How To Keep Your Players Engaged During COVID-19

Over the past couple of weeks, much of youth sports around the world have been postponed due to COVID-19 and the ongoing spread of the virus. For both coaches and athletes this presents a unique challenge, as self-isolation and social distancing makes practicing a team sport particularly difficult. That said, it's not as though nothing can be done in this time of self-isolation or as though players must spend all day on their phones. Here are some ways to keep your players engaged during this time.

5 Common Mistakes Coaches Make

Recently I had the privilege of helping teach a coaching course at my university institution to eighty students, most of which had never coached before. Not only was it (hopefully) a valuable learning experience for the students, it was also a great learning experience for me and my development as a coach. Across the course, the students adapted well to the teaching methods of the course. However, a few common mistakes could be found in nearly every single session that the students delivered. As a result, I have developed this list of the most common mistakes coaches (not just beginners) often make. This list should be a helpful reminder to all coaches on how to be better in their roles and ensure participants get the most out of their experience.

5 Things I Learned From Teaching a Coaching Course

This winter, I had the privilege of helping to teach a coaching course at my university institution. The experience was absolutely amazing and better than I could have ever hoped for before beginning the course. Here are five things I learned from the teaching experience.

Restricted vs. Conditioned Games – Coaching Soccer

Many coaches often add restrictions to games. Restrictions like needing to complete three passes before the team can score or players being locked into different zones on the field can be valuable to teaching certain topics to young players. But restrictions need to be used wisely. Instead of restricting behaviours, coaches should look to encourage behaviours and do so more carefully through encouraging something to happen, rather than restricting it. In this article I will outline why restricted games should be more scarcely used, and why the term 'conditioned game' should possibly have a change of meaning to urge coaches to encourage the behaviours of their players in games without restricting their players.

Support in Attack (9v9)

Although players are constantly thrust into 1v1 battles on a football pitch, attacking is something that the whole team needs to engage in as a unit. As a result, players need to learn how to support each other in attack, even if they are not directly involved with the play. This article will explore support … Continue reading Support in Attack (9v9)

Support in Defense (9v9)

Although players are constantly thrust into 1v1 battles on a football pitch, defending is something that the whole team needs to engage in as a unit. As a result, players need to learn how to support each other in defense, even if they are not directly involved with the play. This article will explore support in defense for 9v9 teams through diagrams involving the 3-2-3 and 3-4-1 formations.

Playing Forwards vs. Backwards Session Plan and Coaching Tips

One of the key skills to learn in the modern game, particularly for young players, is the art of composure. Many young players have the habit of kicking the ball up the field without looking or thinking that they always have to go forward because that is where the goal is. However, if players can harness the ability to know when the right time is to go forward and when the right time is to keep possession and maybe go backward, their ability as a footballer will skyrocket. Here is an entire session plan all about playing forwards vs. backwards and some coaching tips along the way.

5 Ways To Come Up With Your Session Topics

INTRODUCTION With the hurdle of everyday work and busy lifestyles, often times coaches barely even have time to plan their sessions, let alone come up with a coherent session topic. But fear not, this article will explore the five best ways to come up with a session topic as well as tips and tricks to … Continue reading 5 Ways To Come Up With Your Session Topics

Playing Out From The Back – Full Session Plan and Key Coaching Points

Playing out from the back is far from a new concept, but the importance it has taken on in the last decade has grown immensely in the modern game. Nearly every team strives to play out from the back and with the recent rule change to allow defenders inside their own penalty area on goal kicks, playing out from the back is set to become even more encouraged for every team on the planet. Some less familiar to football may question why teams would want to play the ball around their own half off of goal kicks, rather than just clearing it away to the other half. However, playing out from the back is actually a far less dangerous option...

Oleksandr Zinchenko – Tactical Analysis

In a team full of superstars, 22-year old Oleksandr Zinchenko often does not get the credit he deserves in Manchester City's back-line. This is in part due to simply not being a big name player, having come from the academy at Shakhtar Donestk rather than one of Europe's more illustrious outfits. But the Ukrainian left-back … Continue reading Oleksandr Zinchenko – Tactical Analysis

Individual Marking & Defensive Awareness – Analytical Activity

As the great Sir Alex Ferguson once said - "Attack wins you games, defence wins you titles." This quotation does a fantastic job in highlighting the importance of a strong defence, but it's also important to note that defense also wins you games, which eventually then leads to those title wins that the legendary former … Continue reading Individual Marking & Defensive Awareness – Analytical Activity

4 Reasons Your Practice Session Isn’t Working

Sometimes coaches spend hours perfecting session plans, making sure the activities are as beneficial and intricate as they can be, only to have the practice completely fall apart. This article will discuss 4 common reasons why your practice might not be working and how to fix it. POOR EXPLANATION/DEMONSTRATION A common mistake that coaches make … Continue reading 4 Reasons Your Practice Session Isn’t Working