Training drills

Here are models and drills for the 4 key parts of the curriculum.

Discovery Phase (U6-7)

The Model Sessions contained in the National Curriculum elaborate the national philosophy and are designed to help you train your players the right way. Please note that a ‘one session fits all’ approach obviously doesn’t work; the exercises in these sessions should be modified/extended/simplified according to the needs of your players.
At this age, the best way to learn football is to play football. Coaches for this age group should not think of themselves as coaches but as ‘Fun Facilitators’.
The model sessions in the document below are to give you some ideas of some fun ‘football related’ games that you can play at training.

Skill Acquisition (U8-U11)

The Model Sessions contained in the National Curriculum elaborate the national philosophy and are designed to help you train your players the right way. Please note that a ‘one session fits all’ approach obviously doesn’t work; the exercises in these sessions should be modified/extended/simplified according to the needs of your players.
At this age players are ready for a more structured approach to training. In every session the focus is on one of the core skills, from the beginning until the end of the session (‘theme based sessions’).
There are 12 model sessions in this age group. So, if you train once a week, you only need to repeat each session once for a whole season of Core Skill focused training!
Click on the Core Skill below for the model sessions for that skill:

Game Training (U12-U15)

The Model Sessions contained in the National Curriculum elaborate the national philosophy and are designed to help you train your players the right way. Please note; that a ‘one session fits all’ approach obviously doesn’t work; the exercises in these sessions should be modified/extended/simplified according to the needs of your players.
In the Game Training Phase the ‘theme’ of a session focuses on one of the ‘Main Moments’ and the Team Tasks (as well as the individual player tasks) within that Main Moment.
To arrange the Game Training Phase Model Sessions more practically, the Main Moments have been
subdivided trainable themes. Click on the Main Moment below for the model sessions for that moment:
  • Playing out from the back
  • Midfield play
  • Attacking
  • Disturbing/pressuring
  • Defending/recapturing the ball
  • Team and player actions when we lose the ball
  • Team and player actions when we win the ball

Performance (U16+)

The Model Sessions contained in the National Curriculum elaborate the national philosophy and are designed to help you train your players the right way. Please note; that a ‘one session fits all’ approach obviously doesn’t work; the exercises in these sessions should be modified/extended/simplified according to the needs of your players.
In the Performance Phase, the coach is very much focused on getting results. Training, therefore, is centred on fixing specific problems with the team’s tactical performance. The coach should design there own training sessions based on what they see happening in the game.
At this stage players will also need to work on their fitness. Fitness or conditioning sessions should all take place with the ball. The document below contains some model sessions that can be used to improve both players fitness as well as maintain/improve technical and tactical skills.