It would be amazing if FIFA looked like this … Real Life  FIFA of the future  if the zombie apocalypse doesn’t wipe us out first ?


Circle Chase


Players are split into circle players,dribblers and taggers.Four are picked to form an unorthadox circle, one player is chosen as a tagger and one player is the dribbler

      • The tagger and dribbler start at opposite sides of the circle
      • The tagger must try and chase the dribbler
      • The tagger can move through the circle but the dribbler cannot
      • This teaches sharper turns at greater speeds and awareness
      • Players in the middle circle complete continuous inside and outside touches
      • Every 30 seconds players change quickly
      • each player as a number .. after the 30 secs coach shouts two numbers to replace the tagger and dribbler

Depending on how many players you have in the session you could have 2 or 3 different circles working at the same time

Coaching Points

    • Awareness
    • Vision
    • Inside of the foot to the outside of the foot
    • attack the space
    • turn fast

Beat The Clock


Beat The Clock


This is a normal game using the usual 2 goals but one major difference is that there are no goalkeepers

  1. Corners and throw ins are allowed although throw ins are used as pass ins
  2. Players are encouraged to express themselves and attack
  3. Teams attack opponents goal, when a goal is scored that team immediately attacks the opposite goal they were previously defending
  4. Have a time limit for them to score as many goals as they can
  5. Add different pass combos
  6. Add different runs for example Overlaps and Underlaps
  7. Add skill points
  8. Remember to always challenge them

Coaching Points

  1. Spread out and find the open space
  2. Remember players arent ghosts
  3. Keep the ball if a pass can’t be found, can they attack and express themselves by dribbling
  4. Head up
  5. Awareness
  6. Acceleration

Beat The Clock.

Steal The Bacon

Steal The Bacon


This is an activity that is popular to break up a session from ultimate touches and let the children express themselves a little in friendly competition but is not an activity i would have as part of a structured session without more adaptation but it is a lot of fun !. The game is very good because it can work on many aspects effectively such as 1v1 skills, dribbling , passing and combination play and if used effectively it can be a great fun way of diversing your session.

  1. Teams are split into two, standing wither side of a 3 a side sized field
  2. Each team is numbered
  3. If you have higher amounts of players then make more teams of smaller numbers to make it more intense
  4. Coach plays the ball into the middle of the grid
  5. He/She then shouts a number
  6. The players who have been allocated that number battle it out to win possession and get a strike on either goal
  7. Add multiple numbers
  8. Add all numbers
  9. Add more balls
  10. Add Handicap a team by only allowing certain teams to have one player released etc

Coaching Points

  • Awareness
  • Head Up
  • Focus
  • Read game
  • Perfect ten
  • Strike through ball
  • Use the right skill

via Steal The Bacon.

Brain Training, Is it the answer to England’s playing and coaching problems, A very interesting Article!, what is your view ?


(this is the link to the interesting brain training link if you would like to see)


This is an interesting view on the way we think about what kind of development we prioritize to our players from when they are academy players all the way until they reach the peak of their professional careers.Over the last 10 years UEFA A Licence coach Michel Bruyninckx has been training young players with a concept of “Brain Centered Learning” and to remarkable effect, some players he has coached has come out of his program a new player and being able to achieve techniques they were never able to do before such as the story of  Faris Haroun, who was sent to work with Bruyninckx and the Belgian International returned to his club being able to use his left foot with enough ability his club thought he was a natural left footed player.

“Based on the premise that the brain is at least 1,000 times faster than any computer, Bruyninckx’s intention is to make sure the young players he trains are programmed to take full advantage of the body’s “hard disk” and become more skilful and intelligent footballers” (John Sinnott- BBC NEWS)

Many reasons have been given for England’s failures in major tournament and their lack of credibility to compete on the world stage. In the summer of 2010 there could have been a million reasons and every English man,woman and child had an opinion on England’s downfall. Questions have certainly been asked and for the first time in my life in which i can remember past tournaments i saw and still see a collective disbandment of belief in England in tournaments, people get worried when we play Algeria and there is a new culture of  a thought process that defeat and underperforming is the accepted characteristic in English football and i find it hard to disagree as we build ourselves up in our minds and through the media to be the all mighty all-conquering world-class England but in actual fact we are decades behind any other half decent national team, outplayed by everyone in the world cup and the germans with a new team of youngsters humiliated our national team.

