Grassroots Coaching


I recently presented this as a topic at a Football Coaching Seminar in Porto, Portugal.

To improve the enjoyment and development process for players, it is important that they have the opportunity, initially, to achieve success in the training session. That they have lots of realistic, match like scenarios to practice the skill the football coaching session is promoting. This will increase and develop the players’ confidence and self belief.

But, after a suitable period of time, the players will need be tested and challenged, so that their enjoyment, learning and decision making process and technical execution under increased pressure are challenged.

This is where challenges and progressions become so important in training players. The challenges need to be suitable for the age and ability of the players and need to be judged by the football coach as suitable for the needs of the coaching session. By developing challenges and progressions in the session, a coach will be making the session more enjoyable and challenging for the players and assist in their learning and development.

Too much of a challenge so that the players cannot get some success, might be too much and drain players confidence. So the trick is small, progressive, bite size progressions and challenges that test the players, but allow them to succeed more often than not. Then build upon their success with a further progressions and challenges.

 Player Skill Competition – Turning Circle

For example, a coach can set the players the challenge of facilitating a skill game for themselves and provide them with a challenge within that skill game.

In this video, taken from the online coaching website, the players are set a skill turning challenge. The challenge is for the players to co – operate together and complete the turning challenge in the quickest time they can. The players can have as many goes at this challenge as they want, which will allow them to discuss ways in which they can improve their self learning and work out ways, without any coach intervention as to how they can improve their performance. A further challenge is for the players to test themselves against another pair of players and see how they can complete the challenge in the quickest time. The players will have to work out for themselves the need for speed against success.

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