Coolum Crusaders Coaching Resources

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Coolum Crusaders Coaching Resources

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[Please note: These resources are for your use as a coach with Coolum Crusaders and should not be disseminated to anyone or anywhere else]


Concussion Info – Clipboard Sheet

Concussion Info Sheet



IFAB website – Laws of the Game

Coolum Crusaders Players Code Of Conduct

17 Laws of the Game



Coaching Workshop “Street Football”

10 Proven Tips for a more successful season

Intro to Small Sided Games

There are Four Phases

Skill Acquisition Presentation

Skill Acquisition Training Cycles (4 pages subset)

Game Training Course Presentation

Game Training Participant’s Manual

Game Training Participant’s Manual (4 pages subset)

Coaching Guide to 4-3-3
In particular see pages 85-115: How to coach 4-3-3 with particular emphasis on “Learning the Connections”


Further Skill & Game Training Resources

I highly recommend The Soccer Coach Weekly website where you’ll find activities for all age groups.

Warm Up Examples:

A. Tiger Tails

Setup: circle with cones that must be big enough that all the team can fit in it, with space to run. The kids put a bib down their pants so that only a “tail” is showing on one side or a the back.

On the coaches signal they have to protect their own bib (without holding it) and grab other player’s bib. as soon as they lose their bib they are out of the game until one one is left. Countdown if the last couple are taking too much time. Repeat a few times.

B. Poison Ball
Set up: a circle with a large enough area for all the team to run around in
2 or 3 people (coach/manager/parents) position themselves around the circle to kick or roll/bounce balls into the circle so that the kids have to elude them. Last one hit by a ball wins. Repeat a few times

C. Set up: Mark an area with cones, ideally not too small. Every player has a ball each.
Coach is in the area with the kids, and calls out the following.
Number 1 is on the run (jog with the ball)
Number 2 is on the loo (sit on the ball)
Number 3 is follow me (follow the coach while still dribbling the ball)
Number 4 is on the floor (lay on the grass, ball could be the pillow and pretend to sleep)
Number 5 is in a hive (all get together very close)
Number 6 is do some trix (do a special or funny trix with the ball)
Number 7 is in heaven (kick the ball high)
Number 8 is to a mate (swap ball with a team mate)

You could add more numbers, or swap for other rhiming words.

I go from 1 to 8, and then choose random after that.

[thanks to Ole Sandvand for this warm-up suggestion]

D. Setup an area (preferably a circle) with cones that must be big enough that all the team can fit in it, with space to dribble easily with a ball. Each child gets a ball
Coach instructs them to dribble anywhere within the circle
1. first with either foot
2. then with the right foot
3. then with the left foot
4. then on “stop” to stop. and then on “Go” start dribbling again
5. then on “stop” to stop, leave the ball, and go to another and start dribbling again
6. finally to dribble their own ball (with the addition of any of the above rules) and to kick the ball of other players out of the circle while protecting their own

You can put a number to these and after a while just call out the number.

E. Setup: Team stands in a circle. One or two balls.

1. Pass the ball across the circle, moving a step toward the ball as they receive it, and then back to their spots



Setup: Cones, hoops, ladder and poles.

Start players at each position, and they cycle through the numbers in order and then back to 1.

Variation: add balls to the cones/poles section for dribbling practice.

U11+ variation incl. shooting practice

Setup:  Cones. 2 or 4 lines of players. Two coaches. Many balls.
It is one line of cones, then a gate, a pass, and then a shot – duplicated for 2 lines (or with differing cones courses).

Players go through one of two cones courses before coming to  a gate (two cones/poles) and passing the ball to one of the coaches, receiving the ball, and then shooting at goal. Players should swap between each courses on subsequent runs.


Passing Routines

Teach players to
– receive ball with “open” stance which gives them passing options.
– anticipate pass, move to the ball, develop a good first touch

1. Passing Squares : Simple

Setup: 4 cones, 1 or more players per cone. If more than 4 players, they can rotate after each turn.

Progression (starting exercise depends on age group)
1. pass to corners (or diagonal)
2. add a defender who can pressure and intercept pass
3. remove a player from one corner and encourage movement along the square lines

2. Passing Squares: Running
Choose a running direction (clockwise or anti-clockwise).

Progression (starting exercise depends on age group)
1. Ball is played 1 to 2 metres in front of the player as he begins to run toward the next cone. Player receives the ball and in turn passes it 1 to 2 metres in front of next player.
2. Ball is played to the player at the cone, who moves toward it to receive it, completes a turn around the cone and then passes it to the next player.

3. Pressured Passing Square


Combination passing and 1v1 game.

