Training sessions to encourage exciting, creative, vibrant players

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Do you know how to get the most out of your training sessions so that you develop your players into exciting, creative players who will play attractive soccer and win more games?

Here is the check list I use in our training sessions when I want to focus on my match orientated sessions:

  • Score goals and try to avoid conceding goals
  • Patient build up play with the key objective of creating scoring chances
  • Cohesion between team mates, win or lose are they continuing to support one another
  • Playing direct, getting the ball into the scoring area as quickly as possible
  • Quick gear shift change when possession is gained or lost

Now whether you’re coaching junior or youth soccer players these principles hold true.

I like match orientated games because they are more player focused rather than coach focused. Sure, you can still get your key coaching points across but for players they tend to get far more out of these sessions.

Other types of training sessions are also important as well; such as repetition sessions.

With repetition based sessions it’s important that you follow some other guiding principles including:

  • All players should have a ball at their feet
  • Techniques should be repeated frequently
  • No long waiting times between exercises
  • You need to have good planning and organisation with seamless transitions for the players
  • Don’t have players waiting for their turn

It may seem that quite a few of the above points are common sense, but they’re not common practice!

For players to develop they need plenty of opportunity to “try stuff”, don’t coach creativity out of your players.

Here are a couple of final points to wrap this week’s tip up with…

Excellent coaching means that you should:

  • Explain clearly what the team is trying to achieve
  • Have the sessions player centric, let them learn for themselves
  • Provide demonstrations
  • Give selective and key feedback
  • Ask the players what their opinions are and pose problems for them to solve

When you introduce these coaching tactics into your sessions you’ll see immediate results in how the team plays.

This week we have four new articles ready for publishing to help you get the most of your sessions with your players. We’ve broken articles down into four key age groups:

  • 6 to 10 year olds
  • 10 to 12 year olds
  • 12 to 16 year olds
  • 16 to 18 year olds

Many of our Inside Tactic subscribers tell me they are struggling to develop an easy and effective soccer practice system.

Maybe you’re having trouble trying to keep sessions lively and exciting or keeping the motivation levels of your players high?

Do you suffer from a lack of drills and exercises to quickly change training sessions not knowing what focus on to develop your players in the most structured way?

About eight years ago I felt exactly the same and I invested in all the courses, video’s, DVDs, and best coaching books. I attended coaching clinics and listened to what top coaches had to say about junior and youth soccer development.

Sometimes when I look back I think I was a bit obsessive about my own coaching education but it paid off for me and it can pay dividends for you too.

Just hear me out for a second, until now you’ve probably either learned strategies about the adult game that has little or nothing to do with the age group you’re coaching, you’ve tried to read the strategy books full of drills that just don’t seem to make sense with all the Xs & Os, arrows going everywhere and been totally confused…

….or you’ve watched DVDs that don’t give you a simple step by step plan that you can easily implement with your players.

The Junior Soccer Coach system of developing players has enabled my team to play in two finals and win the league.

I know the drills, exercises and small sided games on Junior Soccer Coach work because the main team that I manage are living proof.

And our members are also living proof too…

In the North Pole, Alaska, Alan Fearns turned around his High School Girls team quite spectacularly

Having struggled for many seasons just to win one game, Alan achieved amazing results within a few weeks of joining us.

Here is an extract out of note that he dropped to me

The girls had never been so happy. They are 15-18 year olds. I can’t thank you enough. Your entire treatment and information has meant so much to me. I really was, and am, a newby coach, despite 5 years of youth soccer experience. Ladies this age have many needs, from 1st time players to goals of competitive league soccer and more.

We keep it cool, and push the ideals you state in your communications treat refs tops, captains run the pitch, keep the “happy” feeling, and rearrange negative communications into positive comms whenever possible.”


Now while the weather isn’t exactly sunny in Alaska… it is in Greece where another one of our members lives. Coach Bratsinho’s team won their league and he was named Coach of the Year too.

Coach Bratsinho asked for some assistance on our soccer discussion forum and got some great feedback from other members as well as a couple of thoughts from me… here’s what Coach Bratsinho said after his team won the final game of the season to win their league…

“Dear Neil i used your words: (Finally, I’d tell them that they are already winners whatever the result since they have more points on the board than anyone else and in many leagues around the world they would be crowned champions) and i saw their eyes shining. That gave me confidence.

I was honored as the coach of the year in my region’s junior league and i have to admit that your site helped me to much for this success. The most important is that from watching your site i had the opportunity to extend my ideas and my knowledge.”


The information that we send out in our Inside Tactics updates are just the tip of the iceberg to all the soccer coaching information that we have in the members only area.

We really want you and your team to have the same winning feelings that our other members are experiencing.

More points on the board, a better win rate, increased player confidence, highly charged enthusiastic training sessions are only one click away for you.

The Junior Soccer Coach members area requires a subscription and we recognise that this investment in your own education may defer your decision to join since you don’t know what the quality and quantity of information is like in the members only area.

In recognition of this we have a special offer, where you can take us for a trial or try out!

This special introductory offer means that you can get full unrestricted access for 14 days to try out our system for player development, watch the videos, print the drills, ask questions in the soccer discussion forum and generally test out our knowledge of the game.

There are over 1,000 pages of soccer coaching information that have been written specifically for junior and youth soccer coaches.

We understand the needs of the players and coaches because we are fully active in the game at grass roots level.

Our dedicated team of coaches have over 25 years experience of playing at the highest professional level as well as running teams with children as young as six, right through to U18 level.

Our introductory subscription will costs ONLY UKĀ£1.00/ US$1.65

We charge this small amount to ensure that only serious, dedicated coaches (who have the interests of their team at heart and are committed to using the information we provide) join our enthusiastic and vibrant community.

When you join Junior Soccer Coach and you find you’re happy with what we provide you don’t need to take any further action, we’ll just let your membership continue.

Alternatively if during the trial you don’t think we’re right for you then you can cancel your membership by dropping us an email or going into the member resources area and cancelling yourself. *You* control your membership.

Here is the special link to take us for a trial:

We look forward to welcoming you as the latest member of Junior Soccer Coach and helping you develop your team to fulfill all their potential, individually and collectively… just like Coach Alan, Coach Bratsinho and many others!