Grassroots Coaching

S.T.E.P.P Football Coaching Made Easy 1

We all see lots of coaching sessions, practices and drills. But how can we apply them when we don’t have the right number of players shown in the practice, or the players at our disposal are too young or perhaps don’t have the ability to perform the practice as shown.

There are a series of simple self adjustments that any coach can make to make practices relevant to the needs, age and abilities of their players and the size of their squad, as well as to make the practices, organised, challenging, exciting and progressive.

Remember and use the acronym S.T.E.P.P and apply when and where it is appropriate. This might be at the start of the session or, depending on how well or badly the session is going, during the session or practice.

S.T.E.P.P stands for the following:

S – Size

T – Tempo and time

E – Equipment

P – Players

P – Progressions.

Over the next 5 blogs, we will look in greater details what this means and how you as a coach can apply it if needed.

S – Size.

  • Adjust the size and or shape of the training area to take into account the number of players, their age and their ability.
  • Adjust the size of the area to make the practice harder or easier for the players. In some attacking sessions and practices, making the area bigger will make it easier for the players to succeed by creating more space and therefore more time for the players. In other attacking sessions and practices making the area smaller will challenge the players by making the space tighter and giving the players less time. The reverse is true for defending sessions and practices, smaller areas generally makes defending easier, bigger areas, defending more challenging.
  • Changing the size of the area will also encourage different techniques and skills, such as in a bigger area, longer passing, smaller area, tighter ball control and more first time passing
  • Goals – for attacking sessions and practices, use goals that are appropriately and game sized for the age of the players. This will help the players to practice and shoot into goals that are appropriately sized for the games they will play.


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