DNA Insights Episode 3

Coaches, episode 3 begins to look closely at the phrase "seeing possession as an individual event" and attempts to provide more clarity around the sayings; "Stay on the Ball", and also "Hide", "Manoeuvre" and Reveal" the ball. Lauren asks some great questions so here's a couple for you to think about and for you to share your own views with our growing community on here:

  • If a parent were to ask you to explain these terms because they have heard you saying them, what might your response be?
  • How confident are you in knowing what returns you get from small number practices?
  • Do you have any examples where you have put certain players together in order to manage difference?

It would be great to read your responses to these or to anything connected with our DNA Insights podcasts. I look forward to hearing from you.


  • My favourite listen of the series so far - the discussion was very sincere and relaxed but with lots of purpose, thanks both. 

    Considering explaining to parents the, ‘Stay on the ball’ terms: I would sum it up with your description that it is, ‘The springboard for other stuff to happen’...   perhaps like a baby/toddler having to learn to use their hands and play with their food, before they can learn to use a knife and fork... or even chopsticks! 

    This all makes a lot of important ‘stuff’ really clear and is such a helpful resource including the questions to reflect and discuss ideas - but this page isn’t so easy to find at the minute; I hope FA learning can make this more accessible ‘for all’ soon.

    Thanks again Lauren and Pete.

  • Coaches, not sure if my questions are not the "right" ones to get you going or at this point you are a little reluctant to share your experiences. We learn by stepping outside of our comfort zone and this is threatening and unsettling. However, feeling this way is perfectly normal and in order for us to share, collaborate and grow we must overcome this, take a deep breath and just have a go. After all, this is what we are asking our players to do.

    Let's get the discussion going and we can all learn from each other.

    Cheers. Pete ThumbsupThumbsup

  • Hi Pete, I posted a reply with some thoughts a few days ago but it was marked as being ‘spam’; I followed up with an email to confirm it wasn’t spam though I’m not sure if/when it’s cleared? Perhaps other people have also had this issue?

  • morning Pete

    What i feel is from coaching YDP is no matter what content is out there for foundation phase, even at the youngest of ages its stuff i can still use for u15's, just expanding it maybe for their age . Like you say kids like to press to get the ball at most ages, so maybe for a warm up instead of one ball;  start with 3 balls to spread them out a bit. Another point ive took out of these podcasts so far is, if we shout commands to the children then we are TELLING them what to do, but if we ask and guide in the direction we are looking for,  then for me thats when they start taking ownership of their own ideas.

    are their any podcasts for YDP in the pipeline?

    thanks again 


  • James, thanks for the feedback, I will pass this on to our digital team. Appreciate the messageThumbsup


  • Lee, you make some great points and one that resonates with me particularly is the one about us continually shouting on instructions. We have been in discussions recently with some skill development experts and one view is that if you view the game as one that is continually changing (as each player acts, moves and makes their decisions), then the players are constantly being challenged with reacting quickly and making those decisions within an ever changing landscape. If we shout something on we immediately narrow their attention but by doing so we take away the opportunity for them to come up with another possible solution that is based upon the information they are perceiving rather than a random shout from the sideline. In the long run I know which will better prepare the players for the demands of the game. This is not to say we can never help the players during the match - the problem occurs when it is constant and begins to impact negatively upon the players own decision making and enjoyment of playing. If we plan appropriately, when training, the game design should set the football "game problems" and we challenge the players to find appropriate solutions through exploration and guidance from us if needed. Not sure if there are any YD podcasts, sorry, but I am sure my colleagues Graeme Carrick and Paul Holder would be great to listen to.

    Cheers and thanks again.


  • Hi James, thanks for your message. The post got flagged by the system because the word knife was used. I have approved the comment now. Apologies for any inconvenience caused. 

  • Thank you - I’ll be more aware of word connotations for the future.

  • Hi Pete, one of the things i don't believe you've mentioned yet on the podcast but was in one of your presentations on the roadshows and i believe is a really powerful example of why we should initially focus on possession as an "individual event" is "watch a FP game and see how often possession is lost and regained"?  There are no long passages of "ole" football as teams complete 25 passes without losing the ball, so even if you want to create a Barcelona style possession based team, the ability to stay on the ball, manipulate and deceive whilst receiving pressure is essential pathway to achieve that - just watch kids play, the evidence is there