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Dear Coach,
Its my pleasure to present you with our “foundation” development
coaching manual. This manual is a sample of the work that is
conducted in our “Foundation” programme. The programme is put
in place to develop children in their local centres and give them a
chance to progress to our academy at u9 age group.
The manual includes over 120 practices across a variety of
coaching themes.
When planning a session, we aim to ensure that the practices are
fun and game related. In addition, they should develop the players
technically, physically, socially (interaction with other players,
communication) and mentally (improve game awareness, decision
We hope this manual helps you in your role as a youth coach.


Continuous heading game. The
coach must alternate serves between
the two teams. After heading at goal,
the players must quickly become the
keeper for the other teams header.
The first team to 5 goals wins

The players work in pairs with one ball.
The coach calls out body parts (head,
toes, knees etc). The players must
touch that area of their body. When the
Coach calls “snatch” the first player to
grab the ball wins

One player acts as the chaser, one
player puts a bib In the back of their
shorts and acts as the “driver” of the
huddle. The players link arms and listen
to the “driver” in order to move and stop
the chaser grabbing the bib

Two teams. Each team has one server whilst the rest of the players take turns to head the ball. The aim is to knock a ball off the cones. The first team to knock all three balls off the cones is the winner

One player works as the first defender.
The other players must shield their ball
from the defender. If the defender
knocks a ball from the cones then the
shielding player becomes the new
defender. The game is continuous

Handball game. The player in possession is not allowed to move with the ball. The other players must move to receive a thrown pass. When near the goal, the players can score by throwing (1pt) or Heading (2pts) into the goal

Running handball game. The players are allowed to run with the ball and then make a thrown pass. The aim is to run through the opponents gates to score. Players are tackled if they are touched by a defender when holding the ball.

Each player puts a bib in the back of their shorts. The aim of the game is to pull away the bib from another players shorts. The last player with a bib in their shorts is the Winner.


When looking to improve your players movement, speed and reactions skills its important that you try to get the balance between 1 - ensuring that the correct technique is used 2 - fun practices that include a ball or competitive edge. Firstly it is massively important that the players use the correct techniques when running, turning, jumping and landing etc, therefore you cannot neglect these key factors. However, you must not get bogged down in this area so that the practices become boring for the players. The above diagrams show simple and exercises that can be used to develop quick feet by placing one foot in the space between the cones or by going sideways, forwards or backwards in a slalom motion. If you could dedicate 10 minutes in each of your sessions to these practices then you can improve your players movement patterns, speed, agility and reactions times. All these skills are vital when playing the game.

Players take turns to try and beat the defender and get to the opposite side of the grid.

Players must react and then race to the number or the colour cone called by the coach 

The players must react to the coaches call, touch the cone behind them and then steal the ball before the opponent

The player passes the ball to the coach and reacts to get the coaches ball and dribble through the gate

3 races. 1 – react to coaches whistle, 2 – react to bounce of ball, 3 – coach stands behind players and touches shoulder

One player is the leader and one is the chaser, the leader moves along the line and then quickly tries to run through a gate


The players perform different dribbling movements through the cones. The players should do four repetitions of best foot, weak foot, insides of both, outside of both, sole drags, toe touches on the ball etc

Players must dribble across and outside of the area using the obstacle of their choice. 1 – through cones. 2 – skill on coach. 3 – turn in gate. 4 – slalom poles/cones. Players must choose a different obstacle on each turn

4 groups of players. The players must dribble to the cone and then perform a turn of their choice. The coach should Show some examples but allow the players freedom of choice on the turn they use.

Players dribble around the zig zag course performing various skills with both feet. 1 – best foot. 2 – weak foot 3 – alternate feet. 4 – step over at cones. 5 – sole drags at cones. 6 – drag back and flick behind leg

4 groups of players. the players must dribble to the cone and then perform a skill before joining the next group. The players perform 4 repetitions going to the right then four to the left. (e.g. right foot step over and join group on left)

Each player has a ball and cone (imaginary defender). The players must complete various skills of their choice In order to get ½ yard and dribble into space. (step over, drop shoulders etc)

The players must try to get across the area as quickly as possible. 1 – the players dribble with best foot. 2 – players dribble with weak foot. 3 – players complete a skill on the way. 4 – players complete a turn on the way

The players complete different dribbling exercises. if they are at the bottom of the pitch then they dribble diagonally through the crazy cones. When at the top of the pitch they dribble down the side and slalom through the poles.


The players must pass take a touch to the outside of the cones before passing the ball back through the centre of their opponents cones. The game works continuously on first touch and passing skills.

The players take turns to pass into the middle and then go into the gate to perform turns from a pass. 1 – player opens out using back foot 2 – players turns using inside of foot 3 – player turns using outside of foot
In this practice the passer must instruct the receiving player by using communication. The passer can call “turn” or “set”. The player receiving must then react to turn and dribble out or set the passer who plays out

Both central players make a movement to receive a pass. The player receiving must pass back to the original passer who now plays a pass into space for the non receiving player to dribble out.

Now three players start in the central area. The starting player passes a ball into the three players who must quickly combine to pass the ball out to the opposite end. All three players must touch the ball before its played out.

In this practice the coach is used as a setting player. On receiving a pass the central player can play a quick one-two with the coach or pass and complete an overlap. Therefore the player is always moving after their initial pass.

2 groups of players & 2 balls working a the same time. The player passing into the centre comes in and the player passing out goes out. The aim is to receive the ball with your back to play, quickly turn and dribble out.

Continuous passing & communicating. The players have a choice of the centre player or coaches. When passing to the centre player you call “turn” and take their place. When passing to the coaches you call “one/two” or “overlap”.











Multi Function Pitch ULTIMATE 4V4 GAME 



Start and end the practice with fun Ensure you have a ball to each player Simple organisation and lay 
out of the session Simple communication/rules of the practice No “bus queue” of players waiting to play/shoot No set playing positions Develop individuals, not teams Lots of 1v1 practices with experiences of playing different types of player (skill, speed, strengths etc) As much as possible try to attack and defend the goals Inspire players with the session, your personality, energy and enthusiasm Don’t over coach, give the players “free” playing time in the session Give the players questions to ask and choices in technique and decision making. Involving them in this process accelerates learning and development. From time to time give the players a homework task (skills to master etc) Encourage attacking football Encourage players to work hard 


This template enables you to plan a structured coaching programme that is fun, progressive and improves individual player development. Simply write the practice number into the category box and take full advantage of the range of practices in this booklet. Using this style of preparation and planning will ensure that you are covering a range of coaching topics and developing your team of players to the maximum possible.

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