Ryan makes history……..

Ryan Bolam played in the Northern League for South Shields last season, making his debut and scoring as a 16yr old against Stokesly. He played around 12 times for them as well as playing for the 18s. He has since moved to Seaham Red Star who are in the first division and helps out where possible when the 18s at Shields have not got a game. Whilst at Shields he made a little history as he was the youngest goalscorer in recent history ! He passed his level one a couple of weeks ago

Pinpoint U8s Rep Squad v Newcastle United Report

Under 8’s Rep. Side V NUFC

The Pin Point Recruitment Junior Football League’s under 8’s representative side took to the pitch for their first game on Friday against a very good Newcastle United side.  The squad has only trained once since being selected in January, but looking at their performance you would think they had been playing together for a long time.  They played a different format to their normal club football but they adapted extremely well to the 7 v 7 game and looked very comfortable playing together.  From the very first whistle the team were excellent, very confident on the ball whilst in possession and working very hard for each other when out of possession.  Many players played in unfamiliar positions at certain points in the games, but they all excelled in the positions they were asked to play.  Every player, from front to back was a real credit to their boys club and to the league, their play was excellent, they played the games in the right way, smiling and enjoying the experience throughout the evening.  There was some moments of individual brilliance and some outstanding goals scored, both from a team play point of view and also individual.  Speaking to the team after the game, they all said they loved the experience and the freedom to play in different positions as well as being confident to try new things.  The squad is looking forward to their next training session and preparing for the next set of games.

Thanks to everyone who attended and a big thanks to all the parents\guardians who supported the team on the evening, it is very much appreciated!!  I hope you all enjoyed the games as much as I did…


Pin Point Recruitment Junior Football Leagues

Newcastle United Winner

And the winner is..........
Congratulations to Shaun Lothian from our monday sessions who has won the Newcastle United signed shirt.

Thank you to all the parents who entered and a BIG thank you for the fantastic feedback.

The winning entry was drawn by Preston Leech who is the goalkeeper for the pinpoint representative squad.

Remember all correspondence regarding the sessions and weather can be found here

Yours in sport
S20 Team

Easter Closure- S20 Gateshead

S20_031-Skilly & Trixie Illustrations

Last session will be Monday 21st March. Sessions start again Monday 11th April.

This is line with the school holidays.

Have a lovely Easter from all the S20 Team


Win A Signed Newcastle United Shirt

Soccer20 News - February 2016

Hello from all the team at Soccer20skills Gateshead. 

Training recommences this week in Gateshead following the February holidays. We hope you've all had a nice break.  Spring is here and the lighter evenings so its a great time to get back into your footie.  Thanks for the continued support of all of our members, parents and team who have kept going throughout the bad weather, some of the kids have sheer grit and determination.   

Soccer20 is continuing to be a huge success in our newest areas of Middlesbrough, New Zealand and Kelso in the Scottish Borders.  We recently visited our Kelso Team, with over 40 players on the day.  More on this to following in our news updates.

This month's topic is 'passing'. Last month's was 'receiving', where player's were taught to receive the ball in an 'opposed' and 'unopposed' situation; with game related sessions incorporating this. 

We will be continuing with the Skills Challenge over the spring/summer months.  This has been very  successful throughout the Academy as has 'the best of the best', with some outstanding results and achievements.  Most of all the kids enjoy.

It's Competition Time
We are running a competition to win a signed Newcastle United Football Shirt.  To be in with a chance of winning the shirt, please do one of the following*:

Email a review/testimonial of why you or your child loves soccer20skills.com. 

  • Emails to info@soccer20skills.com.  Please let us have your name, contact email and your player's name.
  • Write a review on google using the soccer20skills.com search and look to the right hand side of the search listings to write your review.
  • Deadline for entries is Midnight Saturday 5th March.  The winner will be drawn at Soccer20 Gateshead on Monday 7th March by one of our s20 players.

(*T&Cs apply.  Soccer20skills have the right to withdraw the promotion at any time. Limit of 2 entries per player). 

Remember all correspondence regarding the sessions and weather can be found here

Yours in sport
S20 Team

Luke Looks To His Future

Luke Master

Luke is one of our long serving members at soccer20, still only in year 6, but quickly moving through the ranks within his football.  Lets take a look bit of a look  at his football timeline:


Luke has been playing football since the age of 5 where he used to attend the soccer tots at Wrekenton Nou Camp and he developed the basic skills of the game. When Luke was 7 and old enough to play for a team he joined S20 for further development and enjoyment. It was at this point that Luke’s love of the game became apparent as he started to show great levels of skill, determination and creativity. In his first season he managed to score 46 goals for Wrekenton for what turned out to be a very enjoyable first season in the Apollo Doors League. Luke carried on attending Wrekenton and S20 regularly and it wasn’t too long till he had his first taste of success, captaining his Wrekenton team to the Russell Foster U9 division 1 league title, where he played a key role in winning the league.

When Luke reached the U10’s he decided he wanted to pit himself against the best teams around and therefore joined Bowburn Youth FC. who at the time were playing in the Premier division of the Russell Foster league. Luke enjoyed a very fruitful first season which saw him develop his game further by playing at this level week in week out. It was at this time that S20 really started to push Luke, setting him harder challenges and moving him into the higher groups on both Monday and Thursday nights. Luke quickly became a key member of the Bowburn squad and in his first tournament away in Blackpool helped his team to a winner’s trophy. The success didn’t end there as still with Bowburn he went to Wembley in the Indesit U10 finals where they competed against teams from all around the country prevailing as champions. This success was later documented in the 2013 Christmas edition of Fourfourtwo magazine.

Bowburn went on to win several other tournaments in the summer of 2014 where he and another teammate were asked to attend a six week trial at Hartlepool United after impressing scouts whilst playing against them. Luke took this challenge in his stride and was offered a contract not long after, from which he accepted the offer. Luke has spent almost a season at Hartlepool UTD but still attends S20 regular where he still manages to demonstrate improvement through hard work, determination and knowledge from the S20 team. Luke tracks his progress online, making sure he knows what areas to work on and what skills he needs to practice. He runs through the skills he has learnt with S20 before every training session at Hartlepool as soon as he gets on the pitch, he goes through the numbers and practices them at every opportunity. Luke works hard at his skills and often demonstrates them well during matches which, makes for some entertaining football.

I believe S20 have played a major part in the development of Luke not only as a player but as a person. The model and ethos of the coaching delivered is of the highest level I have seen. Every session shows progression and meaning; promoting key attributes needed to play at good levels such as confidence, skill, creativity and hard work.

Luke recently started one to one sessions with Anth Cole. Anth asked Luke what he felt he would like additional training on, then tailored the sessions to match Luke's preferences. Luke has really enjoyed these sessions and has taken everything he has learnt in the last few sessions straight into his game. This has resulted in Luke using his left foot more consistently, raising his awareness on the pitch and most importantly being able to relax whilst being positive and creating chances. This additional confidence was further demonstrated when Luke lobbed the goalkeeper from 35 yards, a chance before his one to one sessions he probably wouldn’t have tried.



Johnny Reaches ‘High Point’ with his Admission to Prestigious American University and Soccer Team

Since last seeing Johnny at Soccer20 we have some superb news about him. 

Soccer20's Johnny Fenwick has overcome fierce competition to secure a place at the very prestigious High Point University in North Carolina.  Johnny is in his first season of playing for the High Point Panthers Soccer and also a Freshman in his acadIMG_2083emics.  The university facilities are absolutely amazing (please take the time to have a look at it http://www.highpoint.edu/campusmap/  ). Johnny is enjoying a great season in his soccer career and settling in well to his life out in America with some already fantastic experiences.

There's no doubt he has worked and continuing to work  extremely hard in both his football and academics to secure the place and enjoying every minute.  We will keep an eye on his progress in the coming months. 

But for now we wish him the very best of luck with his studies and continued football journey.


Johnny 1Johnny 2

****Total Raised For Teenage Cancer Trust ****




We've raised with the help of all of our friends, family and soccer20skills.com community an AMAZING £1017.00 for the Teeange Cancer Trust (Run for Dan).  Thank you so much to each and every one of you for your support and sponsorship.  They've been a fantastic charity to support and do superb work with kids like Dan and their families during a very tough time.  Can't thank you all enough.

Anth and Claire







Mini Premier League Festival Results



Due to popular demand saw the return of the Games Night this week at soccer20skills.com  As requested see below as we've  kicked off our results tables.  This will be updated following games nights.  Well done everyone brilliant sessions.





Monday 1st session 6pm
Arsenal 15trophy 1
Everton 12
Chelsea 7
Man Utd 7
Man City 11
Liverpool 11Trophy 2

Monday 2nd session 7pm
Arsenal 5
Everton 11
Chelsea 9
Man Utd 14
Man City 13
Liverpool 8

Monday 3rd session 8pm
Arsenal 10
Everton 11
Chelsea 11
Man Utd 10
Man City 10
Liverpool 12

Trophy 4trophy 3

Thursday 1st session 6pm
Arsenal 12
Everton 8
Chelsea 15
Man Utd 8
Man City 9
Liverpool 10

Thursday 2nd session 7pm
Arsenal 11
Everton 8
Chelsea 9
Man Utd 14
Man City 9
Liverpool 9

Thursday 3rd session 8pm
Arsenal 13
Everton 12
Chelsea 8
Man Utd 14
Man City 8
Liverpool 8





William Wins In Style

William Wells from our Thursday night sessions took part in his first cross country event with teammates from Kells Lane Primary School years 3/4.

The event was orgawilliam wells 2nised by Gateshead School Sports Partnership, with schools from all over Gateshead competing on a one mile course in Whickham.

William tried really hard and probably surprised himself and his team mates by winning his race!  He is really pleased with himself and with good reason.    The Kells Lane team ran well and finished overall  an impressive second. They all really enjoyed their time there.william wells2
Recently taking part in the Junior North Run he ran 2.5 miles in an amazing 17 min 46 secs!
A massive well done to William and also to  his teammates from Kells Lane Primary School.  It's great to see you doing things you enjoy.

Welcome Aboard Mr Thompson

Soccer20skills offer a very warm welcome to the newest member of our Team. Steve Thompson will be joining us in an advisory role. Steve has valuable experience of finance, business and a great love of sport. He has advised and worked with Soccer20skills.com for a number of years. You will often see him about at our Cardinal Hume Venue. Steve is pictured first from the left at one of our Allstars sessions. Great to have you on board.



Alex Completes His Mini Great North Run

Alex from ourNew Picture Monday Sessions joined thousands of other youngsters from across the country to take part in the Mini Great North Run on Saturday September 12th 2015.  The weNew Picture (1)ather wasn't playing ball, but that didn't put young Alex off, he was raring to go whatever.

He successfully completed the run which takes the competitors from one side of the quayside passing its major landmarks and finishes at the Newcastle quayside  by crossing the Millennium Bridge.  Alex will have earned himself a fab medal and T shirt.

Well done mate from all your friends at Soccer20.  It is such a big achievement and you should be very proud of yourself.

We love the action shot taken of you out on the course .


If members would like their photographs from the GNR weekend added on to the website please send to info@soccer20skills.com

Adam Gets His England Call Up

S20 very recently caught up with Adam Byron who was one of our earliest members of                                Soccer20skills.com.    Now, at just 17 years old Adam is representing his country at the highest level in      Futsal.   We've asked Adam a few questions during his busy training schedule about him, Futsal,     Soccer20 and what playing for England has meant to him.


How old are you now and what are you up to?
I’m 17 and play for Boro Futsal 3 times a week and play/train with 11 aside twice a week.

Tell us why you went into Futsal?
The main reason I went into Futsal was because I personally felt like it suited me better and was more my game, quick touches on the ball and a lot of sharp movements makes it more exciting. Chris (Hodga) was the main reason I got introduced to Futsal when he asked me to sign for Boro and since then I've loved every minute of it.

What did it feel like been selected for England?
Being asked to trial for England was the biggest surprise for me as it was only my first season in Futsal and not knowing all of the ‘ins and outs’ of the game I had to show I was willing to try my best. My hard work paid off when I got asked to play for them, and being able to play a match wearing the England strip was an unforgettable experience, and I felt as though I had achieved something great.