Setup: 1 ball. A larger square made up of four smaller squares (ie. 8 cones around outside, and one in the middle). 4 players who “own” their square with one defender. StartDecrease the size of the squares to make it more difficult and pressured.

After a first free pass, the defender starts from very centre cone and pressures the ball. Players in each of the 4 squares must receive, control, move and then pass with the ball within their area.

4. Behind Enemy Lines or Team “Piggy In The Middle”

Setup: 3 zones. 1 ball. 3 separate teams of 2, 3 or 4 players who remain in three separate zones.

Use restrictions to reinforce what you wish to focus on:
1. ball only alng the ground, or alternatively over the top, or either
2. number of touches per player
3. maximum number of touches per team before a pass

When the “piggy” or middle team intercept the ball, they swap with another team.
Either teams take turns in the middle or add competition by making it the the team that made the failed pass goes to the middle.

5. Rondo Squares

Setup: 3 teams of 3 or 4. Balls, bibs and cones. Create a 40×40 yard square with a 30×30 yard square inside it

Split your squad into three teams – four players in each team. Two teams, both with a ball, go in the inner square, with the other team in the outer square. Each team must make a minimum of three passes before playing to the team in the outer square. There, two passes must be made before the ball is returned back inside. If a pass is successfully made back to the starting team, a point is scored.


    1. The session starts with two teams of four in the inner zone and one team of four in the outer zone
    2. Both teams have a ball and must build a passing sequence of three pass before passing outer players avoiding the other team in the middle
    3. Now only one ball is in the middle and teams must try to win the ball and make three passes under pressure from the other team
    4.After three passes they must get the ball to the outer zone to score a point and be available for a pass back to keep the sequence going
    5. In the final part the outer zone players must pass the ball back to the opposite team to the one that passed it out of the inner square


Small Sided Games (SSG) & Training Routines

Intro to Small Sided Games

3-sided Positioning SSG

Better Defending – Heads You Win

Franck Ribery – Born To Run: running attacks

Score like Suarez

Dominating Possession – keep hold of the ball and win games

Successful Corners


Recommended SSGs for Younger Age Groups

Even the simpler ones are often used as a starting base for games for older age groups, and obviously we take into account the varying skill levels of the teams we are coaching.

Basic Possession Game: Two variations of the same theme.

• Another version of this game is to have 3 equal teams with each taking a turn to be neutral (thus assisting the team in possession with the ball)

A. keep a tally of the highest number of passes from the team in possession.
B. switch teams after 5-10 minutes
C. add the scoring element as a progression.
D. also can increase difficulty through smaller size of playing area, or through limiting number of allowed touches prior to passing the ball.

Additional Possession Games

Positioning Games: Volley & Catch

Particularly useful for explaining and demonstrating position & zonal play. For older ages you can also use it to demonstrate rehearsed plays and attacking dynamics.

Positioning Game: Throw to Pass, Head to Score

Player on Player Skills: 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4

Variation: line the players in 2, 3 or 4 lines about 5 metres each side the goal, with players grouping in teams according to which side of the goal they start from. The ball is thrown in from the goal line and the number of players called run into the play area from each side of the goals.

A. can have the two lines of players beside the goal and throw a ball to where you want play to start. The team that gets the ball attacks and the other team must defend.
B. can either end the game on the loss of attack, or alternatively, have the defending team become the attacking team if they gain the ball


A variation of this is the overload game


Attack/Defence Drills

Each of these drills can be used to develop attack & defensive skills within your team.




We regularly use a full team setup of up to 6 defenders v 4 attackers depending on age/size of team. Rotate your attacking players in 5 to 10 minute increments  – in between sessions your remaining attacking players should be doing separate 1v1 or 2v2 drills (not standing around waiting).

Setup: one goal with defenders in your game formation. Their tasks is to track forward and back in line, and to slide back and forth across the field, and hold their shape. For more advanced teams, the nearest defender should come out of their line to attack the ball, while being covered by the other defenders, and then quickly return to their line. The defensive midfielders should be constantly chasing, and jockeying the attackers, while looking for opportunities to dispossess their opposition of the ball. There should be constant movement from all players.

Attackers should be looking to develop the ball forward using triangles, always looking to either slot the ball through to angled runs from strikers or get the ball across behind the defenders. You can run through various attacking plays that you wish them to rehearse and then they can alternate between them at their choice:
a) push wide up the wing, cut back from near the goal line to attackers coming through to the penalty dot
b) push to the wing, the wing puts an angled ball over the top of the defenders for an attacker to run onto (pref aiming at the far side of goal)
c) using triangles, keep the ball moving in the hole in front of the defenders until space open up for an attacker to run into.



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