When working on defending I would like to do very quick and dynamic warm up's. Something as simple as a tag game or to illustrate a defensive stance pair up players and get them to have a competition on tipping the other players knees without getting hit themselves. This results in a good side on, knees bents boxer type stance. And its Fun! (5 minutes, 8 if players need to stretch)


Technical Circuits (2 minutes at each circuit every player does each circuit twice. 16-20 minutes)

Below: red player plays ball in and defends 1 against 2, The yellow player who receives must pass once. Yellows try to score in goal. If 5 touches have been taken between the 2 yellows 2nd defender comes in. Reds look to win the ball back and if they do they now become the attackers. If yellows score they remain as the attackers.

Coaching points:

1. Close down fast, put brakes on as you approach

2. Angle of approach to deny

3. Defensive stance to delay


Warm Up

Yellow players try to pass their ball off Red players ball. When your ball gets hit you are stuck until you get a high five from a team mate.

Warm Up

Organisation: 3v1 rondos keep away game. Conditions: if you pass it out of the area you are in the middle. If you are in the middle you must win the ball back and dribble out of the area. either the man that gave it away or the player that allowed the defender dribble out is in the middle now.

Coaching points:

1. Open body shape

2. Pass with pace and to the back foot when possible

3. control away from pressure/towards support/Manipulate ball

4.Disguise Pass

5. Timing of pass and run. If you have time and space can you commit the defender

If you have visited this site recently you will be aware that one of our contributors has packed his bags and gone travelling to different football environments to try gain more insight into the game. This following session was inspired by Rob Jones Director of Coaching at FCUSA Coastal in Massachusetts. More and more coaches are now trying to play through the thirds which is a welcome change. The problem is building the technical excellence within your players to play this way. Kids nowadays do not play in their free time so much. Therefore, it is the job of the coach to inspire the players to go home and work on specific elements to help them become better players. Keep an eye out for some 'self-practice' videos coming to Football Discovery soon.

The following is a guide to our session plan section of the website. Hopefully this helps all readers understand where we are coming from with our sessions. There are many different ways to coach the game and we are not professing to have a better way than anyone else. It is simply our way based on our experience and what has benefited the players we have had the pleasure of coaching. If it ends up helping you and your players then thats what this is all about here at Football Discovery.

This Session was designed with a u12 team in mind and is session 1 of a 3 session block. Having worked with this age group a lot over the years I feel that we as coaches and I certainly include myself here are so insistent on getting players to pass the ball we forget to help them to make the right decision. The following session I believe could also be adapted to suit first team professional set ups where you constantly see the 'free player' passing immediately to a marked player. It is at these formative years 9-12 that we most help the players read situations and come up with 'their' solutions.

I am currently working with a u14 team that can be physically out-matched on game day. Rather than hit the gym just yet what we have decided to do is work on quick ball circulation and try and get the timing of their movement down so that they receive in between defensive lines. This is session number 1 in a 3 session block. Targets at the bottom of the page are low due to wanting to build confidence and get the players to set their own targets for session 2.

Most teams when well coached get to a certain level defensively and also ball retention wise, the hardest part of the game to coach is in the final 1/3 when space is limited and creativity is needed. This is session 1 of a 3 session block using patterns in a warm up and then building into games to put patterns into practice.