The Blog

A broad range of coaching content from our network of expert contributors.

The Blog

In this article, AFC A licensed coach Andrew Oakley shares his perspective on a significant issue in Australian grassroots football. Andrew discusses the risks of trials, recruitment and talent identification, outlining the importance of belonging and cohesion in a young...

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In this article, PDP Coaching Advisor, James Coutts shares some of his favourite passing and possession practices which can be adapted for players across all age groups. Like many coaches I love using rondos or small-sided positional games consistently in...

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Coaches around the world are having to innovate with their session design as football training kicks off in some nations after the global pandemic. In this article, PDP Coaching Advisor, James Coutts shares some practical ideas for sessions that allow...

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In this article, PDP Technical Advisor, Dan Wright wades into the opposed vs. unopposed practice debate. Dan shares his perspective on why this may be a redundant argument if we are to ensure that every player gets the individual support...

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This article is the first chapter from Gold Dust: How to Become an Effective Coach, Quickly by David & Keith Mayer. The story focusses on the importance of building rapport, understanding the person and developing long-lasting relationships. This book is...

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Sideline support and direct instruction are two very different things. In this article, Founder of Working with Parents in Sport, Gordon MacLelland discusses the damage that can be caused from parents overstepping and instructing children while they play. Every weekend...

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Have you had a conversation with your players about why they play football? What is it that motivates them to turn up to training, sometimes three or more times a week, no matter what the conditions? In this article, resident...

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How do you decide what coaching practices to deliver? And what process do you follow when designing the practice? Fulham FC Head of Coaching and regular PDP contributor, Ben Bartlett shares an article from Hive Learning which provides steps 1 and...

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In this article, UEFA A licensed coach David Garcia shares his thoughts on the benefits of chaos and failure within coaching environments. “You’ve got to live at the edge of your capabilities. You’ve got to live where you’re almost certain...

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In this chapter of John O’Sullivan’s new book, Every Moment Matters, John shares ‘Lesson 2’: You Coach a Person, Not a Sport. This excerpt dives into the youth development overhaul at the Belgian FA, cites the work of Steve Kerr,...

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Let’s focus on how we’re coaching, not what we’re coaching. In this article, motivational researcher and top rugby coach, Jonny McMurtry shares an article on the value of relationships and connection in coaching. After an excellent article written around Matt...

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In this article PDP Coaching Advisor, James Coutts discusses the value of ‘unit coaching’ or ‘position specific coaching’ and how you can incorporate this specific coaching model into your sessions. What is unit training? When discussing unit training we are...

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In this article, PDP Lead Researcher, James Vaughan reflects on how a history of linear, data-driven approaches are limiting player development. James emphasises the importance of understanding the complexity that comes with human development. Last month I finally published a...

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Are learning and performance different? In this article, Nick Soderstrom discusses how teachers or coaches can enhance performance by stretching individuals and discusses the key differences between the two. You’re teaching a concept in class, working through examples and explaining...

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When it comes to learning, development or performance, what is ‘The Zone’? In this article, motivational researcher and rugby coach, Jonny McMurtry shares some ideas as to how we can help athletes get into the zone. Driven by my on-going...

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What does learning look like and how do we know it’s taking place? In this article Cognitive Psychologist, Nick Soderstrom discusses various practice approaches and some considerations for those who are leading learning environments. Let’s face it: We want things to...

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Problem-solving is crucial in player development. In this article, Founder of Changing the Game Project, John O’Sullivan shares an excellent article on the importance of guiding children towards solutions and creating autonomy in learning environments. Imagine you went to your...