickly support the player on the ball so that the defender can be easily by passed by the pass and the support.

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Assessment Level 2 Coach Education FA Level 2