Level 2 Project

7 Modules 5 Chapters 44 Lessons None

About this course

This is it! My big level 2 project. 

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Course Structure

2 Chapters

How We Coach

My coaching phylosophy and how it impacts upon how my team plays football. 

Introduction 4 Lessons


We couldn't ask for a better physical environment at Bishops Cleeve Colts. We have our weekly astro booking and the lads love being on that surface. 

The psychological environment we're trying to create is fun and supportive. Many of the lads are friends at school so there is a bit of distraction but we (the lads, through my coaching) have come up with rules and consequences so they only need to be told once if caught off topic. 

We have a pretty good set of parents who are encouraged to come forth if they have any questions or concerns and we think keeping the parents happy also keeps the lads positive.

Transparency is important to me so everyone should understand why decisions are made. 

The coaches and parents know that concerns should be raised after practice, not during so the coaches and players can concentrate on what they're doing, when they're supposed to. 

Session Plans 5 Lessons

Practice 1. 1 v 1 Defence

The session started with a match where players were observed for their ability to stay goal side against the player they were supposed to be marking. This is the video with commentary which was then shared with the lads as they all love their screen time! 

1 v 1 Defence Session 1 Match 2

After going away to practice 1 v 1 defending in progressive activities we then came back for the second match allowing the lads to practice the shadowing of attackers on the ball in a match environment. 

2 Chapters

How We Support

Game experiences with:

  • minutes of play per player
  • formations the players experience
  • playing positions of each individual
  • working with key social influencers

Overview 4 Lessons

Number of Minutes

We have a strict policy of ensuring every player get's as close as possible to even game time. It's not as easy as you'd think given I'm also trying to give the lads the opportunity to play in the positions they want. 

We typically break the match into 8-minute periods and rotate 2-3 subs each period. Keepers are swapped at half time if both are keen to play a half in goal. They get 8 mins in the field on top of their half in goal. 


In matches we've only really utilised the 2-3-1 but the lads are exposed to a lot of smaller sided games in practice so they're always discussing which positions they'll have then who will play in them. 

We did change to a 3-2-1 for a match against the strongest team in our division and we actually scared them at time losing just 6-4. 

I considered trying a 1-3-2 for our final match of the season where we were again facing a similarly strong opposition. I put it past my coaches and we agreed there was simply too much potential for disaster and not enough time to prepare the lads. 

Working with Key Social Influencers

The team certainly has some strong personalities and lads who think they're pretty special. 

We'll often use them for demonstrations and give them the opportunity to discuss their ideas with the players. 

We haven't set captains at practice yet but I think it'd be good to start a discussion around the role of a captain and whether they think it should be rotated.

4 Lessons

How We Play

Playing Philosophy and how I like my team and players to play:

  • with the ball
  • without the ball
  • in transition


When We Lose Possession

Like any lads this age, when any of our lads lose the ball they try hard to win it back.

The problem we can have is when they burn out trying to get it without suitable support. This can then leave them unable to come back and defend their goal as a team. 

Now that we've laid out our plans for compressing on set defence I feel it's time to discuss when it's best to try and win the ball back and when it's best to start retreating and working with team mates to delay the opposition's advance and deny them the space around the front of our goal. 

Once we've established this more conservative approach we can then look at the more advanced strategy of having 2-4 players press to win the ball back or put it out of play so the team can reset. 

Towards the end of last season we started 

When We Take Possession

When we take possession there is usually just one direction in their mind and that's towards the opposition's goal. They'll try to dribble, pass or clear the ball in that general direction depending on how close to their own goal they are. 

It's not necessarily wrong but i think the next level is having won the ball can they think about where the opposition players are and move it away from them. Sounds simply but our lads will often turn right into a opponent and lose the ball they've just won. 

So on winning possession can then take a touch to move the ball away from opponents then look up to see what their passing and dribbling options are next. 

If it's safe to progress towards the opposition goal then go for it but also look for safe passing options which could lead to a switch or long pass up the line from a defender. 


3 Lessons

Coach Log

Short videos where I'll discuss my thoughts as I progress through this course. 

Log 1

First thoughts on taking on this project and what the team situation is in regards to results and areas to focus on. 

Log 2

A quick explanation of my background going into this project and how I'm feeling on the first real day of the project creation process. 

Level 2 Sessions 4 Lessons

My Session Delivery in Level 2 Weekend 1: Intro

I thought this went okay until the others started asking questions...

My Session Delivery in Level 2 Weekend 1: Part 1

Intro and explanations out of the way, this actually went really well. 

My Session Delivery in Level 2 Weekend 1: Part 2

I needed to adapt the rules of this game after noticing that play was not allowing attackers to focus on the main outcome I was working towards. 

My Session Delivery in Level 2 Weekend 1: Breakdown

Got some really good feedback here but also good to have Shane highlight the failure to communicate the game well enough. Got some really good points from fellow coaches and will look forward to improving this one later. 

Unfortunately this was as activity I'd run with my lads 3 times already so didn't feel right to put them through it again. Also influenced by assistant coach feedback on first match I was absent for. 

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