Coaching Tips




(I must be showing my age, but....I love it)


And, by developing KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL, enjoyment is taken a step further. To that end, 

MITRE have produced some quality educational videos on YOUTUBE for the 5-a-side game. The links are below:









There are 3 areas that we will look at:






I can only write from experience, and from using models that I know that work over decades of experience.


Players need to develop a deep skill base to play the game well. There are no shortcuts to be had.

Quality player development comes from  a long term programme based on 1) FOOTBALL KNOWLEDGE and 2) a coach(s) with TEACHING EXPERTISE


The starting point is learning a playing style i.e.the Australian national team has a playing style, so does Barca, and so does most of the world's top clubs/countries. So should your club...

You can then start developing players who play your club's style - develop the skill base, game intelligence, values, and movement skills. 

Through ages 7-17, players should continue learning at every training session and game.




These four elements should be consistently found when you teach each of the components below:

- control the ball, (first touch)

- dribble the ball, (run with the ball )

- pass the ball, (strike the ball )

- shoot, (strike the ball )

- cross, (strike the ball )

- head, (strike the ball )

- change speed and/or direction with the ball,(1 v 1)

- use a fake to deceive an opponent, (1 v 1 )

- take a throw in

- tackle an opponent

- jockey an opponent

- move in order to receive the ball now (positioning)

- move in order to receive the ball soon (positioning )

- move in order to distract / displace defenders (positioning )

- move in anticipation of loss of possession, (positioning )

- give information to teammates - verbal and non-verbal (communication )



A lot of development is a teaching process. So a coach is a teacher. Therefore, a coach should seek to understand the process of teaching. Specifically, the theory of PDE - perceive~decide~execute .The best way for players to learn are through PDE experiences. Put players in situations where they have to PERCEIVE, make a DECISION, and then EXECUTE. You influence what they see, how to make the best decision, and the skills that they use to execute.

SESSION FORMAT: warm up/skill intro (get the mind focused and the body prepared for higher intensity work ), training game ( work on a specific element and try to make sure maximum teaching and learning takes place ), and then a game ( where the coach observes what players have learnt from training ). Link all three with a theme or focus, so that maximum learning takes place.

TRAINING VOLUME: For most club teams: 1) GROUP  WORK ~ 2 sessions plus a game per week, 2) INDIVIDUAL WORK: is done outside of group work. 3) Train and play 40 weeks of the year.



Football is a world game, with lots of ways to teach the game.

The FFA have opted to play a more European style of football.

I have Junior, Youth, Senior, and C licences, and a Game Training Certificate from the FFA, and have done coaching courses at the AIS and at AJAX Academy.

My favourite source of knowledge is the AJAX ACADEMY in Amsterdam. A lot of the FFA curriculum comes from their methodology. However, I rate AJAX football knowledge as vastly superior to ours.

The long term programmes that are easily accessible and that I know that work include: , anything by Horst Wein, and the FFA model sessions. 



Based on AJAX expertise, in 2015 my team won the FNSW PL2 U12 Championship with Sydney Uni, 3 players represented CIS in the NSW State Schools Championship which won the tournament, 3 players made the Metro East team who came 2nd, and 15 players of 16 now play FNSW Tier 1 Football (the 16th got picked up by the Sydney Swans AFL Academy).


My advice for best PLAYER DEVELOPMENT PRACTICE,  is to link in with a complete programme that spans a 10 year period of leaning, and  also for coaches to seek to learn the best teaching methods.

You don't  have to reinvent the wheel, and don't have time for it. Plus, coaching is meant to be fun ! The above programmes will help you enjoy your sessions, put you in control, and guarantee that true learning takes place. 

If you need local coaching help or programme guidance, call Andrew to arrange a professional session on 0414 338 396. Individuals and teams are welcome.



Your formation will have a deep impact on your game performance.

If a team loses by a large margin, they mostly play without a formation and without game tactics.  They simply chase the ball around in a pack, and react.