Michel Bruyninckx believes that England have a lack of a football brain which hinders our ability to move with the modern times of world football and that the old belief in England of “on your head son” is now culturally detrimental to the state of the game in this country.I t is no surprise that Bruyninckx has had so much popularity recently when he has Barcelona as his personal bibliography and the way they play using his and professor Wolfgang Schoellhorn learning policy. England apparently develop physically strong and quick players but they aren’t very clever players or receptive to phases of play in games which means they miss opportunities in those phases and their brains don’t allow them to see those creative opportunities where as Barcelona,Mainz and other european nations adopting this modern training will be able to see those opportunities.

“With his methods endorsed by ex-Belgian national coaches Paul van Himst and Robert Waseige, Bruyninckx estimates 25% of the 100 or so players that he has coached have turned professional or are in the women’s national squads.Compare this one-man Belgian football academy’s success rate to England where, according to the Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor, of the 600 boys joining Premier League and Football League clubs at the age of 16, 500 are out of the game by the time they are aged 21.”  (John Sinnott- BBC NEWS)

“We need to stop thinking football is only a matter of the body,” the 59-year-old Bruyninckx commented. “Skilfulness will only grow if we better understand the mental part of developing a player.”   (Michel Bruyninckx -BBC NEWS)

“Cognitive readiness, improved perception, better mastering of time and space in combination with perfect motor functioning.”   (Michel Bruyninckx -BBC NEWS)

“Bruyninckx points out that in Spain there is no 11-a-side football before the age of 15. He also believes that if you want to produce technical footballers then forget the idea of competition.”I create players that can play to win at the right moment, but firstly you have to explain that learning is more important than winning games”    (Michel Bruyninckx -BBC NEWS)

The reason i have put this last quote in Bold is because i think that is a very important aspect for us to remember and if you look at my coaching theory and go down to small sided games you will see that this is something i believe very strongly in. I think we have been massively let down by the FA as far as this is concerned. Children should never be thrown into competition at the ages that they are in this country and its been a fundamental structural issue since the beginning of organised football in England. Football should always be a small sided until they reach 15 this is where they learn to deal with certain phases of play and the improvement of their technique before boring them to death with tactical formulas

I believe there is one main reason for England’s failure in tournaments and the failure to produce enough players with ability to be world-class in order to win tournaments and that is the fact that the standard of coaching in England and the structure and hierarchy is appalling.England is far behind other European nations in respect to coaching standards, i am not sure whether it is pure arrogance from the heads of the FA that govern the coaching qualification procedure or whether it is incompetence to have let us get into this dire situation, but you will never hear that from the top they will always tell you it is being worked on and things are looking up but the stats and the facts behind the disaster and failure speaks for itself.


“There are 2.25 million players in England and only one Uefa-qualified coach for every 812 people playing the game. Spain, the World Cup favourites, have 408,134 players, giving a ratio of 1:17. In Italy, the world champions, the ratio is 1:48, in France it is 1:96, Germany 1:150 and even Greece, the Euro 2004 winners, have only 180,000 registered players for their 1,100 coaches, a ratio of 1:135. ”  (Matt Scott – The Guardian)

This statistic is pitiful and as a coach fighting to achieve mine , and that is what it feels like a fight to get that in England i can assure you it is tough, it is even tougher when the instructors don’t turn up. In the last few months i have heard of countless stories where instructors have not shown up for key parts of modules leaving no explanation, a friend of mine who was due to take a Futsal coaching course through the FA didn’t turn up and then when they have finished the course the applicants aren’t hearing feedback and then face another fight to retrieve their certificates which they have paid for and earned. This malpractice is huge in respect to the reason why our ratio is so poor when it is so very difficult to climb the ladder here.

