Free Play

Don t stop the session straight away, allow players to have some free play. This will also allow you to also observe the session for a while; tutors will pick up on the fact that you allowed some free play in the session.

Coaching position- Don t stand still, vary your position

Defending – When you have a defending topic then coach close to the defenders, either behind them or to one side.

Attacking – When you have an attacking topic then make sure you get close enough to the attackers, if you have to coach the wide player then stand on that side.

Starting position – If you are using a feeder or the goalkeeper to start the practise, then tell them which way you want them to play the ball out. This way you can position yourself that side of the pitch.

Offside’s – Some assessors may ask you why you have not got any offside’s in you practise, so to keep them happy you may add some cones on the side off the pitch to mark the offside line, or even ask someone who is not taking part in your session to watch for offside’s.

Players – Pick your players for your session, easiest way to do this is to put the bibs lined out in the formations you’re going to use on the floor. Then you can put your players into position e.g. if you have a crossing topic then you want someone that can cross the ball playing out wide.


Be confident, even if you’re having doubts about whether your right make your decision and go for it.

When you do see a mistake take the following actions:

  • Stop the play – be loud and clear so players freeze on the spot and you have more chance re creating what happened.
  • Ask questions – “why did you do that”, “what should you of done?”
  • Tell/ show them the correct way
  • Get them to rehearse it in slow motion
  • GO LIVE – Start on players first touch


The assessors are not looking for you to stop play for more than is necessary or for a long time. So only coach one or two things when you go in.

  • Player on the ball  - coach the player who has the ball e.g. “ you need to stand on half turn when receiving the ball”
  • Coach the players around the ball – coach the players in the immediate vicinity of the ball “  how can you pull the defender away”
  • Away from the ball – Coach the players away from the ball - e.g. tell the coach keeper and back line to push up.

You may stop play coach the player on the ball and get out. Then once the player on the ball is doing what you want him to then move on to people around the ball, then eventually the players away from the ball.

Try and volunteer to do your session first as by the end of the day players get very tired and find it hard to concentrate. If you are one of the last make sure you get players to concentrate.

Work hard in other sessions; the assessors will notice this and the other players will also return the favour in your session.


Before your assessment

Be well prepared for your sessions; make sure you know what formations you’re going to use and which players you want to out into certain positions.

Make sure you have a session plan for the assessor, you may want to make a list of the key factors you are looking for in your session, but remember these key factors might not happen the order you have them written down. Use a piece of paper to go through a few different scenarios that may happen during your practise.

Eat some carbohydrates and prepare lots of energy food and water for the day as you need as much energy as you can get.