Instead, play game tactics by playing a formation:




1 - 2 - 1 DIAMOND: This is a very fluid formation that will serve most teams with technically skilful players well. The 1 plays like a sweeper, the 2 play up and down the flanks, and the forward acts as a pivot or lone striker.

In attack, the 1 can combine with the flankers with wall pass and overlap combinations, and the flankers can do the same with the forward.

A simple killer pass to the forward, and the call "turn" will mean the forward can shoot with 2 or 3 touches.

In defence: the flankers look to drop deep to create a "wall" of 3 defenders who can recapture the ball and counter attack quickly.


2 - 2: A very simple formation that works well for many teams. It is simple and static, with players designated as defenders and forwards.

In attack: the two forwards will seek to attack with quality 1 v 1 skills, or combine with their fellow forward with wall passes. It is best to position the two forwards wide, so they create space to cut into and attack toward goal.

In defence: the defenders should drop deep and central to push attackers wide. They also need to combine with the GK, who will play more like a sweeper. The defensive triangle is a great way to break down attack and create a quick counter.


3 - 1: Play this formation if you know you are playing a better team. It is a defensive structure designed to set up counter attacks. The idea is to "park the bus", and launch the ball forward to snare a goal. Honestly, this simple formation has caused so many upsets, it is a wonder it's not played more often.

In attack: Keep the defenders deep, and the forward long. The forward should position well up the field and off to a flank. In that way, he can receive the ball so that the first touch is directed toward goal, and a shot can be taken quickly.

In defence: The three defenders and the GK stay deep and flood the space. In that way, they should win the ball and be able to quickly play the ball to their forward to maximum effect.


Don't be afraid to experiment with a new formation. They each have advantages, and can be applied easily to great effect.



EFFECTIVE POSSESSION : The best possession is effective possession - you can keep the ball for a long time and not score a goal, or have it for a short time and score a goal, or vice versa. Regardless, we all agree that having the ball is better than not. Just to seek to be effective with it !


BALL CONTROL : If you can't control the ball, you will have little chance of doing much at all. The team who continually turns over the ball, will generally lose the game. So, make sure all players CONTROLTHE BALL !!


BUILD UP FROM THE BACK : This rule is in play to get young players comfortable with the above two principles - effective possession and ball control.

It is also a way to quickly go from defence to attack. When the ball is played, defenders generally flood in. The smart attacker will be able to play the ball around the oncoming players to a mate who should be able to go to goal.

Work out some plays that help you use this principle to your advantage !!


POSITIONING : Once you have set your formation, players should seek to best position themselves in both attack and defence.

The best attack positioning is always to centre yourself between defenders and between the lines.In this way, you will always receive the ball in the most space with the most time. The rest of the team including the GK, make the field  big. 

The best defensive positioning is for the closest player to press for the ball, and for the others to drop back and make the field as small as possible.

No player should ever be static!! You should always be adjusting your positioning in defence, transition and attack.


PASS IN : This is in play to create passing combinations. A bounce ball, overlap or a deep back pass will help move defences around, and open up space for attack.

Think of it as more than a chance to hit a long ball. It is a great chance to create space that you can attack into by moving opponents around. 


BODY SHAPE : This is a small detail, but a vital one. How you position your body when you receive the ball can either cost time or save time. If you save time, you will create better attack opportunities.

Eg: BUILD UP FROM THE BACK: Get your defenders either side of the GK and sideways facing forward. In this way, the player will receive the ball with plenty of space and time, and start learning game intelligence ~ do I dribble or pass ? How can I help my team mate attack the goal ?


SKILL /TECHNIQUE/QUALITY PLAYER ACTIONS : All players should focus on developing greater skill every day - it's a lifelong thing !! The game is a great chance to put into practice what you have learnt during the week.Be proud of the skill you have developed. 



All players are welcome at our club - it is a community club that values football played with skill and passion, in the spirit of sportsmanship and respect.

The above tips are designed so that players and teams maximise their football education so that the game is enjoyed to a greater degree.

For more information or to arrange a coaching session, please contact Andrew Judd on 0414 338 396.