“three years ago an official report concluded that coaching is the “golden thread” leading to international success, but new Uefa data shows that there are only 2,769 English coaches holding Uefa’s B, A and Pro badges, its top qualifications. Spain has produced 23,995, Italy 29,420, Germany 34,970 and France 17,588.Between them those four nations have provided eight of the 12 finalists at all the World Cups and European Championships since 1998. England, meanwhile, have not appeared in a tournament final in 44 years.”  (Matt Scott – The Guardian)

This is atrocious reading for people are trying so desperately to gauge a career in the game, to know that if they were in any other european country they would be at the top of the game right now.What this has done is drive aspiring coaches to leave England myself included i am looking to leave and go back to the USA or anywhere there are more coaching opportunities. The price is also an issue, considering we have one of the weakest numbers in B Licence coaches why on earth do we pay so much more for our’s ?, you would think they would be dropping the price and the ridiculous pass rate.The fact is european nations have B Licence coaches creating programs for their children and their local communities giving young children an avenue from the bottom to the top to train at an elite modern level and the children of England get the Jose Mourinho wannabe on a sideline kicking a ball in the middle for an hour and shouting at young children teaching them to be rude with the language they use rather than intelligent and progressive sports people.Now i don’t mean every coach is at that standard in England but the trouble is all of those B licence coaches are at professional clubs and those professional programs aren’t available for the normal local community so how are we supposed to develop a team capable of winning tournaments when we can’t even have the intelligence to accept the structure is wrong and needs changing.

Because of the above issue id tend to believe that it is the neglection of football development in this country rather than we possess unintelligent footballers which is the reason for our downfall although that doesn’t mean that i don’t think Michel’s Brain training is essential as it is a new modern development in coaching and one we should adapt too and who would argue with his references from the way Barcelona play.I will leave you with this revelation ……

“At the current rate of progress it will take 123 years for England’s resource of Pro-licensed coaches to match Spain’s today.”

Brain Training, Is it the answer to England’s playing and coaching problems, A very interesting Article!, what is you’re view ?.




The players are split into two teams.8 cones are set out with a ball rested on top (the coconuts)

  1. Team A have to try and shoot their ball and hit the coconuts off of the trees (the cones)
  2. Team B has to defend the trees (cones) by attempting to get interceptions of the shots and block off the target areas
  3. How many coconuts can they knock off the trees?
  4. Add time limits
  5. If a target is blocked off then accelerate away and look for a new striking opportunity

Coaching Points

  1. Perfect 10 technique
  2. Point at the target (if needed)
  3. Head up
  4. Awareness
  5. Strike through the ball





Respect can be shown in many ways in Football, Sport and in everyday life.As a sportsman it is important that respect is shown to all different groups of public’s such as the Match Officials,the team-mates,the opponents,parents and themselves.They are role models to each other so they must make sure that their behaviour doesn’t rub off on anyone else.When we talk about respect in sport and football people tend to instantly think of the children and how it should be their behaviour that is monitored, when in fact the children gain their respectful characteristics from their role models like they’re parents and teachers as well as the individuals they idolize.Because of this it is those senior figures in the children’s lives which we must monitor especially in the sporting context where respect and Integrity is valued so highly.

Over the years of coaching whether it be in England , America or Australia I have come across a lot of horrendous and disrespectful behaviour from parents and spectators.While I was in America I coached a team in my region whose parent coaches behaviour was questionable to say the least in upholding respect to the sport.I was sent there to be the lead coach and train them and be their game day coach.Every game they would shout and scream for everything like they were parent coaches of Liverpool FC and not a U9 youth team.It was appalling to watch 8 yr old children being shouted at like they were soldiers and witnessing three adult men only believe in winning rather than the players development ,progression and happiness.The yelling was so constant and extremely intimidating for the children it was verging on the unbelievable.The conduct could only be classed as abuse to intimidate 8-9 yr olds so I had to get the Football Club involved to come down and watch in secret so they could witness it for themselves, although there were many different forms of disrespect involved from parents shouting negative feedback on the sidelines to the players and to the referees which even spread to the training sessions.In training I saw a distinct decline in player behaviour as the weeks of poor behaviour from the parents got more and more intense, the behavioural virus was infecting all aspects of the team and in training the parent coaches started to try to take active involvement in my sessions. stopping my sessions to make a pointless point based around winning games which I was shocked and infuriated by and then in another session he stopped my highly intensive combination passing session because he wanted me to run a session on throw ins, which you don’t teach as a session its like somebody wanting to work on corners for a U9 team, these are elements that can be touched on during breaks and pre match and these guys were complaining and sending in unwarranted complaints because they had watched a few Premier League games on Fox in the states and thought they knew it all when all they achieved was to install misbehaviour and a culture of blame and fear of making mistakes.

