Grassroots Coaching


This is the fifth part of the topic that I presented at the recent Football Coaching in Porto, Portugal. This involves progressions and challenges when coaching players.

In these examples, again taken from, the football coach has organised a rotating close range shooting game. The objective is to provide the players with lots of opportunities to have realistic, match like scenarios to practice close range shooting and finishing opportunities. The football coach should firstly ensure that the players respond as they would in a game, for example if there is a shooting opportunity, be positive and take that opportunity. The football coach can then look to help the players improve their finishing techniques, their decisions and encourage individual, inventive play and quick combination play between players. In this example, the coach now adds defenders and takes the session into a small sided game, focusing on close range finishing

Diamonds Progression 3 –  Introduce defenders


  • Introduce a defender to create a 2 v 1 situation
  • Strikers to be aware of defender and create realistic shooting opportunities that by pass the defender, through movement and support for the player on the ball
  • After shot 2 strikers rotate with 2 fielders
  • Further progression – introduce two defenders


  • The winning team are the first to score 4 goals. If a defender wins the ball, one goal is deducted from the score


FINAL PROGRESSION / CHALLENGE – The players play a 4 v 4 game with goalkeepers on a small pitch. The small pitch promotes lots of shooting and finishing opportunities. Encourage the players to adopt a formation of say 2 – 1 – 1 or 2 – 2 and let the players play a game and see if they can use the skills they have learnt in the training session within a frame work of a real game to create and take finishing opportunities.

Download PDF – Diamonds Progression 3 – Add a defender

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