By attending Soccer20skills, what did you learn and like about it?
Soccer 20 was a great experience for me also as the training was always enjoyable and I was   encouraged to express myself which I think made me a better player. I would also take a few tricks from soccer 20 and put them into my matches/games which was very helpful when coming up against another player. The coaches at soccer 20 are by far the best I have had as they always know what they were talking about and they were always there if I ever needed support or to ask any questions.

Any secret tips for our younger members?
I think my tips for any young player would just be to push themselves to the limit, have a target and try to achieve it. Notice when to take the right advice from people and encourage others and most importantly to enjoy it!


Cheers Adam

"We would like to thank Adam for his Blog and congratulate him on his achievements so far. Keep working hard mate, enjoy your    footballing journey and keep in touch. Everyone at Soccer20skills.com wishes you every success for the future".



Great North Run Weekend – What a Result

race1   And what a weekend its been for many of our members and families with the Great North Run weekend in the North East.  Anth and Claire completed the GNR with times of 2:17 and 2:07. We met some fantastic people along the way and celebrated at the end with friends and the TeenaNew Picture (2)ge Cancer Trust.  We would like to express our sincere thanks to everyone who has supported us along the way both.  We have raised over £500.00 and this is still being counted and sorted, via our sponsorship sheet, 'Just giving page', donations from Soccer20 members and teas/coffees.  We will let you know the total in the next couple of weeks.  We would also like to give a special mention to the Teenage Cancer Trust who have been a wonderful charity, their support to us as mere runners has been first class, eveNew Picture (1)n down to the massage and genuine hospitality at the end of the race.  More to follow on our Junior Great North New Picture (3)New PictureRunners........



We are doing the Great North Run next Sunday for one of our members Dan, who was diagnosed with Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

Event: Morrisons Great North Run 2015 on 13/09/2015

Team Members: Claire and Anthony Cole (Soccer20skills.com), to raise money for 'Run For Dan' & Teenage Cancer Trust and we'd really appreciate your support.

Donating to my JustGiving page is easy - just follow this link and click


JustGiving sends your donation straight to Teenage Cancer Trust so it’s a quick and safe way to donate.

Thank you and we'd love to see you supporting us on the day we'll be wearing our TCT veststct.

Claire & Anthony
S20 Team

Spencer’s Hat-trick

IMG_2093One of our younger  members will be leaving us to continue his footballing journey. Spencer Ashcroft from our Monday class has been invited to train with not 1 but all 3 of the clubs connected to S20.  A fantastic opportunity for him to be asked by Sunderland Academy, Middlesbrough Academy, Newcastle United.   Good luck Spencer from all your friends at S20 and hopefully you will come back to see us in your free time.    IMG_2092

10 ways to improve your forward runs behind the opposition

10 ways to improve your forward runs behind the opposition

WBA's new record signing, Salomon Rondon is the type of player to exploit any space in behind opposition defences. He will give WBA a real counter attack threat, because he shows the desire, pace and intelligence to make these key forward runs behind defenders.

Exploiting space and getting behind the opposition defence are one sure fire way of creating goal scoring opportunities. But, players and coaches need to work on both recognising when the opportunities present themselves in a game and how to create and exploit these situations.

10 coaching tips to improve forward runs behind the oppositions defence

Game recognition of 3 key factors 1. Space to pass and run into 2. A forward who has the desire to make a run into space 3. A pass into the space.
The forward runners need to recognise where the space is to run into. Where the ball is and if the player on the ball has their head up and looking to pass forward. How much space there is and where the defenders are.
The forward runner also needs the desire to make the run. To think about the timing of the run - player being aware of offside and the angle of the run - do they run straight or curve their run to stay onside?
Another important factor for the forward runner to think about is the cleverness of their run. For example, can they pull away from the ball and get on the blind side of a defender for a diagonal pass? Can their initial movement be short - to drag the defender to the ball and then spin in behind to exploit the space created? Do they make an angled run behind a ball watching defender?
The passer needs to also recognise where the space is. Sometimes an early ball into space pays dividends - hit the space early, turn the opposition round and let the forwards chase it down.
Other times the passer will need to get their head up and look to make a forward pass.
The connection and communication between the runner and the passer then becomes vital. A timed run and a timed pass can really exploit space behind defences.
The passer also needs to consider, not only the timing of the pass, but also the accuracy, weight and technique of the pass. For example, a fast pass along the floor or a lofted diagonal pass over defenders
Decisions on the pass, control and pass? Run with the ball to commit defenders and time a pass for the runner? Hit an early first time pass to try and catch the defence flat and square.
Game recognition - For example, if the opposition have attacked and lost the ball, they will have pushed up and left space in behind them. This transition creates great opportunities to hit them with an early timed pass and run. Counter attacks where the opposition are briefly outnumbered. Give and goes: Third man runs and gambles on running behind from flick ons, or defenders mistakes are all very important elements for players to consider.

Great article from Mike Trusson- Linkedin

What a Fantastic Result For Joe

Joe Holman does it again and eases past his FA Level 1 Coaching Badge.  Great stuff mate, hard work and commitment pays off.  Working as part of a strong coaching team within Soccer20 will only build on the development and progress of both the members and the staff.

Looking forward to working with you this season again Joe.

Soccer20 Team






Joe’s Got His Wheels

Huge congratulations to Joe Holman one of our younger coaches who has successfully  passed his driving test this week.    It is a real achievement and makes you that bit more independent.

We're all really thrilled for you.  Stay safe and cool behind the wheel.

Everyone at Soccer20skills.com



The Boys Are Back In The Town

Soccer20 members Dominic Minchella and Thomas Cole have both signed new 2 year contracts with Newcastle United Football Club Academy.  Moving next season to U15s the boys have both had a great season at U14 level.

Working extremely hard, under a great set upDom Michella Upload and being part of the day release scheme they have between them had some memorable highlights such as national tournaments, one being Tom nufcat the FA headquarters St. Georges Park, international tournaments, Neuville Tournament in France, playing at Manchester City Football Club's new impressive Ethiad Campus, beating Manchester City at Newcastle's home pitch and playing against very talented sides such as West Bromich Albion, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Leeds.

S20 wish you both all the very best for the coming season,  continue to work hard and enjoy your footballing journey.

Sessions Restart – Cardinal Hume September 2015

Sessions recommence at Cardinal Hume in September.

We hope everyone has had a fantastic Summer break.  We are looking forward to seeing you all very soon.  The team have been working hard over the Summer to develop Soocer20skills.com and are excited about the new season and things coming up for soccer20skills.com.

Dates for your diary:

Thursday 3rd September - Thursday night restarts

Monday 7th September  - Monday night restarts


See you all soon.

Update On Dan’s Progress. Meeting Jonas Gutierrez and Darren Fletcher

An update from Dan Mattison's family:
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to give you all an update on Dan's progress.
We've just finished phase 4 of his treatment. It's been a really tough phase and it's taken a lot out of him over the last couple of months. He's also suffered from side effects a bit more in this phase. A reaction between steroids and his anti-sickness drugs gave him a really nasty rash, then he suffered from really bad pains in his arms and legs as a reaction to a chemo called Vincristine. This particular treatment can irritate nerve endings and this reaction is quite common, but Dan had managed to avoid it so far.
Thankfully they have both gone now and Dan is slowly recovering and getting his energy back.
He's due to start the maintenance phase of treatment shortly. This is the last phase of treatment but also the longest. Dan will be in this phase for the next two and a half years. On the positive side, it's also the most gentle phase and everyone tells us it should be much easier than what he's had so far. This should mean he'll be able to get some normality back in terms of getting back to school and hopefully back to training.
Dan1He had a nice boost this week as he was invited to the NUFC v West Brom game. We watched the game from the press box and he met all the players, including Jonas Gutierrez who was keen to meet Dan having been through his own battle with cancer recently. Dan also had a long chat with Darren Fletcher who asked about his recovery and his football and gave him some great motivation and advice for the future (see photos).
Thanks very much for your continued support and we'll see you soon at Soccer20.
Gary, Dan, Angela & Evie Dan2

Congratulations S20 Kit Winners

winners 002

Fletcher and Monti selected a piece of new kit each after winning the latest S20 survey draw.  Both lads chose a training top and can be seen below sporting their new clothing.  Thanks to everyone who responded.  Well done lads from all the team.

You could be our next winner......

winners 001




S20 Piece Of Kit – Congratulations to Fletcher and Monti

Evening and thank you all for completing the survey.  We've had really valuable feedback from many members/parents, because of this we have decided to choose 2 winners at random instead of 1.    Fletcher and Monti have both won a piece of S20 kit.  Well done lads.


Come to the desk to pick up your prize


Many thanks to all members who have taken part .  We will be running another competition very soon.  Keep watching..........
Many Thanks

S20 Team

Newcastle United’s Latest Signing

Kain 2Kain 1

Kain Reed from the S20 Gateshead group has signed for Newcastle United's Academy at U13s.

The youngster has successfully completed a trial to be offered a contract with United.  He has been a regular for some time at both S20 and his boys club Cleveland Hall.  Kain also represents his Gateshead District side and has worked extremely hard to reach the next level of his footballing journey.  He has  caught the eye of more than one local Football Club, but has decided to sign for Newcastle United Football Club.

Kain is still a regular member at S20 which shows his enthusiasm and                 commitment to his game.

Many congratulations from all the S20 Team.  Enjoy every minute Kain.

U13s County Cup – Good Luck S20 Lads

Good luck to all our S20 lads playing in the U13s County Cup for Cleveland Hall tomorrow.  Massive achievement to get this far and represent your boys club.  Enjoy the occasion.  We will be there cheering you all on at Chester Le Street ground.  Kick off 6.15pm.

S20 Team


Chapter 16 – What makes a top player like Rooney, Giggs, and Ronaldo?

Becoming a professional footballer is the dream of most who will be reading this. At the top level there are rich rewards with big money contracts and a celebrity status.

Although opinions may vary, there are a few characteristics that are evident in all great footballers this includes technical skill, an understanding of the game, play making ability, pace, the dedication and commitment to personal improvement, the ability to make an impact, the drive and determination to make other players better, decision making, speed of play and, most importantly, the right attitude.

Players like Giggs, Beckham, Rooney and Ronaldo have these attributes in spades.

To play professional soccer players need every one of these qualities and more besides because the key to it all is training, practice and a total dedication and willingness to learn. Players should also be taught skills appropriate to their age or level; should be encouraged to be creative, should enjoy playing and have the desire to win whilst accepting defeat with good grace.



I think it is being prepared to do the extra stuff. It is having the right attitude. It is being prepared to ask for help and being prepared to put the time in. I think the top players are different if we have a group of players and there is a very good player amongst them it hits you straight away.

We had a young lad who came across here he was only 16 he had just done a warm up but he was unbelievable, his attitude and everything, We stood and watched him and Richard said what an athlete, what a mover, what a graceful mover.

What advice would you give to any player when they have made it. What do you class as made it

When you have become a regular in a first team, got your contract sorted out and your earning big money now like the top players do you can certainly look at other areas. When they do become top class players some of them loose their motivation and I think it is sometimes they sort of say I have got the money now I don’t need to fight for it. I think that is a problem now. It is back to what we were saying before it is dedication, discipline. When I was playing you had to be in the team to get decent money and to win the game to get even better money everything was on incentives. The basic wage was probably lower than it should be It is different now because some of the young players are on four and five grand a week who has never kicked the ball for the first team so I would say that is good money for doing what your doing. There is plenty of money to be earned but it is how they deal with it. Sometimes the parents can’t deal with it rather than the player. I think the parents have a massive help or hindrance towards the player.


Wesley ngo Bahang


What makes a top player
There is many top players who think how they react to success but some of the top players they just think they have made it so they take it a bit easier but some players keep being hungry they still want more and that is the difference but some top players will be on the top for a year but then go down and down.

Can you teach “fire” in your belly

Yes I think so because I know how hungry I am this year as soon as you realise the chance you have got the fact that I have got a contract I have lots of friends in football who do not even have a contract. When I realise that it makes me think how lucky I am right now so I have to take the chance otherwise someone else will take it. There are millions of footballers in the world and it is very important to me.


David Cleary


What makes a top player – I am talking about at the top level.
One of the things I mentioned when Wayne Rooney came through as a 15-16 year old to go down to Arsenal and play against Internationals and there is 30 to 40,000 people to go on you must have some strong mentality, no fear factor and take everything like that on board and still be able to play – a strong mentality without a shadow of doubt because you could be the most inspirational player but if you can’t take criticism if when you go on and things don’t go right for you on the field and you shy away and you don’t want the ball. So I think for the top those players are going to have skill, strength,power, decision making – what they do with the ball and without the ball and I think it is also mentality.