This was absolutely a disgrace to youth Football and those coaches were bringing the sport into disrepute and is exactly what we need to avoid, other teams i have coached have flourished with positive feedback and a present respect campaign.Players need these positive and influential figures in they’re young lives in order to become good human beings, if these children are brought up with negative influences around them they will learn from those influences and then eventually go on to teach the same negative characteristics to other generations.There should be set rules at matches of younger ages such as all feedback from the sidelines should be positive for both the home and away team and any negativity should be ordered away from the field, parents and especially parent coaches should show respect to the actual training professional coach in front of children and set an example for those children,parent should be made to sign a respect campaign form stating their intent to be a positive role model for the other children at the club.Parents should never talk to the referee or shout at him/her, only one person should be allowed to talk to the referee and that is the experienced qualified trainer and this should not be during the game and in front of prying eyes as being a good role model is essential! if we are to have the children respecting humanity.

I worry about the game in Britain as negative people are ingrained into every local youth club, whenever i go to watch a game i witness the same abuse but the difference in England is that you hear a lot of obscenities and swear words and it is considered part of the game which is absolutely unacceptable but it is a tough issue to solve as it is a Working Class sport and this is the culture it is built around upon all steps on the hierarchy so even if legislation is brought in to curb this it is still impossible to monitor and bring through into fruition.It raises many questions, what do you do with a parent who is abusive on the sidelines ? do you forever ban them from the field of play? if so are you punishing the child by doing so?.There are many issues in respect that is plaguing our youth game and we should work tirelessly to improve the number of positive role models we have infiltrating the sport at all levels so that children learn to respect their coaches,teachers,parents, team-mates,opponents and themselves.









via Respect.

Building Character Break


Building Character

Never underestimate just how much a sit down talk about ethics and values in a sporting environment and as human beings overall can help build character and install sportsmanship and a friendly encouraging attitude among the players and their peers.This can be done by coaches sitting down in smaller groups in a relaxed fun attitude to ask questions and use it as an open forum for the children to have their own opinions and ideas, and decipher what building character and ethics and values means to them,Obviously you will do this as an age appropriate talk and is a good way to set an example and give the children an opportunity to set examples of their own and to understand what it means to be a role model for they’re friends and they’re family.Aspects which should be talked about are :- 


  • Sportsmanship – Be  a good sportsman to team-mates and opposition, accept decisions and always help your team-mates and encourage them,be appreciative of great plays from opposing teams and be gracious in victory and defeat
  • Leadership – Show leadership amongst fellow players ,encourage and inspire people to be better and to improve 
  • Gamesmanship – This is an important characteristic as we live in a modern world where the participants are watching theyre favourite players week in and week out consistently diving and bringing the game into disrepute so for them to understand that cheating is not acceptable in sport and how we should uphold our dignity in sport at all times.All issues should be discussed in this section such as Racism,spitting,swearing,violence,clear cheating,time-wasting etc.
  • Responsibility – Be responsible for you re actions on and off the field and not just in a sporting context but stretched to all areas of the players lives
  • Honesty/Integrity – Have Integrity on the field and in their lives, always give 100 percent , how can they show this ? being on time for training, helping tidy up, be honest in decisions and help them become respectable human beings
  • Respect – Respect to you’re coaches,show respect to your opponents and team-mates  and have respect for the sport






Building Character Break.

Sheep Dog !


Players Pretend to be sheep and dribble their footballs through the gates on the farm

  1. Coach becomes a sheepdog and attempts to round the sheep up (barking accordingly)
  2. Coach becomes the Angry Farmer and attempts to stop sheep going through the gates.Sheep have to turn away from the Farmer and look to go through another gate

Coaching Points

  1. Keep your head up so you can see where the sheepdog is
  2. Keep ball close to you and shield it from the sheepdog
  3. accelerate through gates

via Sheep Dog !.

Drag-back 1

Drag-back 1.

