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England football player Lucy Bronze runs towards ball
Lucy Bronze: becoming a skilful player 

England right-back, Lucy Bronze, provides insight into what helped her become a world-class defender. 

John Barnes
John Barnes: skills and values 

Former England winger, John Barnes, looks back on what helped him excel in the role – giving advice to coaches and players alike. 

Ashley Cole kicks ball
Ashley Cole: defending skills and attributes 

Former England left-back, Ashley Cole, reflects on what it took to master the position and develop into a world-class defender.

How to defend like England: crosses

Are your players equipped to handle a cross? This article is part of a series on the defensive tactics of our national teams. This time, we explain how their approach can help you prepare your players to defend against crosses.

2 teams playing football
How to defend like England: roles and responsibilities 

Do your players know who is doing what, and when? This article is part of a series on the defensive tactics of our national teams. This time, we explain how their approach can help you develop your players’ understanding of roles and responsibilities when defending.

2 teams run after the ball
How to defend like England: overloads

Do your players know what to do when they’re outnumbered? This article is part of a series on the defensive tactics of our national teams. This time, we explain how their approach can help you get your players ready to handle overloads.

two teams on football pitch playing against each other, one team wear blue and the other wear white. One player from the team in white and one player from the team in blue both run towards the ball.
How to defend like England: space in wide areas

How do your players handle open space on the pitch? This article is part of a series on the defensive tactics of our national teams. This time, we explain how their approach can help you prepare your players to defend the space in wide areas.

England women defend
How to defend like England: space in behind

Want to stop the opposition from taking advantage of the area behind your defenders? This article is part of a series on the defensive tactics of our national teams. This time, we explain how their approach can help you prepare your players to defend the space ‘in behind’. 

2 england players wearing white playing against a player from Wales wearing red. The player in red is going to kick the ball with his back faced to the camera.
How to defend like England: transition 

Switching from attack to defence isn’t always easy. So how do you handle transition in football? This article is part of a series on the defensive tactics of our national teams. This time, we explain how their approach can help you prepare your players for defending in transition.

Two womens football teams playing against each other. Looking at the football pitch from above, 7 players of one team can be seen wearing white. The other team wears green tops with red shorts and yellow socks. The team in green have the ball and are approaching the opposing net while the team in white defend.
How to defend like England: an introduction 

Looking to improve your players’ defensive tactics? This is the first in a series of articles on what you can learn from our national teams. This time, we cover the basics of an effective defence, and what that means for you. 

2 young boys go to high five
Practice design in football: four-goal games

Planning your training session? In a series of articles, we examine five activities to help engage and develop your players. Here, in the final part of the series, we look at four-goal games.

A group of players in training
Practice design in football: two-goal games

Planning your training session? In a series of articles, we examine five activities to help engage and develop your players. Here, we look at two-goal games.

2 young players play football
Benefits of playing futsal for young players

Training your team over the winter? Indoor futsal is the perfect game to play. FA youth coach developer, Ian Bateman, gives 10 reasons why.

A medic checks on a player
Concussion guidance for football coaches

This article introduces how to recognise and manage a concussion in football. It also signposts The FA's official concussion guidance.

First aiders respond to a player experiencing sudden cardiac arrest
Cardiac arrest in football: what to do if it happens

We’ve all seen players fall over. But what happens if they don’t get up? Collapse is often the first sign of sudden cardiac arrest. You must be able to recognise the symptoms and take action to deal with this serious medical emergency. 

Four young players sit on a bench
How to coach an unexpected number of players

You’re expecting 14 players at a session, but only 11 turn up. What do you do? Rob Ward, U9s grassroots coach and FA Youth Award holder, gives some top tips for adapting to uneven or smaller than expected numbers at football training. 

A coach talks to a group of young players standing in a circle"
How to solve common coaching problems in football

Tricky time at training? In this article, we examine 10 common coaching problems – plus how to solve them.

3 young boys high five each other
How football helps players to develop life skills

Inspired by Ceri Bowley, a former FA coach mentor, we examine how football can help players develop essential life skills. 

What you need to know about Ramadan and football

Do you coach Muslim players? Get to know what’s involved in the Islamic month of Ramadan, so that you can make the right accommodations at this time.

4 children playing, 3 wear blue bibs, the other child wears a green vest
How to tell if your season has been a success

So, the season’s at an end. As a coach, should you be celebrating or commiserating? Well, there’s more than one way to define success. For a balanced view of your achievements, ask yourself these five questions. 

A group on players stand in a circle, the coach speaks to them
What to do when football training doesn’t go to plan

If your coaching session plan is thrown off by something unexpected, do you know how to handle it? Here are ten top tips to deal with any surprise scenario and put your players back on track.

3 young girls wearing green hoodies and shorts throw a football to each other.
How to improve player behaviour in training

Poor behaviour disrupting your football training? Here are seven ways for coaches to handle behavioural issues for calm and productive sessions.

Coach speaks to his players
How to design challenges for your football team

Looking for new ways to motivate your players? Try setting individual and team challenges in both training and games. These 10 top tips are a great place to start. 

A group of young players gather round an FA coach as they talk through a session idea using a tactics table.
How to connect with players before a training session 

Want to get football training off to the best start? Then tell your players the aims of each session before you dive in. The FA’s Lawrence Lok explains why this is important, what it looks like, and five ideas to engage your players.