Can you teach mentality?

I think if you are in this environment (academies are a good example) then it may breed that type of mentality and with the coach you are working with but I also think it has got to be in you. You can help with it but in all sports even individual sports but to get to the top it is the mentality.

Can you teach Fire in the Belly?

You look at Rooney when he was young and even now you think he has fire in his belly. You think that of Michael Owen when a couple of times he got sent off but you look now and you say has he fire now. He always had that in him from a young lad. Gerrard when he first came through he had that bit of nastiness but you look at some other players it is a difficult one. They have it but it is how they bring it out and deal with it. I am sure they all have fire in their belly because they all want to win but how they deal with it in certain situations.


Stan and Peter

General Conversation
Praise goes a long way to make you feel good, never have too much praise. – praise somebody to much because they think they are invisible and brilliant. When praise or criticized tell them the reason why. If crisis can be show how to put it right then critics is good where as praise to a point . How to improve. Lifters and Drainers, lifters always are positive and drainers pull things down get you around the first to feel good. Praise is encouragement. Be honest with people. Thinking questions is good. You need both, if you only use the stick and not the carrot you’ll never succeed, children at such a young age respond better to praise than criticism,for example on pitch if someone is cheeky to referee take them off for a couple of minutes. Child needs constructive critics makes sense to the child, teachers are taught to find something good to say about children. That’s why in school reports you start off with the positive comments then the improvement required next. Some parents, coaches and teachers can be really critical at times and they have remembered that there are just children.
Praise, when they deserve it, but your standards have to be high from the starting point some children get praised for things to easily. Everybody needs praise, Thomas that’s a brilliant turn”, now “BUT” how can we bring that into the game. Because they have to take it to the next level, brilliant .but can you now score? criticism is always “I’m disappointed because” “are you disappointed” and good one is to ask their teams mate what mark would they give there mate in the game out of 10,because when you get in the first team that’s what happens they finger gets pointed (you have to challenge people all the time to do better,plan it! It’s all about your voice. Look Adam Johnson at Middlesborough when he try’s it on the pitch it with skills but doesn’t looks ordinary. Love the word “but” so small but so powerful in speech- “your good at this BUT you’re not very good at this, people always remember what comes after BUT not before it.

What makes a Top Player? - Rooney, Giggs, Ronaldo.
Are you only successful if you are playing at a top level? Or is it longevity and making it in football/making it as a career? What makes a player? Any experience yourself

Getting the edge. Attitude, work rate, you get out what you put in. Making the correct decisions at the right times. Never be big headed but as long as you know deep down that you’re better than them you won’t go far wrong. Feet on the ground, never stop believe you’re the best. If in any doubt play the famous track by Tina Turner.” simply the best”. Remember if you don’t ask questions ,you don’t get answers, same in football if you don’t ask your opposing player questions you won’t know the answer ” can I get past him” You only see what you’re looking for in the game. Explaining the 1-10,000 rule- out of every apprentice who gets signed for club say that number is 15 only 1 pro will come out of that and we are saying that with every 10,000 pros 1 world top player will come out of that so that’s approximately 150,000 young professionals, so reality tells you that, that your child has to be extremely lucky if signs a pro contract to make it.
Can you teach fire in your belly-? Any experience yourself.

1st touch and what is a good first touch. - get yourself with a good coach first before a good team; the club is as only as good as there weakest coach. Coaches don’t often get it wrong. Fire in belly- when things are going wrong at times it by 100 and say right I want it. Keep taken the knocks. Not give in (.keep your eye on your goal.) Smile on face, use both feet. Having that competitive edge, needed to reach the pinnacle. Hard to do it on your own needs evoking. Determination, natural comes with age and maturity,you has to have that want to create fire in the first place...you can inspire children and after that take chances themselves.  You can’t teach fire in your belly all we can do is try things to bring it out if it’s there. They love to say to young kids playing that there really excited to watch you play tomorrow and has an effect on the child and more times than enough the child delivers. To make it as a player you need the four corners.
When you’ve made it what advice do you give? Any experience yourself.
It can hinder complacency, aim higher and harder. (Don’t give advice unless it’s asked for) because be
careful its sounds you like you’re lecturing, kids feel as though there been lectured to, if they ask for it
Give it; kids up to the age of 10 should be given advice. Remember what made you good in the first place and never forget that and work even harder at that. Stay level headed, remember that allot of people want that opportunity.
Keep your feet on the ground..............


Craig Liddle

What makes a top player?

I think a whole host of things. Dedication. Skill. Pace. Believe. I don’t think there is one single word that could sum it up. There are that many factors and if you get 9 out of 10 in all these factors then you are a top player. I think it is about trying to get as close to the top as you can. If you get marks out of 10 try to get as many 9s as you can.


Alan Thompson

You’re talking about parents who think their kid is an absolute superstar, he plays for England, had 600 appearances, had a great career and could retire at 35. You need to keep on working.

I could have done but unfortunately I have a wife and three kids. I enjoy what I do but there is no way that it is the be all and end all. I think for kids to get an education, stay at school, do college work when they are school. I know the kids here do three days a week, which I think is vital. Anything that they can do away from that, they get spare time. It is unbelievable the amount of spare time you get, I would encourage people to go and get as many qualifications doing whatever they can, when they can.

What makes a top player – your Rooney, Giggs, Ronaldo?

Talent. Dedication. Luck. Discipline. Everything. They are lucky, they are born with that natural athleticism, the power, the speed, the agility. The top players you are talking about nowadays, they’ve got everything, your Messi’s,your Xavi's they are not giants but they are small, sharp, dynamic. They are blessed to have all of those movements.

How do they get that?

I would guess that a lot of it is genetic. I would guest 75%/80% is genetic and then probably the rest of it, 10%/15%/20% is probably worked on in the gym to get them to their maximum levels of whatever they want to get to.


Chapter 15 – Warming Up,Cooling Down and Injuries

Every sport has injuries that are typical for the movement and action involved and for any footballer- amateur or professional- the fear of injury is the biggest of all.

The vast majority of injuries in football are minor to mild and, not surprisingly, mostly concern the legs. They involve muscle contusions (bruises) and joint sprains of players. Fortunately, severe injuries are very rare, but sometimes a player does sustain an injury which will put him out of the game.

• Having suffered a string of serious injuries throughout his career, Ronaldo retired on 14 February 2011, citing pain and hypothyroidism as the reasons for his premature retirement.

• During a match at Old Trafford in April 1996, the Coventry defender David Busst collided with Manchester United defender Denis Irwin. As a result, Busst received a compound fracture of his tibia and fibula and could never play professionally again.

• After just 4 minutes of a premier league game, Belgian striker Luc Nilis suffered a double fracture of his knee when colliding with Ipswich Town goalkeeper Richard Wright, in September 2000. Due to the severe injury, he had to retire from soccer.

While some injuries are the result of accident, many come about due to lack of warming up or cooling down exercises – both of which are a vital part of any training programme or game plan and are of paramount importance in producing and maintaining high performance levels.

The warm-up takes place before training or a game to allow players to gradually adapt and prepare themselves both physically and mentally for exercise. It's aims are to increase performance levels and decrease the risk of injury.

As well as getting ready for exercise players must be prepared to finish so need to cooling down (warmi-down) immediately after. Players using a cool-down period may be in better shape for the next game or training session than those who simply return to the dressing room.

Let’s see what our experts have to say..........................



Injuries are a part of a footballer’s life and my injuries were just one of those things, but they took me out of the game, all because I had not warmed up properly. I received two injuries which I still have problems with; one was a shoulder injury and the other was the pubis bone.



Cooling down and warming up are very important in football. It doesn’t matter what age, it is important to stretch – it is part of cool down and the training and helps reduce injuries too. I am lucky, I have had no major injuries to date.

Chapter 14 – Is it about luck or making your own chances?

There’s no such thing as luck according to Clare Balding who said “I have never heard Serena Williams describe herself as lucky.”

So, what role, if any, does luck play in our successes and failures? Some games, like roulette and the lottery, are pure luck. Others, like chess, exist at the other end of the spectrum, relying almost wholly on the skill of the players. But in every other domain skill and luck seem almost hopelessly entangled.

In fact, luck is a word rarely used in sport because professional athletes know that good fortune can only get you so far. They may be lucky to enjoy their careers, but they are usually only lucky because they’ve worked hard and have earned respect in their field.

Our experts have their own views on luck. Here’s what they have to say.



I think to be a professional you need to be in the right place at the right time. You need to impress the right Manager at the right time and there is an element of luck involved in that

So, I think you do need quite a bit of luck. We’ve got a lad in now from non-league and he just said that the Manager had watched him for the last five or six games when the Manager watching the game probably went to watch someone else. This kid took his eye and now he is in full time, he signed him. Right place and right time.



Luck doesn’t come to you create it. It’s whether you identify the opportunity and take it when it comes along.. If you change nothing, nothing changes, you have to make the change to make the luck. For example, networking can create luck by talking to the right people. Everybody has something to offer and it’s often not what you know but who you talk to”).

It’s commonly said that “God helps those who help themselves,” so, if you strive to do well good luck comes your way. However, be prepared to fail because sometimes the lucky ones are the risk takers too!


I think you have got to have a bit of luck to make it and there is a saying “the more I work the luckier I get” which so it is basically saying that the amount of work and dedication you put in makes what I get back even better. It is a good saying.



I think I am lucky and unlucky because I am still doing a massive apprenticeship and I am still in the same place. I think I have got a lot to offer but haven’t had the chance to work elsewhere and this has been a bit of a disappointment. I enjoy doing this job and I know I am good at it.

CHAPTER 13 – Diet – food – lifestyle – does it make a difference

The link between good health and good nutrition is well established, indeed interest in nutrition and its impact on sporting performance is now a science in itself.

Everyone agrees that nothing is more important to your well-being and ability to perform than good nutrition. Eating the right foods helps you maintain a desirable body weight, stay physically fit, and establish optimum nerve-muscle reflexes. Without the right foods, even physical conditioning and expert coaching aren't enough to push you to your best. Good nutrition must be a key part of your training program if you are to succeed. According to

Sport and Exercise Physiologist, Michael Hughes, diet can be extremely important in terms of success in sport. He says “For sports where high levels of strength are required then the diet must provide sufficient nutrients for the body to build the muscle that is required for good strength performance. In terms of endurance performance there need to be high levels of stored energy. This is normally helped by a diet that is relatively high in carbohydrates.”

Here’s 8 tips to a healthy diet (courtesy of NHS Choices)
1. Base your meals on starchy foods - try to include at least one starchy food with each main meal.
2. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables - it’s recommended that we eat at least five portions of different types of fruit and veg a day.
3. Eat more fish - fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least two portions a week.
4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar - choose foods that contain unsaturated rather than saturated fats and cut down on fizzy drinks, alcohol, cakes, biscuits and pastries, which contain added sugars.
5. Eat less salt - about three-quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy so use food labels to help you cut down.
6. Get active and be a healthy weight - being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke.
7. Don't get thirsty - we need to drink about 1.2 litres of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated.
8. Don’t skip breakfast- a healthy breakfast is an important part of a balanced diet,

Let’s see what our experts have to say about the importance of diet......


What you eat all helps you prepare for the game and I think it is important at a younger age to advise them to look at what they are eating but you can’t stop what is happening at home. However, if you have a 7-year-old having an occasional pizza or burger he will burn it off at school running around the playground, so it can be allowed in moderation; at 12 and above they should be starting to take a little more responsibility for their diet.


Food is a major factor and metabolism is big factor. I know that Simon who has gone from the Academy into the first team, was always telling the lads what they should be eating and what they shouldn’t be eating. The problem goes back to too many people sitting around watching television or playing on Ipods, computers and eating junk food. We do educate them in what to eat.


It’s obvious that the FA being sponsored by McDonalds was a big thing when it first came about but when you speak to people about nutrition and foods and diet they say that about 5 years ago, there is a big problem with children and obesity but it’s not so bad now because there are adverts on TV, about 5 a day. this is helping to re-educate the players at clubs, the coaches and the parents and that’s a good thing.

The coach can tell the players what they should be eating, not just before and after a game, but leading up to it too. Giving that information to parents will also help but you can’t tell me that if someone has a burger once a week that they are going to be obese if they are eating healthily in between. The problem is if they are eating fast food day in and day out it’s the fast foods or it’s the quick foods. Moderation is what’s needed and that is what I think as coaches and parents we need to be aware of.


