SESSION SET UP: Getting your returns

Updated: Jan 5

Often a coaches biggest mistake is how he or she sets lays out their session. The size, and shape of the session area will determine the returns you get from your session.

Coaches can often become frustrated when players aren't performing or continue to fail in their practices. If you find yourself in this situation (we've all been there), take a step back, watch and reflect, don't be scared to recognise it might be your error that is leading to players failure and adjust the session.

Younger players need bigger spaces to have time to execute the skill or technique required. They need bigger boundaries to allow for a miss placed pass, a heavy touch or to have more time on the ball to go through the decision making process.

I recently watched a coach deliver a very basic passing drill for under 8's, it involved the players passing around a triangle. It was a basic drill, relevant to the players and one I've used before. The problem was the triangle was too small, players didn't have time to adjust their feet and if a pass was slightly off the session would break down. The more the session broke down the more the players could feel the coaches frustration. By making the triangle bigger, the players would have had more time to adjust their body, the angle of the pass wouldn't have had to of been so accurate and the session would have flowed with more repetition. As the players developed then the triangle could be made smaller.

Also think about what is it you want from your session or game practices. If your pitch is too small it limits opportunity to pass or run with the ball. Smaller pitches will mean tight spaces promoting more dribbling and 1v1 opportunity's. Want your players to pass, open the pitch up and allow them more time to find space, more time to look up and more margin for a pass that might be slightly off.

The sessions in our library can be adapted for all ages and for different returns its the skill of the coach to recoginse this and set it up to meet the needs of the players.

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