How to plan a session

How to plan a session

Planning will make the greatest impact on the success of your coaching.


Coach setting up 1

1 – have a focus

2 – have a structure

3 – have a plan B

4 – have 3-4 key points

 

How often do we arrive to training and think “what should we work on today?” Time is wasted on thinking and setting up equipment which then has a negative impact on the players experience.

Purposeful practice aims towards progress, and making the most of every minute we have with the players at training. This can only be done through planning.


It depends….

The age and ability of your players will have the biggest impact on how you coach. Plan your session around the players needs. Coaching 5 year olds is different to coaching 25 year olds. Coaching community players is different to coaching elite players.

However the fundamental points are still the same if applied to the appropriate needs of your players.


1. have a focus

Otherwise known as a Session Objective. Every session should have a ‘topic’ based on a particular skill or moment in the game you are trying to develop with your players or team.


2. have a plan

Each session should have progression where the topic is introduced, and becomes more challenging throughout the session to finish in a game. (Beginning> Middle> End) or (Passing game> Positioning Game> End Game)


3. have a plan B

What happens if some players don’t turn up? don’t worry because you already have a back up plan. Don’t waste time thinking on the spot, do it beforehand.


4. have 3-4 key points

What is it you want your players to remember? If the focus is 1v1’s it may be to sidestep, use the side of your foot to change direction, and then accelerate. If your focus is scoring from wide areas it may be play to ball into space out wide quickly, take your first touch to play forward.


Discovery session plan

MiniRoos age groups. Playing for fun.

Session objective = To have fun and have lots of touches of the ball. Lots of repetition ‘hidden learning’ of a core skill. I.e. running with the ball, striking the ball, and 1v1.

Session structure = a typical discovery phase session has a BEGINNING, MIDDLE, and END game. Discovery plans are already done for you!

Example

“Today’s focus will be on hidden learning of running with the ball.”

Beginning:

View Practice Plan: Catch the Tails

Middle:

View Practice Plan: Red Rover Cross Over

End:

View Practice Plan: Dribble to Score

Click here to view more information on the Discovery Phase.
Click here to view more football practices.


Skill Development Session plan

(9-13 and 14-17 years)

Session objective = Choose a different ‘skill focus’ for each week between running with the ball, striking the ball, 1v1, and first touch.

Depending on the age and ability you can also choose a key aspect of the skill you have chosen.

Session structure = again a skill training session has a BEGINNING, MIDDLE, and END game.

Example

“Today’s focus is to improve my players ability in 1v1 situations in front of goal.”

Beginning:

View Practice Plan: Beat the markers

Middle:

View Practice Plan: 1v1 Relays

End:

View Practice Plan: Short and Wide

Click here to view more on the Skill Acquisition Phase.
Click here to view more football practices.
Click here to view The Football Coaching Process (see Part two: chapters 9 & 10)


Game Training Session plan

(14-17 years and 18+ years)

Session objective = Choose a different ‘game focus’ for each week between playing out from the back, midfield play, attacking, pressing, and transition (follow a 6 week cycle)

Depending on the age and ability you can also choose a key aspect of the game moment you have chosen. Example session objective: “I am in improve my players ability to create goal scoring opportunities from wide areas. ”

Session structure = A game training session session has a WARM UP, POSITIONING GAME, GAME TRAINING and TRAINING GAME.

  • Welcome/explanation: 5 minutes
  • Warm Up: 15-20 minutes
  • Positioning Games: 20 minutes
  • Game Training component: 25-30 minutes
  • Training Game: 20-25 minutes
  • Warm Down/wrap up 5-10 minutes

Click here to view Game training session plans.
Click here to view The Football Coaching Process (see Part one: chapters 9 & 10)


Senior Session plan

(18+ years)

Session objective = Each session is based on improving your teams performance, so it is important to analyse each game and identify areas that need improving.

Example session objective: “I am in improve my teams ability to play forward quickly in transition. ”

Session structure = A senior session session follows the same structure as a Game Training session. But the objective of a senior session changes each week based on identified football problems.

  • Welcome/explanation: 5 minutes
  • Warm Up: 15-20 minutes
  • Positioning Games: 20 minutes
  • Game Training component: 25-30 minutes
  • Training Game: 20-25 minutes
  • Warm Down/wrap up 5-10 minutes

Click here to view Senior training session plans.
Click here to view The Football Coaching Process (see Part one: chapters 9 & 10)


 

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