Diet is important but for the very young who are not training very hard every day, the odd pizza or kebab will not hurt, but at 12-13 when you start playing harder games and doing more training you need to be more aware of what’s good for you. When you become a professional footballer you need to follow a healthy diet. For example. on match days I have custard and chicken - it’s as simple as that - I also try to get as many vitamins as I can get. It was hard at the beginning, living on my own, but I can always get some food to take away from training. I do not drink at all.


Over the years it’s becoming more and more important. Again it comes down to single mindedness. You are trying to get an edge on your rival. If eating the right food and drinking the right drinks is going to give you that edge you know you have to do it. Everybody likes their junk food, you can’t be perfect every single day of the week, as much as you can you have to re-fuel your body.


I’m not so sure how much difference food and diet makes to an 8 year old, but certainly when they start training seriously at 12/13 year old, they have to start living like footballers and that includes diet and everything that goes with it – it’s vital.

S20 Easter Holiday Closure Dates – Cardinal Hume School

Soccer20skills.com will be closed during the following dates for Easter Holidays.  This is in line with school holidays:

Monday 6th and 13th April 2015

Thursday 9th and 16th April 2015

We will reopen week commencing Monday 20th April 2015


Great North Run For Dan

Update on Dan Mattison
Just a quick update to let you know that Dan is doing really well at the moment......his energy levels are good, we've been out for lots of walks and he's desperate to start running, but we know we need to build up slowly....He's also been getting back to school for a few hours on Wednesdays which he's really enjoyed..... (still getting his tutors coming to the house 3 times a week though)
We've got 2 weeks left of phase 3 before we move into phase 4 (8 Weeks). This phase is more intensive so we know he'll take a bit of a dip, but this is the last tough part of treatment before he gets into the final maintenance phase. I'll let you know how this phase goes
Gary- Dans Dad
Looking forward doing the Great North Run For Dan and the Teenager Cancer Trust
If you want to support us please get in touch at info@soccer20skills.com
Teenager Cancer Trust Logo

Academic Rationale

Academic Rationale

Athlete Centred/Humanistic Coaching
Athlete centred and humanistic coaching are terms that will be used interchangeably. They both refer to the total development of the individual (Lombardo, 2001). Humanism, based on Maslow’s (1962) self actualisation theory and Rogers’ (1969) work, focuses on the whole person (the athletes) and encourages athletes to reflect on the subjective, thrilling experience of sport (Lombardo, 2001). Sport can enhance personal development and self-understanding, as well as providing experience, which helps to develop human character that so many adults stress, but not many practice in the sporting context.

The coach–athlete relationship is found to be particularly crucial in terms of creating a positive outcome for the athlete (Duffy, 2008; Jowett & Cockerill, 2002; Lyle, 1999). Numerous studies have investigated how the leadership behaviours of coaches can affect athletes’ satisfaction, performances, self-esteem, confidence, and anxiety (Chelladurai, 1990; Jowett & Cockerill, 2002; Jowett & Ntoumanis, 2004; Olympou, et al 2008). Other studies that have investigated relationship issues claim that effective relationships include basic ingredients such as empathic understanding, honesty, support, liking, acceptance, responsiveness, friendliness, cooperation, caring, respect, and positive regard (Jowett & Cockerill, 2003).
While adopting this model, care should be taken when interpreting closeness, as this could be viewed as coaches and athletes being close (united) or distant (divided) (Jowett & Poczwardowski 2007)

Using this approach can provide coaches with some problems as they need to have some information on what the athlete already understands about the sport/game to set practices that are challenging for the players, but at the same time aren’t too easy or hard (Dodds et al., 2001; Rovegno, 1999). This can be either direct experience (playing) or experience as a spectator (Kirk, Brooker, & Braiuka, 2000). So if a coach is working with players that are new to him/her, then they may need 3-4 sessions first to get to know their players and abilitys.

Although evidence suggests that the athlete–coach relationship is instrumental in an athlete’s development, there is also evidence to suggest that it can become a source of stress and distraction, especially for the athlete. A study by Gould, Guinan, Greenleaf, Medbery, and Peterson (1999) revealed that athletes’ preparation leading up to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta was affected by issues such as lack of trust, support, communication, and respect among coaches and athletes who operated at the highest level of sport.

The coach athlete relationship can be affected at different points within an athlete’s season, which need to be taken into consideration. Situational factors such as these found in (Olympiou et al 2007) found that in pre, mid, post-season athletes time altered significantly in the amount of time, which they trained. This potentially could alter the strength of the coach athlete relationship and the motivational climate. They also reported that the relationship between coach and athlete could be affected (plateau/decline) by the coach feeling that they have taken their athlete as far as the can go, athlete is coming to the end of their career, injuries, decrease in performances or burnout.

TGFU Approach
The ability to use the TGfU and Game Sense approach requires considerable
pedagogical skill (Light & Georgakis, 2005) but it also requires those using this approach to have a broad perspective and deep understanding of the games, as well as the ability to develop and ask appropriate questions at the appropriate learning moment. Teachers of this approach also need the ability to determine and select appropriate game forms to develop game understanding and the selection of modified games, which reflect upon the actual game itself (Chandler, 1996, Light & Georgakis, 2005, Howarth, 2005, Turner, 2005).

Thorpe and Bunker (1989) developed TGfU as a means to enable students to learn in a more motivating environment than was occurring in Physical Education. TGFU are games or game like activities, which help the athletes learn within an authentic context. The games are modified to reduce the skill demands of the game, which will engage the athletes cognitively. The games start off simply so the players can get a basic game appreciation and tactical awareness. The games then become more complex as the players understanding become clearer. This approach helps shape the learning through questioning and athlete demonstrations. The coach may ask groups of players who are performing well to demonstrate to the rest of the group.

Although football is an invasion game the coach has little input to make decisions during the game, so players must be able to make their own decisions without the help of their coach (Light 2006). Coaches who need to shout instructions from the sidelines to the players have not empowered their athletes to be independent decision makers (Mitchell et al 1997). TGFU has many benefits and one of them is improving decision making in individuals, but it is not without its challenges. Coaches sometimes feel as though they are disempowered as there athletes are encouraged to solve their own problems as they take a step back. They can sometimes feel as though struggle with getting the balance wright between tactical and technical and when to step in (Cushion et al 2003).

Coaches using this approach are sometimes put off by observers (parents, fellow coaches) as it does not look as good as technical coaching where players are formed into nice line drills, and told to run on imaginary lines but does not necessarily lead to better game performance (Light & Fawns 2001). TGFU can sometimes look chaotic and has been shown to take longer than technical approaches to get results. A lot of this will depend on what level the coach is at, because elite level coaches are under immense pressure to get results so this may discourage them from adopting this kind of approach. Roberts (2009) found that using a TGFU approach required and that more support was required in understanding and the application of the TGFU approach from the NGB.

Thomas (1994) suggested that effective decision-making must be learned in high strategy sports. So athletes are encouraged to participate in small-sided games to encourage decision-making. Rink et al (1996) suggests that tactical awareness will be developed automatically as a result of playing the game. However sport differs from individual sports to team sports where tactics can be more complex and decision-making cannot ultimately be made by simply just playing the game and instead these should be taught or based in previous exoperiences (Thomas 1994).

Questioning is a key strategy used by coaches to promote tactical understanding and decision-making (Wright & Forrest 2007). Here the coach faces a challenge in being able to determine their athlete’s proximal zone in terms of development and to be able to coach them within or just above these zones to challenge the development of their athletes and be able to support them when they are beyond their capabilities (Jowett et al 1995).

The role of a coach using the TGFU approach requires the coach to intervene with good decisive questions, without giving the athletes the answers, and interrupting the flow of the game too much as the game is the teacher. Many grass roots coaches may find this difficult as it requires a vast in depth knowledge of the game and accurate observation of the game which many coaches at this level might find problematic and difficult (Roberts 2009). Howarth (2005) found that these skills are more likely to be adopted by elite coaches, but even some elite level coaches found it difficult using good decisive questions.

In Vickers (2001) she talks about the importance of decision training (DT). Decision training is trying to steer our athletes into independent thinking which is required in a competitive environment. Athletes are trained to be more self –reflective, self-reliant and to make their own decisions, which is required to produce great performances. Research suggests that applying continuous DT to your coaching sessions will have a positive effect on the athlete performance, coaching environment and also engages the athletes more into your sessions. Before you embark on DT, parents/guardians should be informed of your new approach and why it is important for the athletes. Parents are often used to seeing their son/daughters coach providing them with lots of information by the way of demonstrations, feedback and positive encouragement. With this new approach you are encouraging your athletes to solve problems independently and as part of a group with a reduced amount of information provided. So by informing parents/guardians beforehand of this approach you are less likely to encounter any problems. The ultimate goal of this process is to enhance the athlete’s decision making under stressful conditions those similar to competitive matches.

Critique of Current Coach Education
Coaching qualifications are common practice in the UK and they now contain more information than ever, covering technical, tactical, physical, social, and mental aspects (Abraham & Collins 1998). Jones (2000) stated that current coach education courses do not develop creative thinking skills in terms of making and problem solving. Some coaches arrive for courses with vast experience and may not fully agree with the content of the course. However with the power of the educator and the need of certification many will not question the content of the course (Zeichner & Tabaachnick, 1981). If practices can be made better or the need arises for change then people’s opinions should be taken into account even if it disagrees with the content of the course. Kirk (1988) also states by opening up our professional practices to scrutiny then we can turn it into an area of contestation, so we can address issues and problems practically and specifically.


Abraham A & Collins D. (1998). Examining and extending research in coach development. Quest, 50, pp59-79.

Becker A.J (2009). Its not what they do, its how they do it; Athletes experiences of great coaching, International Journal of Sport Science and Coaching 4 (1) pp 92-119.

Becker, A.J. and Wrisberg, C.A (2008). Effective Coaching in Action: Observations of Legendary Collegiate Basketball Coach Pat Summitt, The Sport Psychologist,22, pp197-211.

Cote J. Salmela J. H. and Russell S (1995). The Knowledge of High-Performance Gymnastic Coaches: Methodological Framework, The Sport Psychologist, 9 (1), pp65-75.

Cote, J. Salmela J. H., Trudel, P. Baria, A. and Russell S (1995). The Coaching Model: A Grounded Assessment of Expert Gymnastic Coaches’ Knowledge, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 17, pp1-17.

Cote J. and Sedgwick W. A, (2003). Effective Behaviors of Expert Rowing Coaches: A Qualitative Investigation of Canadian Athletes And Coaches, International Sports Journal, 7 (1), pp 62-78

Coté, J., Yardley, J., Hay, J., Sedgwick, W. and Baker, J (1999).An Exploratory Examination of the Coaching Behavior Scale for Sport, Avante, 5, 89-92.

Cushion C.J, Armour K.M & Jones R.L (2003). Coach Education and Continuing Professional Development: Experience and Learning to Coach, Quest, 55 (3), pp 215-235.

Gilbert W.D. and Trudel P (2000). Validation of the Coaching Model (CM) in a Team Sport Context, International Sports Journal, 4 (2), pp120-128.

Jowett, S. (2003). When the honeymoon is over: A case study of a coach-athlete dyad in crisis. The Sport Psychologist, 17, pp444-460.

Jowett, S. (2005a). The coach-athlete partnership. The Psychologist, 18, pp412-415.

Jowett, S. (2008). Moderators and mediators of the association between the coach-athlete relationship and physical self-concept. International Journal of Coaching Science, 2, pp43–62.

Jowett, S., & Chaundy, V. (2004). An investigation into the impact of coach leadership and coach-athlete relationship on group cohesion. Group Dynamics: Theory. Research and Practice, 8, pp302–311.

Jowett, S & Ntoumanis, N (2004). The Coach-Athlete Relationship Questionnaire
(CART – Q): Development and initial validation. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine& Science in Sports, 14, pp245–257.

Kirk, D. (1992). Physical education, discourse and ideology: Bringing the hidden curriculum into view. Quest, 44, pp35-56.

Kirk, D. and MacPhail, A. (2002) Teaching games for understanding and situated
learning: rethinking the Bunker-Thorpe model. Journal of Teaching in Physical
Education, 21(2), pp177-192.

