Grassroots Coaching

Planning – FA Level 2 Coaching Session – Part 1

Using my experience as an FA Level 2 football Tutor, I am going to give my views on the best way to plan, structure, organise and coach the practical elements of an FA Level 2 football coaching session. This particular session will evolve over a series of articles, this is part 1, so to get all the information and updates, why not follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and watch some of our great videos on YouTube. You can expect more of these kinds of articles to come, so stay tuned.

In this first blog I am going to explore the pre planning thought process, prior to actually putting the Football Coaching Session Plan together.

FA Level 2 Football Coaching Session – Pre-planning

When planning football training sessions ensure that they have a specific topic or theme that is the main focus of the session. For example the topic or theme I am planning for is ‘The Technique of Creating Space’ – which is a topic on the FA Level 2 practical curriculum and one you may be given by your tutor. The main focus of the planning is to create realistic game like situations that help the players to understand how to create space, as individuals, to create space for others and to create space with the ball.

With this in mind, my thoughts when planning this FA Level 2 session revolve around the following:

  • What is the theme or topic of the session? In this example, the technique of creating Space.
  • I want the practice to provide lots of opportunities for the players to be able to create space, for themselves, for others and to create space with the ball, to be game realistic and to be enjoyable for the players.
  • How many players am I going to use – in this case 10, but it could be expanded to 12 or 14.
  • What is the age and ability of the players? Here I have planned for a group of reasonably competent 12 year olds.
  • The size and shape of the practice areas should be relevant to the age and ability of the players. The size of the area should draw out the topic. I have added zones outside of the main area and discs at either end, so that there is a focus for the players to create space and the players look to use these areas/discs as a focus to provide width and length – “to make the pitch big” – thus creating space.
  • By having a “wave” type practice, I am looking to create realistic game like movements in the practice – the players receive the ball from the target players and advance down the pitch, creating space and passing patterns before passing into the opposite target player and repeating. The thought process of these “wave” practices are that the target players are goalkeepers, once they have the ball the team create space, pass the ball between themselves, advance down the pitch and then pass into the opposite GK. They then repeat the practice. This makes the practice game related and realistic, establishes positive passing patterns and encourages the players to advance down the pitch as a team, creating space and passing. It also ensures that the players’ roles or positions on the pitch are constantly changing
  • I am also looking to create lots of opportunities for the players to react to what is happening and to constantly look to create and find space. This is a real focus of the practices, giving players the opportunity within the practice to repeat the theme of the session. In this case we want to create space related to where the ball is on the pitch, so that they have to constantly rotate positions and move to find space – the core concept of this FA Level 2 football coaching session.
  • I am looking to plan a session the encourages and makes the players think about trying to be where the ball is going to be, not where the ball is.

Think about the 5 P’s of planning

Perfect  Planning Prevents Poor Performance

Shortly we will be posting the second of this series of articles – The Start and First Progression. have now made the coaches chalkboard available for FREE. It’s an online design tool that very simply helps you plan your practical FA Level 2, FA Level 2, and UEFA B football coaching sessions. To register click here. Or learn more about what the coaches chalkboard can offer you.


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