Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

Van Gaal hugs Rooney in training – excellent man management

Louis van Gaal shows why he is such a good manager of players and gets the best out of them by showing a little love when Wayne Rooney does what he is told in training…


Passing exercises should be simple

DavidClarkeOne of the things that I am always telling coaches is to keep passing exercises simple.

Young players will learn far more from simple passing using the correct technique, than complicated drills that confuse them.

I was coaching U9s with two simple passing moves and when they played the match afterwards they were making some great moves, all the way up the pitch. I was pleased at their progress and some of the parents commented on how well they were passing. One of them said they hadn’t realised how direct quick passing could be.

They were just playing a practice game gearing up for the start of the season but were keen to score goals. Simple passing sequences give players confidence in their own ability making it more likely they will do it under pressure in matches.

Watch this session showing simple exercises for passing training.

 Soccer Skills and Drills

Pride in your team’s colours – the top five worst kits

Who is in charge of choosing the kits for your team? Hopefully it isn’t the one that chose the Newcastle United Away kit for next season – 2009/10.

I feel it is very important for young players to want to wear the kit they play in, much the same as they would want to wear the kit of the team they support. It is all part of taking pride in your team. Look good, play good.

It is also something that gives a team the initial advantage when you get to a match. Much like doing some good warm-ups the opposition will look across and weigh your team up. How come they have a full Nike kit? Wow they look like Brazil!

Kits are a massive boost to the revenues of professional teams. The launch of new kits is now a huge event. The latest England kit has matching jackets, all part of the image of the team.

Here’s my top five worst kits

1. Newcastle Utd Away shirt (2009) Oh dear relegated from the Premiership the final insult for Steven Taylor – has he looked in the mirror yet?

man-utd-grey-away-kit-19962.Man Utd Grey shirt (1996) 
 Worn only once, Sir Alex Ferguson demanded his players change into a new kit at half-time against Southampton as they “couldn’t see” each other on the park and this was why they found themselves 3-0 down at the interval. Worst excuse as well.

athletic-bilbao-home-shirt3. Athletic Bilbao home shirt (2004)
 Basque side Athletico Bilbao are one of the few clubs who do not have the logo of an official sponsor emblazoned on their kit. Now I wonder why…

1997Deshamps_ma_e4. Juventus (1997) In an attempt to hark back to its very first strip in 1899 Juventus decided it would be a great idea to ditch their iconic black and white strip and make their stars prance around in this delightful pink one. They quickly changed back.

mexico-campos-keeper-shirt-19965. Mexico Jorge Campos Goalkeeper shirt (USA World Cup 1994). Eccentic in goal, eccentic in kit.

 Soccer Skills and Drills