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Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 9 (2) pp 115-131.

Lombardo, B. J. (1999). ‘Coaching in the 21st Century: Issues, Concerns and Solutions,’ Sociology of Sport On-Line, 2(1).

Potrac, P, Jones, R. L, & Cushion, C. J. (2007). Understanding power and the coach’s role in professional English soccer: A preliminary investigation of coach behaviour. Soccer and Society, 8, pp33-49.

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‘washed out’ by school experience? Journal of Teacher Education, 32, pp7-11.

Alan Evans- S20 Coach

Coaching Review

Coaching Review


An attempt will be made in this essay to produce a coaching review that links theory to practice. The literature will be based upon four of the ‘how to’ skills, how to make it fun, how to demonstrate, how to give feedback and how to question. The above ‘how to’ skills have been in the coaching domain for a long time, but coaching is taking a more scientific look at how we coach are athletes now. Many of the things we used to do in coaching 10-20 years ago are fast becoming a thing of the past. There have been many changes to the ‘how to’ skills over the past few years. This essay will use up to date research to show how these skills are changing the way that we coach our athletes.

How to make it fun

Weinberg et al (2000) states that the main reason children participate in sport are to have fun. Athletes are more likely to stick at a sport if the session is fun. For children of a young age (7-12 years old) this is vital. If the sessions aren’t made fun then there is a strong link that youngsters will withdraw form this sport altogether. Cote & Hay (2002) produced a model of ‘deliberate play’ and ‘deliberate practice’ to show how the child’s experience of fun changes throughout their involvement in sport. Deliberate practice is designed to improve a player’s performance thus requiring effort and hard work and is generally not enjoyable. However deliberate play is designed to make the activities fun and enjoyable. From the evidence gathered we could conclude that children between 7-12 years of age should be involved in lots of deliberate play, to keep the sessions fun and interesting. Deliberate practice should be kept to a minimum at this age. Only when children from 13-16 years of age do we increase the deliberate practice to the same as deliberate play.

There are other factors, which can make sport fun such as a player’s perception that they have performed well Wankel & Sefton (1989), making sure everyone is involved in the session Harris (1984) and providing good positive feedback to the athletes during the session Mandigo & Couture (1996). McCarthy et al (2008) decided to examine the developmental progression of enjoyment among youth sport participants. They found that children over 11 years of age experienced a greater enjoyment compared to those less than 11 years of age. This is thought to be because they have a more mature understanding of competition, self-evaluate their performance and they respond differently to success and failure Passer & Wilson (2002).

I feel that most of my sessions are based around fun as a lot of it is based around deliberate play. Children can learn without them even knowing whilst playing fun games such as Robin Hood, Mr. Wolf, and Spiderman, see appendix 1.
These Games are focusing on the fundamentals in football, dribbling, running with the ball, changing direction and visual awareness all without the players even thinking about it. During my sessions with my under 8’s we still have fun, but I have introduced competition (1v1, 2v2 and team games). Children love good healthy competition and it provides the players with that competitive environment which they will experience during matches. The emphasis is not on winning but the players do have to learn to win and loose, as this is what they are going to experience during their footballing life.

Making sport fun can also have an impact on adult life to. Many individuals will carry on with their sport well into their adult life cutting the risk of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, type ll diabetes, certain types of cancers and the increased risk of a stroke. This will also have a big impact on the NHS as adult inactivity in England costs the NHS an estimated £8.3 billion annually (Parrot & Godfrey 2004). So by keeping the emphasis on making sport fun hopefully we can protect our future generation from the increased risk of leading a sedentary lifestyle.

How to Demonstrate

For many years in coaching demonstrations are a must. This is how our athletes learn by observing a skill or practice that we want them to reproduce (Hodges & Franks 2002). Good quality demonstrations are produced at all levels of the game. “A picture paints a thousand words” is an adage, which has been used to show the efficiency at which demonstrations are used for their actions (Horn et al 2007). With this being the most common method used for our athletes to learn, certain questions need to be asked, such as, who provides the demo athlete or the coach. If we use a various range of people (athletes & coaches) to provide demonstrations then this gives our athletes the chance to see the variations in which a technique or skill is used (Weeks & Anderson 2000). If we asked Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo arguably two of the best football players in the world to demonstrate a Cryuff turn there would inevitably be slight differences. Both turns would be of the highest quality but with the slightest differences, which may suit one player over another. Individuals would be advised to try both turns to see which works best for them.

During my coaching sessions I always provide demonstrations for my under 8”s football team. Reading the literature surrounding this area maybe I am providing them with too much information, instead of letting them try to solve the problems for themselves. A lot of this depends on the age and the ability of the players. Younger players (5-7 years of age) will require more visual demonstrations as well as children of a lesser ability. The author firmly believes in demonstrations as a way conveying information to his athletes but understands that sometimes a verbal instruction may be more effective. Athletes can become to reliant on their coaches for the information effecting their long term learning skills, so if we can introduce question & answering and guided discovery way of coaching at a early stage then this can only be of benefit.
How to give Feedback

For many years in coaching it has been the way that coaches must give as much feedback as possible before, during and after their session to help the athletes learn, improve and reduce errors. Coaches who did this were seeing immediate results in their athlete’s performances that received constant feedback Thorndike (1932). More recent studies have found this not to be the case. Vickers et al (1999) found that this approach failed to test the long-term performance of the athlete. Instead they proposed that feedback was reduced to a minimum and athletes asked to answer and solve problems themselves during the sessions. Their findings proved to be more effective for an athlete’s long-
term learning than those previously thought. Athletes now had to use their own thought processes to solve problems during the sessions instead of relying on their coach to give them the information.

As coaches it is imperative that we know when and how information should be provided to our athletes to optimize their learning. This will depend on the athlete’s age, ability and the complexity of the skill. Wulf et al (1998) found that when a complex skill is introduced then more feedback will be needed to improve their performance. Once the players skill is improving them the amount of feedback should be reduced to encourage the athlete to correct their own mistakes. As the athletes skill improves then we need to increase the precision of the feedback to help master more difficult skills. Feedback as a whole will still decrease to maintain the athletes input on solving problems, Magill & Wood (1986). Using bandwidth feedback will help to do this as you intentionally leave your athletes to solve their own until their performance reaches an acceptable goal set by you. For this to be at its most effective then you should inform your athletes in advance that when there is no feedback then they have reached the level of performance you are looking for. This will promote self-reliance and reduce the athlete’s dependency on the coach Vickers (2003).

Feedback is a must in my sessions. At the end of session I always recap by asking the athletes questions to see if they remembered what we were trying to achieve in the session and to see if they fully understand why. I always use question and answer for the feedback, trying to make the emphasis on my athletes answering the questions and asking them what they thought went well and what changes could have been made to adapt or improve the session.

How to Question

Questioning is a technique that is used by the coach to encourage active learning from our athlete’s Chambers & Vickers (2006). This also probes the athlete’s understanding of the skill, drill or practice you are delivering. Questioning also gives the coach communication with his/her athletes and can strike a coach-athlete relationship to help improve the athlete’s long-term development. As coaches we are striving to produce self-reliant athletes who can make decisions on their own Vickers (2001).


In Vickers (2001) she talks about the importance of decision training (DT). Decision training is trying to steer our athletes into independent thinking which is required in a competitive environment. Athletes are trained to be more self –reflective, self-reliant and to make their own decisions, which is required to
produce great performances. Research suggests that applying continuous DT to your coaching sessions will have a positive effect on the athlete performance, coaching environment and also engages the athletes more into your sessions. Before you embark on DT, parents/guardians should be informed of your new approach and why it is important for the athletes. Parents are often used to seeing their son/daughters coach providing them with lots of information by the way of demonstrations, feedback and positive encouragement. With this new approach you are encouraging your athletes to solve problems independently and as part of a group with a reduced amount of information provided. So by
Informing parents/guardians beforehand of this approach you are less likely to encounter any problems. The ultimate goal of this process is to enhance the athlete’s decision making under stressful conditions those similar to competitive matches.


From the evidence gathered we can conclude that there is a major shift in the way used to coach our athletes to the way we coach them now. Old school coaches have not had the academic upbringing that the present coaches have had. Coaching is becoming more of a science especially at the elite level as most professional clubs have sports scientists, psychologists, strength & conditioning coaches etc. as part of their back room staff. Coaches should now try to embrace the culture change that is happening and try to apply these methods to their practices. We have always been taught that more is better (more demonstrations, more feedback) but now we are finding this is not the case, and also this can have a detrimental effect on the long term cognitive learning of our athletes. Athletes need to be more involved with demonstrations, and as coaches we need change our style from a command style to a more question and answer or guided discovery way to get our athletes thinking and problem solving for themselves.

Bengoechea, E.G, Strean, W.B, & Williams, D.J. (2004) ‘Understanding and promoting fun in youth sport: coaches’ perspectives’, Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 9 (2) pp197-214.

Chambers, K.L, Vickers, J.N. (2006) ‘Effects of bandwidth feedback and questioning on the performance of competitive swimmers’, The Sport Psychologist, 20, pp 184-197.

Goodwin, J.E, & Meeuwsen, H.J. (2006) ‘Using bandwidth feedback of results to alter Relative frequencies during motor skill acquisition’, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 66, pp99-104.

Horn, R.R, Williams, M.A, Hayes, S.J, Hodges, N.J & Scott, M.A. ‘Demonstration as a rate enhancer to changes in coordination during early skill acquisition’, Journal of Sports Sciences, 25 (5), pp599-614.

McCarthy, P.J, Jones, M.V,& Carter, D.C. (2008) ‘Understanding enjoyment in youth sport: a developmental perspective’, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 9, pp142-156.

Parrott, S. Godfrey, C. (2004) ‘Economics of smoking cessation’, British Medical Journal, 9, pp328-947

Vickers, J.N. (2003) ‘Decision training: an innovative approach to coaching’, Canadian Journal for Women in Coaching, 3 (3), pp1496-1539.

Weinberg, R, Tenenbaum, G, McKenzie, A, Jackson, S, Anshel, M, Grove, R & Fogarty, G. (2000) ‘Motivation for youth participation in sport and physical activity: relationships to culture, self-reported activity levels, and gender’, International Journal of Sport Psychology, 31, pp321-346

