Coaching Methodology

The structure of a session is vitally important if we are to develop and produce elite quality players at The Orange Soccer Academy.  The detail below outlines the methodology our coaches work to.

Preparation & Planning

  • Avoid over complicating practices
  • Plan each session in advance to fall in line with the academy themes and philosophy
  • Highlight the collective and individual learning objectives of the session
  • Set up each session a minimum of 20 minutes in advance
  • Include footballs in every practice
  • Maximise small-sided games
  • Plan activities for early arrivals
  • Appearance is very important and coaches must ensure they wear the correct academy clothing for coaching sessions and games

Player Engagement

  • Allow players to make decisions on their own (problem solving, reasoning & planning)
  • Manage differences within the group (support & challenge)
  • Utilise ‘Guided Discovery’ and ‘Q & A’ with players – listening is a powerful tool
  • Manage player mistakes
  • Offer equal praise and encouragement to each player
  • Shake hands with players on arrival and departure
  • Use positive reinforcement when players do something constructive
  • Promote to players: creativity, flexibility of thought, self-control and discipline

Session Delivery

  • Display enthusiasm before, throughout and after the session
  • Keep explanations / demonstrations short and concise
  • Limit intervention time to 30 seconds / limit tactics board interaction to 60 seconds
  • Make sure pitch / area dimensions are suitable for the learning objective outcomes (make bigger or smaller if required)
  • Use the same colour cones to mark out areas
  • Utilise bibs for both sets of players in games
  • Vary your coaching position during practices

Session Assessment & Evaluation

  • Complete post session evaluation
  • Review planning of next session from the evaluation
  • Complete collective and individual learning objective outcomes 
  • Utilise a diagnostic, formative and summative approach to assessments
  • Link assessments, evaluations and reflections to the academy philosophy
  • Reflect on each player individually, considering their specific learning objectives
  • Set individual learning objectives with players and refer to them during sessions
  • Focus on positive aspects in addition to areas for development


Coaching Framework


Foundation & Youth Development Phases

Pre-Session Arrival Activities
0 – 15 minutes:      Technical Warm Up (inc ABC’s)
15 – 30 minutes:    1 v 1 / 2 v 1 / 1 v 2 / 2 v 2 Practices (attack & defend)
30 – 45 minutes:    Key Theme Practice (small game / function / phase)
45 – 65 minutes:    Key Theme Adapted Game
65 – 90 minutes:    Standard Game

Professional Development Phases

Pre-Session Arrival Activities
0 – 20 minutes:       Technical Warm Up (inc ABC’s)
20 – 45 minutes:     Key Theme Practice (function / phase)
45 – 65 minutes:     Key Theme Adapted Game
65 – 90 minutes:     Standard Game


Coaching Content

Arrival Activities

  • Tag Games
  • Head/Foot Tennis
  • Headers & Volley’s
  • Wembley Singles / Doubles
  • Handball

Technical Warm Up (ball per player)

  • Fast Footwork (tip tap toe)
  • Ball Mastery
  • Coerver-style Exercises (inc ABC’s)
  • Pass & Receive Techniques
  • Dribble Techniques
  • Turn Techniques

1 v 1 to 2 v 2’s

Attacking: dribble / movements, passing, combinations, create overloads, shooting
Defending: ABC’s, defend targets / areas, against overloads, transition
Note: no lines or queues – utilise small games to create 1 v 1 / 2 v 2 situations

Key Theme Practice

  • Small Game
  • Function
  • Phase

 Key Theme Adapted Game

  • Different Sized Areas
  • Areas Split into Sections
  • Single to Multiple Goals
  • Variety of Ways to Score
  • Adapted Rules to Highlight Learning Outcomes (scaffolds)
  • Time Restrictions
  • Outfield / Infield Support Players
  • Overload / Underload
  • Multi-Direction Goals

Standard Game

To Test Players Understanding of the Key Theme


Coaching Curriculum

Within the academy foundation (9 to 11’s) and youth development (12 to 16’s) phases there are six key theme headings that direct the sessions, as follows:

  1. Passing & Receiving
  2. Combination Play
  3. Dribbling & Running with the Ball
  4. Turning & Shielding
  5. Defending
  6. Shooting & Finishing

Key  theme headings are followed on a three week cycle, ensuring that players are given enough time to absorb and then achieve the collective and individual learning objectives drawn up for each session.



In addition to scouts attending training sessions (detailed below), OSA players will also have a unique opportunity to play in games against professional club academies across the season. OSA has in place a structured games programme, which will include games against top professional clubs in the northwest, and beyond (Reading FC have already invited us to come and play!)



For players in the Orange Soccer Academy there will be opportunities on a regular basis to be observed and assessed by professional club scouts during weekly training sessions. OSA have strong links with several top professional clubs, such as Burnley FC, Manchester City, Everton and many more.

As part of the OSA programme, players will be continually evaluated by the Technical Director against the same criteria that club scouts use when observing players. This information will be regularly fed back to all the players, so that they fully understand their position and can take ownership of their learning and future development.

For more information on The Orange Soccer Academy & details of our upcoming 'Talent Showcase' days please email Academy@OrangeSoccer.co.uk