One of the major differences I have found down through the years between coaching boys and girls is that sometimes in the girls game the % of players there for social reasons is higher. Yet some of the best players I have coached in terms of attitude and ability have been female. That provides a difficult conundrum how do we challenge the athletes and engage the girls who are there to make friends.

Principles of training groups like this can be defined by avoiding the 3 l's!

1. Lines: Its not fun waiting in line, us as adults get stressed in traffic or when waiting at the bank don't expect kids to love the same situation.

2. Laps: With an older girls team I might ask them to go for a jog, purely so they can get the chatting out of the way. The u10s don't have too many Facebook/snapchat stories to discuss so get a ball involved right away.

3. Lectures: As a 32 year old I still get them, but like most people its our favourite time to switch off. Try and achieve motivation by creating situations where the better players are given responsibility to inspire their peers around them. Very often when the better players come into inter-league or regional set-ups you can see right away their coach has let them do everything throw ins, free kicks, corners! This is not good for them tactically or mentally. 


This week I will be trying out a dutch league format with the under 10s girls. This means every girl gets a number when she arrives and the relevance of that number will become apparent later. The coach records who has what number on the likely chance that someone forgets theirs! 



Every player has a ball and the coach gets them to have ball mastery contests based on a whistle, call, hand signal or number.

Examples of competitions

First one to:

Do 5 toe-taps and crouch down or do 10 boxes (inside of feet shuffle) and sit on the ball or sprint to a cone and get back to their ball. Do 5 keep upys!

Lots of different stuff can be done key is make it fun and with the ball

Time: 8-10% of session

Dutch League everyone is numbered evens in red, odds in yellow.