Alan Evans- S20 Coach

Motivational Climate

Motivational Climate

Motivational climate is the psychological environment that the coach creates by designing sessions which provide instructions and feedback that will help to motivate the athletes in training and competition (Amnes 1992). This has been shown to have a positive impact on the intrinsic interest, enjoyment and the on-going participation in the sport by the athlete (Alvarez et al 2012).
Many young children participate in sport whether it is recreational or competitive, which is generally under the supervision of the coach/coaches. Coaches will vary from qualifications; personality and leadership but all of these will play a major impact on athlete’s physical, psychological welfare and motivation (Mageau & Vallerand 2003). Athletes coaches have also been shown to influence involvement, enjoyment, withdrawal, perceived competence, skills and self-esteem (Smith & Smoll 1990). These are all part of the coach-athlete relationship in which coaches’ and athletes’ feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are interconnected (Jowett, 2007).
Motivational climate can be split into two different forms, task involved climate or mastery involved and ego-involved climate or performance environment. Theory proposes that athletes who endorse task goals will be more resilient and confident because they do not primarily need to be better than others to feel good about themselves and also the coach will praise their effort, treat all athletes in the same way and reward task mastery and individual performance (Vazou 2005). Additionally, Theeboom et al (1995) indicated that by creating mastery climate the coach would see a faster learning progression and more enjoyment from their athletes. In this climate the athletes will be encouraged to challenge themselves by taking on tough challenges, encourage their teammates, demonstrate personnel improvement. Mistakes in this climate would be used as a source of feedback to help the athlete learn from their mistake and improve (Amnes 1992). Here each individual will also feel that they have a part to play within the team (Alvarez et al 2012). Also in a high task-involving environment athletes will also be more self-determined, have higher subject vitality and are more likely to continue being active (Balaguer et al 2011).
In contrast an ego-involved motivational climate is closely related to achievement pattern and more negative cognitive and emotional responses (Duda & Balaguer 2007). Athletes have limited opportunities for decision-making and the coach/teacher is the primary authority of the context (Amnes 1992) and the athlete is less intrinsically motivated and more interested in showing their ability/superiority in the group. The individual recognition here is limited to only the few best players (Seifriz, Duda, & Chi, 1992). Here the athletes are encouraged to try and out perform one another and they realize that they will be punished for their mistakes. Creating this type of climate promotes social comparison within the group for success judgments and the coach tends to spend more time with the athletes who are deemed more competent and being instrumental within the teams success of winning (Duda & Ntoumanis 2005).
There is strong evidence to support that an ego-involving motivational climate will induce anxiety in young athletes. This is due to the athletes being penalized for making mistakes (Vazou et al 2005). Anxiety is also likely to be experienced by the athlete in this climate as the main focus is on their ability and gaining public recognition for that (Amnes 1992). In this form of motivational climate you are more likely to see dysfunctional attributions and other negative outcomes like increased anxiety, drop out, peer conflict and lower moral functioning within certain members of the group, like athletes with low self-esteem, people who fear of failure (Dweck 1999). In a strong ego-involving climate the stronger players will enjoy greater autonomy, freedom and responsibility in the game (Alvarez et al 2012).
Other behavioral effects created by a ego-involved climate are sportsmanship, sports morality and aggression. Athletes a more likely to act in a unsportsmanlike manner when the main emphasis is on comparing your ability to others (Treasure 2001). Here athletes will use any means necessary to demonstrate high ability, which is linked to athletes low levels of moral functioning (Anderman et al 1998). They will also have little respect for the rules of the game, officials and social conventions (Miller et al 2004). Ommundsen et al (2003) found that Norwegian male football players were more likely to cheat, bend the rules and be aggressive to opponents in a performance environment. Boixados et al (2004) found that in adolescent male football players thought that rough play and cheating are acceptable in the context of football in a ego-involved climate.
These two forms of motivational climate co-exist together during sessions, which means that the session is never just a task or ego it is a combination of the two to some extend (Vazou et al 2005).
When working with young athletes coaches need to be very careful which motivational climate they create during their sessions as this can have catastrophic effects on the athlete. By creating a task-involved climate the athletes are more likely to continue playing sport through their lives. Sporting commitment is the desire and determination to continue to participate in sport (Scanlan et al 1993). This is closely related to individual and social factors such as enjoyment, social constraints to continue participation and social support (Carpenter 1995). Enjoyment has been identified as the key component in why young children participate in sport, which is closely related to task-involved climate (Newton & Duda 1999). Here there is no pressure for the athletes to outperform others in the session.

It is suggested that coaches use the TARGET taxonomy to produce a more task-involving climate. TARGET refers to climate features related to task, authority, recognition, grouping, evaluation and time (Duda & Balaguer 2007). This provides a support for the long-term development of the athlete’s activity levels (Fairclough & Stratton 2005).

Task- Here the coach needs to use variety and diversity in the sessions to facilitate an interest in learning and task involvement of the athletes (Nicholls 1989). Athletes should have different targets based on their ability so they develop a sense of their own ability and they do not have to compare to others in the group. Athletes can also be encouraged to set their own goals so they understand the complex steps of the skill and they focus on their own success (Treasure & Roberts 1995).

Authority- Athletes are encouraged to be involved in the decision-making and leadership roles within the session. Grolnick & Ryan, (1987) found that children's feelings of perceived ability tended to be higher in class- rooms where the decision-making process was shared between the teacher and student. This could be asking them what they would like to learn from the session, setting up of equipment and self-evaluation of their performances (Treasure & Roberts 1995).
Recognition- Coaches should privately and individually praise athletes on their efforts and progress. Sessions do not need to be stopped if one or two individuals are consistently making errors. The coach can walk round the practice and have a quiet word with that individual while the practice is ongoing and or if it continues then they can take them to one side and show them what they are doing wrong (Morgan & Kingston 2010).

Grouping- Students should be placed into small, co-operative and mixed ability groups. Students are then encouraged to rotate the groups during and between sessions. Evidence suggests that students with a lower ability working with higher ability athletes will improve as a result. However there is evidence to support the standard will go down from the higher ability athletes so this is why groups are rotated so athletes work with a mixture of abilities (Amnes 1992).

Evaluation- This should be based on personal improvement, progress, participation and effort. Athletes will then be more task-involved so their focus will be on effort rather than ability, which will contribute towards their improvement of skill mastery (Treasure & Roberts 1995).

Time- The sessions should be flexible with the main focus on improvement and learning of the athletes. Here the coach needs to take a step back by decreasing inactive time (athletes not actively engaged in the session just listening to the coaches instructions) and increase the active time of the athletes (Morgan & Kingston 2010).

Alkisti Olympiou, Sophia Jowett, Joan L. Duda (2008). The Psychological Interface Between the Coach-Created Motivational Climate and the Coach-Athlete Relationship in Team Sports, The Sport Psychologist, pp 311-327.

Alvarez, M.S. Balaguer, i and Castillo, I. (2012). The Coach-Created Motivational Climate, Young Athletes’ Well-Being, and Intentions to Continue Participation, Journal of Sports Psychology, (6), pp 166-179.
Ames, C. (1992). Achievement goals, motivational climate, and motivational processes, Motivation in sport and exercise, pp 161-176.
Balaguer, I., Castillo, I., Duda, J.L., & García-Merita, M. (2011). Associations among perceived motivational climate created by the coach, dispositional orientation, motivational regulations and subjective vitality in young female tennis players, Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology (20), pp 133–148.
Boixados, M. Cruz, J. Torregrosa, M., & Valiente, L. (2004). Relationships among motivational climate, satisfaction, perceived ability, and fair play attitudes in young footballers. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, (16), pp 301-317.
Duda, J.L., & Balaguer, I. (2007). Coach-created motivational climate, Social psychology in sport, pp 117–130.
Duda, J.L., & Hall, H.K. (2001). Achievement goal theory in sport: Recent extensions and future directions, Handbook of sport psychology (2), pp 417-443.
Duda, J.L., & Ntoumanis, N. (2005). After-school sport for children: Implications of a task- involving motivational climate. In J.L. Mahoney, R.W. Larson, & J.S. Eccles (Eds.), Organized activities as contexts of development: Extracurricular activities, after school, and community programs pp 311-330.
Mageau, G.A., & Vallerand, R.J. (2003). The coach-athlete relationship: A motivational model. Journal of Sports Sciences, (21), pp 883–904.
Miller, B. Roberts, G.C. & Ommundsen, Y. (2004). Effect of motivational climate on sportsperson-ship among competitive male and female football players. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, (14), pp 193-202.
Morgan, K and Kingston, K. (2010). Promoting a mastery motivational climate in a higher education sports class, Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, (9), pp 176-215.
Morgan, K., Sproule, J., Weigand, D., & Carpenter, P. (2005). A computer-based observational assessment of the teaching behaviours that influence motivational climate in physical education. Physical Education and Sport Psychology, (10), pp 113-135.
Newton, M.L., & Duda, J.L. (1999) The interaction of motivational climate, dispositional goal orientation and perceived ability in predicting indices of motivation. International Journal of Sport Psychology, (30), pp 63-82.
Ommundsen, Y., Roberts, G.C., Lemyre, P.N., & Treasure, D.C. (2003). Perceived motivational climate in male youth soccer: Relations to social–moral functioning, sportsperson-ship and team norm perceptions. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, (4), pp 397-413.
Smith, R.E., & Smoll, F.L. (1990). Self-esteem and children’s reactions to youth sport coaching behaviors: A field study of self-enhancement processes. Developmental Psychology, (26), pp 987-993.
Treasure, D.C. (2001). Enhancing young peopleʼs motivation in youth sport: An achievement goal approach. In G.C. Roberts (Ed.), Advances in motivation in sport and exercise, pp. 79-100.
Treasure, D.C and Roberts, D.C (1995). Applications of Achievement Goal Theory to Physical Education: Implications for Enhancing Motivation, Advances in motivation in sport and exercise, pp 475-479.
Vazou, S. Ntoumanis, N. & Duda, J. L. (2005). Peer motivational climate in youth sport: A qualitative inquiry. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, (6), pp 497-516.

Alan Evans- S20 Coach

Coaching Skills

Coaching Skills

This report will look at motor skills and skill acquisition to aid retention, progression and transfer of skills in a group of athletes in the game of football. Motor skills can be defined as the activity or task that require both upper and lower body movements to achieve a specific goal or purpose and motor learning looks at improving these skills so they are more effective and accurate (Anshel 1990).
Football has long been acknowledged to be the most popular sport throughout the world (Sugden & Tomlinson 1994). Football has many governing bodies with each individual country having its own football association (FA). The FA was formed on the 15th January 1863, and one of the roles is to regulate coaching through training and certification of coaches from level1 through to UEFA Pro License. The courses are packed with expert knowledge and cover all areas of player development (www.thefa.com).
The role of a coach can never be underestimated as today’s game has changed so much in the last 10 years with players becoming quicker, stronger and more creative, along with teams working harder and covering more distance. The coach is essential for teaching and developing players at every level of the game and to give their players the best possible advantage of success. Coaches need to be aware of the latest techniques and philosophies in the game (www.thefa.com). The FA coach education literature states that a good coach should possess the following qualities, enthusiasm, patience, open-mindedness, fairness, knowledge of the sport, a desire to learn and a willingness to help others improve (Houlston 2001).
With the use of theories in motor skills performance to guide coaching practices, we can coach our athletes so they acquire and retain skills, transfer skills to new situations and progress using the different coaching frameworks such as; information processing approach, dynamical systems theory, imagery, decision training, self talk and teaching games for understanding (TGFU).
Information Processing Approach
This type of approach looks at the efficiency in which mental processes such as; retrieving information from memory, conducting comparisons and making decisions take place (Lachman & Butterfield 1979). In a sporting domain this is the level of uncertainty that forces a player to use their cognitive skills to use the most appropriate responses under stressful conditions (Ripoll 1995). Results generally show that expert players are more accurate and rapid in solving problems than non-experts, with one of the main differences being that experts visual behavior is “synthetic” and novices is “analytic”. Synthetic analysis groups different pieces of information together rather than analyzing them separately (Kerlirzin, 1990).

Dynamical Systems Theory
Dynamical systems theory has long been used for a multidisciplinary theoretical framework for both sporting performance and analysis, and one of the main concepts of this theory is constraints. Many of the previous techniques used to observe performance have been criticized for providing limited and basic principles of sporting performance without the understanding of techniques and behaviours that produce many sporting outcomes (Mcgarry 2009). With these in mind Glazier (2010) outlined the use of dynamical systems theory (constraints based) in skill acquisition, sports biomechanics, and motor development. Glazier (2010) argued that this type of approach would allow behaviours to be linked more effectively to outcomes, and physiologists and sport psychologists would be allowed to have a bigger role in the performance analysis of the sport.
Constraints led coaching looks at applying a certain constraint to the session with the aim of improving skill acquisition in the athletes. This type of approach can be split in to three categories (organism, environment & task), which provide a framework for understanding and how coordination patterns emerge during goal directed behavior (Renshaw et al). Organismic constrains are classified as human characteristics which are specific to each individual such as; height, weight, muscle-fat ratios, thoughts, feelings and motivations (Davids et al 2008). Environment constraints are social, physical and variables in nature. The social side relates to spectators/crowd, which can provide a influential environment. This is generally aimed at the more experienced and elite athletes. The physical side of the environment covers things such as position, teammates, and opponents. Here the environment is altered presenting new information and a new set of constraints such as the player’s level of fatigue, position on the pitch and time allowed for perception and action (Williams et al 1999). Task constraints are generally more specific performance and context constraints to the sport itself in terms of the rules, pitch markings, playing service, equipment and the performance goals set out by the coach (Davids et al 2008).

This framework shows how physical educators, coaches and sport scientists could use task, performer and environmental constraints to focus on the acquisition of movement skills and decision-making behaviours in the athletes. From this viewpoint, the athletes will generate more specific movements to satisfy the unique combination of constraints imposed on them by the coach, a process that can be harnessed during physical education lessons (Renshaw et al 2010).

This approach was widely used throughout all 6 of the coaching sessions. Once the athletes understood the nature of practice 1 a number of constraints were put into place. The coach observed the quality of the players and gave each pair a league, e.g. premiere league, 1st division, 2nd division, 3rd division, conference etc. The stronger players were placed into lower divisions and the lesser ability players in the top divisions. Each person can move up and down the divisions by outscoring their partner. Opponent gained a point if a bad pass was played, ball hit the cone, player got the ball stuck under there feet or they took more than two touches. After 45 seconds coach shouts change and players move up or down depending on their score.

