Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice


How Soccer Coach Weekly took a grassroots team from relegation to promotion in one season

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I’m not going to say that coaching successful teams is magic – it takes a lot of hard work and time to coach a team, and to train a group to play matches every week throughout the season. What I hope to do is make things a bit easier by providing coaching sessions to help you develop your players.

I’m often asked what age groups Soccer Coach Weekly covers and, working from the bottom, it starts at Under 7s, but what is the top end? Where does the coaching point become too easy for the players?

I was contacted last summer by an adult team, Burpham FC who had just finished bottom of of the GWAFL Division 1 with just 1 win and 11 goals in 18 league games! “HELP!”, they cried…

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New First team Managers Scott Kemp & Suj Khera, both Uefa B licensed coaches wrote: “David, we love coaching and developing players and we believe, with your help and by using Soccer Coach Weekly coaching methods and drills, that we can turn the fortunes of our local club around! Would you support us and put the faith you have in your product to the test?”

The rest is history. Burpham were re-elected to Division 1 and, on Saturday 2nd April 2016, promotion was sealed when they scored 3 goals in the final 6 minutes to win 3-1 away at Swinley Forest FC. On 16th April Burpham were confirmed GWAFL Division 1 runners up.

Incredible results indeed, in just one season. Burpham amassed 33 points, 10 wins scoring 42 goals with a +8 goal difference. Compared to 4pts, 1 win, 11 goals and a -41 goal difference the season before.

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“If you can create that positive environment of learning, which Soccer Coach Weekly has given Burpham, then the results can be staggering!”

Joint Manager Suj Khera said “Credit to the team for all their hard work! They bought into the philosophy and approach of our management of wanting to develop and improve through coaching, which often took people out of their comfort zones. But it’s worked and the results show you that!”

Khera added “As a coach, you can never stop learning. Having used Soccer Coach Weekly this year and seen the results, I would recommend it to any coach or manager wanting to improve their own abilities and, ultimately, the performance of your team!”



Jose Mourinho? No scapegoats in a youth game but plenty of pressure on the volunteer coach

davidscwnewIt can be a scary moment when you face the first game of the season. It doesn’t matter whether you are a new coach or have coached the same team for a few years, that first game is so important.

Getting the momentum is one thing but getting the parents and players right behind you is another, so a good display is important.

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Last season our first match was away at a very impressive ground with lots of facilities, including a main pitch with stands and floodlights.

As it was the Under 11s that were playing we were not on the adult A team pitch but we were on a pretty impressive one surrounded by a clubhouse and tennis courts. We had been promoted the previous season so we were not sure how we would cope at this higher level, but I could see my players were not intimidated by the surroundings and were raring to feel the excitement of the kick off.

We were quickly into our warm ups and soon we had shaken hands with the opposition ready for the match. I can’t imagine how it must feel to be Uwe Rosler, the new manager of Leeds United, as he waits for the whistle to blow with the eyes of his trigger happy owner Massimo Cellino upon him. Or Claudio Ranieri at Leicester, back in the Premier League hoping he can have the success he had before.

Kick off came with great relief and my initial fears that the team wouldn’t be good enough were soon banished as we unleashed a flurry of attacks. Twice we were nearly caught out on the counter but our defensive training sessions paid off with some good covering and clearing. However, as half time approached all of our hard work was undone when a clumsy clearance went into our own net.

The boy involved was heartbroken, but at half time we all gathered around him and told him it wasn’t his fault and that we were all pleased with the way the team had played. We ran the game in the second half but failed to score and that one own goal had been the downfall of the team.

However, parents and players alike were in high spirits because we had all seen we could compete at this higher level and I was proud of the way they had all gathered around the player who had scored the own goal.

So a great start to your campaign doesn’t always mean a winning start but momentum comes from playing well and working as a team – we went on to have a great season in a very tough league.



Why grassroots coaches matter

davidscwnewOne of the positives to have come out of the opening of St George’s Park in England is the recognition being given to the thousands of coaches up and down the country that make grassroots football tick. St Georges will hopefully be putting coaches at the forefront of football in England, much like the situation is in Europe and America.

Without coaches there wouldn’t be matches taking place every weekend. The hours you coaches spend getting the right advice and the right sessions not only helps to create a development culture at your club but is also vitally important to the children you coach.

I know how hard it is for all of you because I’ve started clubs too, and have stood in front of parents wondering how on earth I was going to fulfil their wishes. Like you, I’ve stood at the end of a game when my team has lost, wondering if we would ever win again. Yes, it can be hard sometimes, but coaching is also a wonderful experience, with some amazing highs.

I spoke to a coach this week who has set up his own team because the side his son played for no longer saw the boy as part of their future. His son sat on the bench most matches and when he was allowed on, he was screamed at and told what to do. That’s not being a coach – coaches make football fun.

To rescue his son he created a team and set about learning what he should be coaching and how to manage. He hadn’t realised all the things he would have to do: the amount of emails to players, the collection of subs, the payment of referees, coping with training, getting a kit and buying the right equipment.

But I went to one of his matches and it was great to see him doing everything the right way, encouraging his players and making sure they all got a game. And at the end, when his team had won, he was bubbling over with delight. By doing it all himself he is learning the hard way that coaching is a huge responsibility.

As Head Coach of Soccer Coach Weekly I want to recognise all the hard work that goes into the role of the coach by shining a light on some of you who do the job. In our Coach Of The Month feature, the magazine recognises grassroots coaches with all kinds of experience, whether it be for putting so much into the game every week or maybe just for making the kids happy.

If you want to nominate someone, or even yourself, to be Coach Of The Month, please tell us why and you could be featured in the magazine. Email your nominations to editor@soccercoachweekly.net




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