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A player listens to her coach as he provides some instructions to her at the side of the pitch during a match.

Getting involved in football or looking to reflect on your coaching?  

At all levels of the game, a good starting point is creating your philosophy.  

Whether it’s inspired by others or part of your own ‘why’, a coaching philosophy represents your values in football.  

This article explores philosophies and other elements that can help you develop as a coach.

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Every team loves putting the ball in the back of the net. 

But have you ever wondered what makes a player good at finishing? 

To answer this question, you need to consider the skill of shooting with The FA’s six core capabilities in mind:  

  • scanning 
  • timing 
  • movement 
  • positioning 
  • deception 
  • techniques.  

To find out more, we caught up with FA coach developers Matt Jones and Ian Parkes. 

Matchday. It’s the day of the week your players look forward to the most, and it’s a chance to apply your training too. But how do you make the best of it? 

In conversation with Vicky Fisher and Vinny Halsall, FA coach developers, we discuss how to support your players before, during and after a match. 

A great first step is to create a routine. For example: 

  • arrange the same arrival time each week 
  • use familiar warm-up activities 
  • outline your key objectives before the game
  • set team and individual challenges that connect to training. 

This approach helps ensure a consistently positive matchday experience for your players.

Why you should try 3v3 small-sided games

Choosing small-sided games allows players more time on the ball – boosting their confidence in attack and defence. 

To test this theory, we counted every action in a ten-minute 3v3 game played on a 30x20 metre fenced pitch by U9s. 

Turns out, this format gave players serious opportunities to practise finishing (seven times per outfielder), passing (14 times per outfielder) and challenging (12 times per outfielder). 

So, whether you want to work on pressing or passing, it’s worth exploring 3v3 small-sided football.

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What is pressing in football?

Put simply, pressing is when pressure is applied on the player or the team in possession. 

It’s a skill that happens all over the pitch, and you see it at all levels, whether it’s a game down the local park or under the iconic Wembley arch. 

When used correctly, pressing can win the ball, dictate play or even delay the opposition. To learn more, check out our article on how to help players develop this essential skill.