Session 2 was focused again on passing and receiving around the square. Players were allowed to play free until they grasped idea of practice then coach introduced a constraint of 1st team to do to revolutions around square wins. Using this constraint the coach was hoping that the passes would become firmer thus challenging the receiving player to have a good body position and get a good 1st touch. This did work to some degree but the quality f the passing suffered (Passing inside square and loose passes). Another constraint 1st team to do 2 revolutions wins and/or 1st team to make bad pass/inside square looses the game.

Session 3 no constraint was applied to the practice, as numbers were low for the prepared session. As seen from the video players were placed in a figure of eight still working unopposed on passing and receiving. Here two teams would have made and 1st team to do two revolutions wins or 1st team to make a bad pass looses the game.

Session 4 progressed to some opposed passing and receiving. Two teams were made and 1st team to make 10 consecutive passes without defender touching the ball wins.

Session 5 & 6 were TGFU with various constraints applied to allow players options and freedom to discover which option is best for them at that time to score. At the start of the practice players had to pass the ball into box to one of their teammates to score. Progressing from this coach then said ok you can still score in this way but if you pass the ball to a player who meets the ball at the same time in the box then you get 3 points. The players were also given another 2 ways of scoring (giving them 4 in total) by, 10 consecutive passes, and/or playing a successful one-touch pass where teammate retains possession of the ball. Providing a multiple ways of scoring provides players with decisions to be made under pressure linking this with decision training of the players which they will face many times in team sports.

Self talk

Anderson (1997) suggested that self-talk refers to what athletes say to themselves in an attempt to think more appropriately about their performance and to focus their actions in a certain way to reach a desired outcome. This approach has also been shown to influence performance in a number of ways such as; skill acquisition, improved self-confidence and the self-regulation of habits (Bunker & Williams 1998). Self-talk can either be positive, negative or neutral in which any of the three can be used for a specific task (Hatzigeorgiadis et al 2004). Self-talk is unique to each individual person who experience different outcomes or results (Van Raalte 2000). Positive self-talk has been associated with an enhanced performance in various sports, as techniques like thought stopping, cognitive restructuring and countering are implemented (Hamilton et al 2007). Negative self-talk has been associated with anxiety and found to be counterproductive. Further studies found that athletes who used positive self-talk would perform better than those who used negative self-talk on a variety of sporting tasks (Hatzigeorgiadis et al 2004). Where as studies by Van Raalte et al (2000) found that negative self-talk was not associated with loosing and Rotella et al (1980) reported no difference in elite skiers to less successful skiers in terms of which self-talk they used. Negative self-talk in certain athletes may serve as a motivational tool by encouraging themselves to avoid a negative outcome and trying harder than those who use positive self-talk (Van Raalte 1995).


Bandura (1997) stated that athletes who visualize themselves executing activities successfully raises their perceived efficacy that they will be able to perform the task and that these boosts in efficacy will improve performance. These images can include the cognitive, motor aspects of the performance, which can help with preparation towards games/matches. By using imagery this can help coaches/teachers become more emotionally attached and see the game in perspective.

Imagery was used from the start of the second session to the sixth session by asking the athletes to visualize what they had been doing in the previous session so they progression into the next session went smoothly.

Decision training

Decision training has been derived from cognitive psychology and motor learning. It recognizes that a critical component of training motor skills is the ability to make effective decisions under conditions of physical, temporal and environmental stress (Vicker et al 1998). Here athletes are trained under complex whole instructions. At first they perform at lower levels but they will excel when they are faced with new, difficult and challenging conditions (Vickers et al 1999). Whole skills and tactics must be continually presented throughout the practices because certain aspects of the performance can be lost when skills are broken down into sections (Vickers 1990). Feedback until recently has also been strongly encouraged in every sport and no matter what age and level of the athlete. Further studies have shown that when an athlete’s skill improves then feedback should be reduced (Schmidt 1991). This is to achieve a good long-term performance by gradually reducing feedback to the athlete so they function more independently without external guidance and correction. This is known as bandwidth feedback (Sherwood 1998).
Teaching Games for Understanding (TGFU)

Was first introduced in the late1960’s at Loughborough University with concerns about children leaving school with the lack of success due to the emphasis on performance, little knowledge about games, poor decision making skills, and athletes who were very much coach dependent (Bunker & Thorpe 1982). One of the modifications of TGFU was to introduce games that contained the same tactical structures as the adult game, but are relevant to the child’s age, size, and ability. The games designed must contain the problems that are encountered in the adult game, and here the coach can manipulate practices to develop tactical understanding for the children (Sleap1981).

TGFU was incorporated in sessions 5 & 6 to introduce coaching element into a game situation. Session 5 looked at two teams try to regain possession of the ball for a certain number of passes but focusing on the tactical side of the game (support play) as well. Session 6 then looked even further into the tactical side by presenting players with 4 areas where they can score points thus looking at support play in greater detail, running with and without the ball, checking off defenders to try and simulate the real game.

Anshel, M, H. (1990). An information processing approach to teaching motor skills. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 61 (5): pp 70-75.

Davids, K. Button, C. Bennett, S. (2008). Dynamics of skill acquisition: A constraints led approach, Leeds, Human Kinetics. Chapters 1 & 2.

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Jones, R.L, Armour, K.M, & Potrac, P. (2003). Constructing Expert Knowledge: A Case Study of a Top-level Professional Soccer Coach, Sport, Education and Society, 8 (2), pp 213-229.

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FA 2013
http://www.thefa.com/~/media/9028ED74DB8C466192089690C445BC48.ashx, accessed 23/3/13

Alan Evans- S20 Coach

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Coaching Concepts and Behaviour


Coaching Concepts and Behaviour-
Currently in the UK there approximately 1.11 million coaches who provide sporting opportunities to around 5 million children, with 76% of these being volunteers who are unpaid. Of these 1.11 million coaches 53% hold a National Governing Body (NGB) qualification, with the remainder having no licence to practice. With such high numbers of people having no licence to practice, concerns and doubts have been raised about the quality of the sporting activities delivered to children (North 2009). With this in mind the UK Coaching Framework has set the vision of “Excellent coaching every time for everyone”. As part of this process, by 2016, Sports Coach UK aims to ensure that there are more appropriately qualified and skilled coaches, to aid in the professionalisation of Sport Coaching.

UKCC and what they actually develop?
In order to achieve this aim by 2016, NGB coach education/training and coach development will be essential to sustain and improve the quality of coaching in the UK (Cushion, Armour and Jones 2003). These courses are constantly in a process of renewal and reconstruction to keep up to date with current research, and they are quality assured and nationally recognised (Mallett, Trudel, Lyle and Rynne 2009).
Traditional coach education courses were designed using a novice-expert continuum, which assumes that everyone will adopt the same coaching concepts to progress along the continuum and finally reach the elite level (Lemyre, Trudel and Durand-Bush 2007). These types of courses are classed as a formal way of learning, which are linked to improving knowledge and practice of coaches, building confidence and a chance to develop critical thinking skills, however this may be more relevant to elite coaches (Mallett, Rossi and Tinning 2007). This also provides the chance to network and share ideas with other coaches through interactions which is central to Wenger’s (1998) social theory of learning. The main concept of Wenger’s framework is communities of practice defined as “groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis” (Lemyre et al 2007). On completion of a NGB course participants are provided with a certificate to show that they met the NGB level of competence (Piggott 2012). Although many researchers are not in favour of formal coach education courses (Abraham et al, 2006; Nelson and Cushion, 2006) they do provide some benefits and they should be seen as complementary to coach development rather than central (Timson-Katchis and North 2010).

UKCC Issues & Criticisms
In contrast to this many coaches have criticised the current UKCC even though they now contain more information than ever, covering technical, tactical, physical, social, and mental aspects (Abraham & Collins 1998). Many of the courses are delivered over a short period of time (weekends), with few if any entry requirements to avoid losing potential volunteer coaches (Mallett et al 2009; North 2009). However, the appropriateness of these weekend courses is questionable to facilitate coach learning and development (Trudel and Gilbert, 2006). The content of these courses has been said to be ‘too basic’ or ‘too abstract’ to be used in practice with a lack of individualisation (Gilbert & Trudel, 1999; Jones et al., 2004). Many coaches, even those with a vast experience, will fail to question the content of the course due to the power of the educator, concern about failing the course and the need for certification. One criticism of the NGB is they often assume that coaches are empty vessels who are waiting to be filled with technical, tactical and bio-scientific information (Cushion et al 2003). This also leads to poor motivation as coaches struggle to see the relevance of the course material to the complex and messy reality of their own everyday practice (Cushion et al 2003; Cassidy, Potrac and McKenzie 2006). If practices can be made better or the need arises for change then people’s opinions should be taken into account even if it disagrees with the content of the course. Kirk (1988) also states by opening up our professional practices to scrutiny then we can turn it into an area of contestation, so we can address issues and problems practically and specifically. One problem with the majority of NGB’s is they have widely been classed as closed circles, which are protected from criticism within or without the circle. Criticism from within the circle would lead to excommunication of members, whereas criticism from outside the circle is not taken seriously and is seen as coming from the uninitiated. Systems without criticism simply reproduce material rather than educate individuals. This is not true of all NGB’s, but more for the larger and better-established NGB’s, which coaches have classed as ‘useless’. The smaller and less developed NGB are more likely to encourage open discussions (Piggot 2012)

Formal coach education courses appear to be of limited importance and relevance in the wider process of coach learning (Piggott 2012). There are also financial and logistic concerns, such as cost, location and timing of these courses (Mallett et al 2009). This is a significant issue, especially if one considers that a level 1 coach education courses in the UK currently cost between £150 and £400. UKCC level 1 course has suggested as so easy to pass that ‘all you have to do is turn up, read off the script and don’t question the educator’ (Pigott 2012). Some participants have said its ‘like jumping through hoops to gain accreditation’. This does not allow real life situations and often participants are shot down for showing creativity by developing their own progressions and they told to stick by the book. Coaches who wish to progress up the ladder do not wish to start questioning and defying the coach educator time and time again especially those who want to gain entry onto level 4 course. Here you need to be working at a professional club or get an endorsement from course educator (Pigott 2012).

Coaches wishing to progress onto level 3 or 4 courses may well have issues cost, location and timing of these courses. Level 3 courses can cost between £850-£1200, which is very expensive considering many coaches are voluntary and unpaid in the UK. There are a limited number of these courses ran each year and individuals may well have to travel many miles to get on to one of these courses. However, if you have played professional football then PFA members can pay as little as £300 for the same course? Coaches can undertake undergraduate and postgraduate studies in coaching or sports science disciplines, but these qualifications do not currently certify the graduate as a coaching practitioner as they are not formally recognised by the UK governing bodies of sport (Nelson et al 2006).

How do coaches learn?
This learning process occurs from not only inside educational settings but also outside consisting of a combination of both informal and formal learning (Mallett et al 2009; Cushion et al 2003; Nelson et al 2006). Informal methods of learning are by doing (coaching), watching other coaches or receiving support from a mentor (North 2010).
Global findings in the coach learning literature also support the theory that coaching knowledge and practices are derived from both informal and formal sources (Gilbert & Trudel, 2001; Cushion et al. 2003; Cote 2006; Nelson & Cushion, 2006; Lemyre et al 2007). However there is a lack of research in to how coaches extract and utilise the information from the learning sources (North 2010). The coach is the essential part of the learning process, not the coach educator, and more often than not the learning will be without the coach educator. The coach educator is there to provide an appropriate environment for the learning to occur (Falcão, Bloom and Gilbert 2012). “Learning is an important term as it places the emphasis on the person in whom change is expected to occur or has occurred, and is therefore described as an act or process by which behavioural change, knowledge, skills, and attitudes are acquired” (Cushion, Nelson, Armour, Lyle, Jones, Sandford and O’Callaghan 2010).

Effective coaching may well need to be learned firstly through a formal coach education course which is also accompanied by informal learning. Continuous professional development (CPD), mentoring, workshops, everyday coaching tasks, and the like, all score highly on authenticity, meaning and contextualisation (Falcão et al 2012). This learning is often driven by a desire of the coach to acquire knowledge to enhance practical competencies. A lack of this inner drive will contribute towards non-participation, as will issues around time and money (Lemarye et al 2007). CPD events such as observing other coaches are seen to provide coaches with knowledge and experiences, which are grounded in the realities of day-to-day coaching practice (North 2010). Recreational and developmental coaches will benefit from interactions among fellow coaches who can provide important learning situations in which they discuss coaching issues and develop, experiment with, and evaluate strategies to resolve these issues. This also provides an opportunity to have our session challenged, in a constructively critical manner, by our colleagues and by the children we teach and we can call this social learning. Alternatively an overreliance on mentoring programs will lead coaches to work in isolation, instead of working together to solve common problems (Lemyre et al 2007).