  • Session starts with players in the Skill Squares upon arrival
Inside Hook,Outside Hook,Bounce Juggles and combinations of all
1. Unopposed 15 mins
Allow the players free roam of the grid practising the Drag-back at they’re pleasure letting them figure it out for themselves without being spoon fed.The Coach ghost coaches around the grid making sure each player is comfortable with the skill enough to move on to the next stage.Remember to practise with both feet.
Sub Routine of Skill
  1. Standing foot next to the ball
  2. Bottom of the foot near the toes on top of the ball
  3. Drag the ball behind you with that foot
  4. Turn your hips with the drag
  5. Which ever foot you use for the drag-back , it’s the shoulder on the same side that turns/spins with the movement.If you use your right foot turn right shoulder with it!
  6. Turn the opposite way you are facing
  7. Positive touch at the end and explode with pace (Ronaldo)
 2.Unopposed Competition 15 mins

Players find space in the grid and are given 2 minutes to complete as many drag backs as they can.Switch feet and give a point if they beat they’re personal best after repeating.Give them a little extra time to reinforce positive feedback.After this bring in different combinations such as one left drag back/one right drag-back/Inside Hook/Outside Hook.Use the whole sequence to score 1 point, how many points can they score in one minute ?.Keep changing the combination to help them get uncomfortable with completing a number of skills in one sequence.

  • Left Footed
  • Right Footed
  • Combinations
  • How many points can they score ?

3. Opposed 15 mins -Drag-back Thief

Players Are split into 4 small teams.Set up a circle of cones in the middle of the grid and have all the balls placed in there.The objective is for the players to run from theyre teams zones to the middle and perform a drag-back and accelerate away with the winning team being the team with the most balls at the end.This is made more difficult by placing a defender inside the circle who will watch players perform the skill and if anybody doesnt perform the right technique or cheats shall be chased down by the defender in a 1v1 situation with the ball returning to the middle.It is important to get every player moving and gaining as many touches on the ball as possible by keeping the teams numbers down to a minimum so if you have good numbers make more than four teams and have 2 man to a team.


Make one player the “attacking thief” who searches the grid for other teams zones and collections of balls.The player steals those balls by performing a drag-back and dribbling the ball back to their zone.Now all players will be getting as many touches on the ball and performing as many drag-backs as possible.

4. Conditioned Skill Related Game

Players split into two teams.The objective is to have the players get comfortable with using the drag-back to keep possession of the ball and win the small battles on the field which will help them toughen up and use the skill to break free.The attacking team will have one fewer players, the extra man the defending team have will be used to pressure the offensive team and force them to shield the ball and use the drag-back in a game related situation.

  • How many drag-backs can they complete before losing the ball
  • Defenders start as obstacles
  • Defenders then become active opponents
  • 3 drag backs completed successfully to score a goal
  • Switch attackers and defenders frequently

5. Final Match – Skill Match 30 mins (finish at around 27 mins so that cone pick up finishes on time for parents arrival)

  • Normal 1 point for a goal
  • 5 points for an Inside Hook anywhere on the field
  • 5 points for an Outside Hook anywhere on the field
  • 5 points for a Drag-back anywhere on the field
  • 10 points for beating an opponent with a Drag-back
  • 10 points for beating an opponent with an Outside Hook
  • 10 points for beating an opponent with an inside hook
  • 15 Points for a double hook that beats a number of opponents or combination of both

6. Cone Pick Up

When the final game finishes.Have the players quickly take their balls back and dribble to every cone on the field and perform an Inside Hook and an Outside Hook, picking up a cone as they go, Once there are no cones left the players will dribble they’re balls to the coach or coaches assistant and place the balls in the bag and the cones in a pile.This will demonstrate a great level of respect and install responsibility to the children.After a few weeks you will find that the players will instantly seek out they’re ball after the game to be the quickest back to the coach with his/her ball and cones.
  • Have the balls placed all together just before the end game starts so it is easy for the players to collect at the end.

Coaching Points

  1. Standing foot next to the ball
  2. Bottom of the foot near the toes on top of the ball
  3. Drag the ball behind you with that foot
  4. Turn your hips with the drag
  5. Which ever foot you use for the drag-back , it’s the shoulder on the same side that turns/spins with the movement.If you use your right foot turn right shoulder with it!
  6. Turn the opposite way you are facing
  7. Positive touch at the end and explode with pace (Ronaldo)