What are your best fun practices?


I coach an U8 girls team.

Although I feel pressure from parents and other coaches to actively "teach", I much prefer sessions that are just fun.

My question for other coaches is - what drills/games/ssg's do you have in your back pocket that you can pull out and know the players absolutely love?

Parents Reply Children
  • My basic theory is, if they are running around with a football then they are learning.

    In my experience if you try to teach them by instructing them exactly how to kick the ball, or how to shape their body, or where to stand or anything like that they don't really get it at this age.

    Some are good at taking that kind of instruction, but some get bored and it probably just feels like school them. I like my sessions to be almost chaotic and playground like - because that's when they feel the real enjoyment.

  • It's all learning Stephen. Reflect on it, which you are already doing and then think about enjoying your next session. There will be lots of positives if you look back on the session as a whole I am sure.

    I found coaching within small sided games strange to start because my early coaching courses made me feel I had to plan drills etc. But I went on to do my level 2 then Youth Awards and it changed my thinking. I felt like I wasn't really doing any coaching to to start with but as David said, watch other coaches who are further down that road. I have watched Pete deliver sessions and scoured Youtube for his videos. To be honest it borders on stalking!! I also watch county FA coaches/tutors coach sessions. One of ours, Jamie Pitman, also has videos on the FA Learning pages and he really highlights the coaching methodology Pete is referring to. Now, when I plan a session on paper  in 3 parts, the first thing I put down are the pitches. I do almost everything in the game and keep the focus really narrow. My questioning is linked to that focus.

    I know sadly the FA mentors may not be there but I am sure the county FA will be able to advise you as to coaches in your area who would be really good role models.

    Most important is that you want the children to have fun and the playground is a great model for what they like. The engagement and enjoyment are more important than getting worried too much about tactical stuff. Lots of the technical will occur naturally in small sided games.

    Keep doing a great job.