Learning may well differ depending on what level the coach is working, and it is important that the current coach development and learning provides excellent coaching across all domains; children’s sport, youth sport, developmental and elite (Lemyre, Trudel and Durand-Bush 2007; Wright, Trudel and Culver 2007). Coaches working at youth sport developmental stage may well require more support and guidance than elite level coaches, as they have often work alone and in isolation. This is partially due to the fact that opposing teams at this level see each other as enemies and they do not interact to share new ideas. Youth-sport coaches also need help to develop communication and team organisation skills, which could help to bridge this gap (Lemarye et al 2007). The complexity of elite level coaches have the luxury of being able to be supported and assisted by sport scientists, sports psychologists to help with their effectiveness (Gilbert and Trudel, 2005).

The current vision of the UK Coaching Framework to produce excellent coaching every time for everyone may well be unrealistic due to short amount of time available for change. The large majority of the coach education system in the UK needs a rethink and, with the help of researchers, to identify the ‘gold standard’ for coach development. Providing a more open circle approach like some of the smaller and less established NGB, might well endorse a more liberal and discursive philosophy where participants are encouraged to use their own methods and have open discussion with other coaches on the course. Some current NGB’s are in the process of changing their curriculum and they understand coaches at various different levels require different skills. This has led to the introduction of the FA youth awards and the FA Coaches License Club. Coaches must be licensed to join and are required to meet a certain amount of CPD each year to be able to renew their license. However Level 1 and 2 coaches are only required to do 3 hours per year and level 3,4 and 5 are only required to do 5 hours per year which could be questioned is not enough. Financial and logistics of coaching awards need to be addressed, if we are going to meet the vision of the UK Coaching Framework, with he vast majority of coaches being potentially unable to afford or attend some of these courses. Learning is largely an individual experience of both formal and informal learning with mentoring playing a key role. However more research is needed to identify the impact on practice.
Abraham A and Collins D. (1998). Examining and extending research in coach development. Quest; 50, pp59-79.

Allen J, Bell A, Lynn A, Taylor J and Lavallee, D (2012). Identifying Excellent Coaching Practice along the Sporting Pathway, Sports Coach UK; pp1-52.

Billett S (2006). Relational Interdependence Between Social and Individual Agency in Work and Working Life, Mind, Culture and Activity; 13(1), pp53-69.

Cassidy, T, Potrac, P and McKenzie, A. (2006) Evaluating and reflecting upon a coach education initiative: the coDe of rugby, The Sport Psychologist; 20(2) pp145-161.

Cushion, C. (2007) Modelling the complexities of the coaching process, International
Journal of Sports Science and Coaching; 2(4) pp395-401.

Cushion, C.J., Armour, K.M and Jones, R.L (2003) Coach education and continuing
professional development: experience and learning to coach, Quest; 55, pp215-230.

Cushion, C, Nelson, L, Armour, K, Lyle, J, Jones, R, Sandford, R and O’Callaghan, C (2010). Coach learning and development, A review of the literature; Sports Coach UK; pp1-73.

Falcão, W.R, Bloom, G.A & Gilbert, W.D (2012) Coaches’ Perceptions of a Coach Training Program Designed to Promote Youth Developmental Outcomes, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology; 24(4), pp429-444.

Lemyre, F, Trudel, P and Durand-Bush, N (2007). How Youth-Sport Coaches Learn to Coach, The Sport Psychologist; 21, pp191-209.

Mallett C.J, Trudel P, Lyle J and Rynne S.B (2009). Formal vs. Informal Coach Education, International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching; 4(3) pp325-334.

Nelson, L and Cushion, C (2006). Reflection in coach education: the case of the national governing body-coaching certificate, The Sport Psychologist; 20 pp174-183.

Nelson, L, Cushion, C and Potrac, P (2006). Formal, non-formal and informal coach learning: a holistic conceptualisation, International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching; 1(3) pp247-259.

North, J. (2009) The Coaching Workforce 2009-2016. Sports Coach UK, Leeds, UK.

North J (2010). Using ‘Coach Developers’ to Facilitate Coach Learning and Development: Qualitative Evidence from the UK, International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching; 5(2) pp239-256.

Piggott, D (2012). Coaches' experiences of formal coach education: a critical sociological investigation, Sport, Education and Society; 17(4), pp535-554.

Timson-Katchis M and North J (2010). UK Coach Tracking Study
Year Two Headline Report, Sports Coach UK; pp1-58.

Werthner, P and Trudel, P (2006). A New Theoretical Perspective for Understanding How Coaches Learn to Coach, The Sport Psychologist; 20, pp198-212.

Wright, T, Trudel, P and Culver, D (2007). Learning How to Coach: The Different Learning Situations Reported by Youth Ice Hockey Coaches, Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy; 12 pp127-144.

Alan Evans- S20 Coach.

S20_003 A3 Poster

S20 Cardinal Hume School – Games Nights

We hope you are looking forward to another brilliant week of footie at Soccer20, and the nights are getting lighter which is always a bonus.

We will be having games night this week at your Monday and/or Thursday sessions.

The games night is based on European Cup Teams.

Please remember to be there on time and suitably dressed for your session.

Enjoy the weekend, see you all soon.

S20 Team


S20 Gateshead Session off.

S20 Gateshead Session

No training will be on 16th to 20th February. All sessions will resume Monday 23rd February.

skilly and trixy


Importance of Dedication

Chapter 12 – Importance of Dedication

“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen,” Frank Lloyd Wright

For any serious athlete sport is more than just a hobby; it’s more than something they do to get fresh air, to exercise and to meet people. Anyone looking to perform to the best of their ability needs to be dedicated to their sport. Without such dedication and the determination to constantly improve your performance, all of the other mental factors, confidence, intensity, focus, and emotions, are meaningless.

At the highest level of international sport, natural ability is a given and only the athletes who can combine that with hard work and dedication to raining will be successful, And, while all coaches admire players with natural talent, the consensus is that work ethic and dedication to training are more important attributes.

All sports men and women experience a phase in their career when going on seems difficult and, without support from family and coaches, sometimes they end up giving up their sport for good. Dedication and determination to sticking to a sport during hard times is essential as is the support from your friends, family and coach.

Let’s see what out experts have to say on the subject of dedication.

Dedication is important and it’s all about doing that but extra. My left foot is better than my right but I just keep practising all the time so that I will finally get better. When you look at the big players they are all doing extra, even Ronaldo, so why should I not do it too?

I also do extra shooting, heading and I go to the gym to improve mu upper body strength, and I think all young players should be doing it too, they must rearlise how important dedication its.

I think dedication is doing the training sessions; doing your school work and then going off to do your football coaching. It’s all about making an effort, I know it can be difficult if there’s no one in the family to take you but look at the example of Arthur Philliskirk. He has been County Manager of the schools and England County Manager he used to get on 2 or 3 buses to get to training and 2 or 3 buses coming back – that’s dedication and commitment.

Not many would do that nowadays, either because they do not have the right level of dedication or their parents will not let them get the bus. If you are a dedicated you will find a way to get to training, either on your or by ringing your friends.

Another example of dedication is Alan Shearer, he used to get 3 buses at the age of 10/11 to train at Wallsend then when he had finished get 3 buses back all by himself. And when he was at school he practiced every break and lunchtime. He was a dedicated player, he really wanted it and he worked hard to get it.

Dedication is all about time and effort, commitment and focus. We can you show you how to change, but you can make change happen on the football field and in life.

You need to listen to your heart and put your mind to it, lot of people say they are going to something and maybe they do for a while, but without dedication the often give up. If you truly want something you will put that dedication and commitment in no matter what and you will achieve it,

If you accept that 100% practice makes perfect then nothing is impossible if you have commitment to the task. Having the tenacity to see it through to the end; not giving up when things turn tough; doing things again, again and again until you get it right is what is needed to succeed. Repetition is a big factor. Children need to be lead in the right direction some children don’t get that opportunity.

The number one example of dedication to football was Alan Shearer. people used to tell Alan that he wouldn’t be a player and Alan always replied I will be a player and he was. He was single minded, he was the youngest with an august birth but he had dedication and the toughest mind.

Your lifestyle has to be right too, if not you won’t see 10 years in the game. I remember getting 4 buses to training at Benwell as young child with my dad; some kids today have it too easy.


I think dedication for players is time. Dedication is when you have been out in the mornings and you need to improve something, so in the afternoon when you could go home you stay and put more time in practicing. You know that if you want improve you have to put the time in.


Dedication is massively important, I know you have already mentioned Alan Shearer – with his ability to go and work and just his love of playing football he’s a great example for youngsters to follow but there are others. I played in a team in 1992 with Scholls, Giggs, Beckham, and Neville and you will never find so many players in one group with the same dedication and they are still playing the game now.

When I think dedication,I try to use the word “single minded”. Up to 12/13 I think it has to be fun but If you’re 16 and looking to be a professional footballer, you have got to try and knock everything that is going to stop you out of the way. The obvious ones are the drink, the partying and the women. You really have to be mentally strong and let nothing has to affect you, no matter what happens i.e. what your mates are doing on a Saturday night is irrelevant. You have to be single minded, like Shearer; what I know of him, he was hell bent on being a footballer.
I’ve got one here in the first team now. He’s only a second year apprentice but he’s in the first team. The Manager loves him. He’s got one aim and that is to be a footballer.


Chapter 10- Other attributes- Pace/Skill Pace, skill, height are they major attribute in the game.

Everyone would agree that you need some inherent talent or skill to play football at a professional level. What’s more, most people would also agree that the pace and competitiveness of today's football requires increased athleticism and some strong physical presence because playing with pace helps to put the opposition in difficult positions. However, while some English academies regularly implement height restrictions, especially for goalkeepers and defenders, when it comes to this issue of height, it could be argued that size doesn’t matter. Consider Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and Pele who, besides being international superstars and most likely to appear in a list of the Top 10 all-time soccer greats, are all short. While height doesn't necessarily reflect your pace or ability, because hard work and skill are the most important factors, height can influence what position you play in.

So what are the major issues – skill, pace and/or height? Let’s see what our experts think and if they consider other attributes equally or even more important.

I think that height is a massive thing right now and Arsenal saw this 13 or 14 years ago. At that time I was a coach at Middlesbrough and had to stand in the tunnel next to the Arsenal squad, they were the biggest team I had ever seen. Just take a look at some of the top players like Ronaldo who’s 6ft 2 - there are some big, big players around and people are looking for big athletes who are technically sound.

Pace I think is vital; Everything that you hear or see about the very top players tends to relate to their pace. Look at Teddy Sheringham, he was an athlete and always half a yard ahead in his head. a lot of top players have that pace and they are all athletes as well as footballers.

Height is also important I know one scout who went to a Premier Club for a chat with the manager and was told they were looking for central field players the likes of Gerard and Reveres, six foot plus, the to go out and get these types of players. I think the majority of players in the old old Arsenal “Invincibles” was over 6 foot. From the goalkeeper all the way through; Peres is 6 foot 5 although, the current team is, on average, a little smaller.

It’s slightly different in Europe. Take Chivu and Yesser, both 5 foot 6 or 7 but fantastic players and they internationals who play for the top team in Europe. However I am not sure they would get into some of our Premier Cubs because of the ‘big’ mentality is so strong. Although Spain shows you don’t need big players to succeed and Arsenal is doing it now too.

Skill is important but there are different definitions of skill. If someone brings a ball down in a tight area you think it’s a great skill, but dribbling the ball is a great skill too. Skill is knowing what to do with the ball in every given situation. Look at Gazza, he could dribble and in a tight area you would want him to get the ball. I think the reason we are all looking for payers with skill and pace, and why they cost so much, is because are few and far between.

Pace definitely, I think we get too hooked up on the skill and height thing, for me it is dedication and game understanding.

Alan Shearer made the grade; he wasn’t the biggest he wasn’t necessarily the paciest but he could run and he tried hard. He was on that school field every break and every lunch time at Gosforth High School. He was school captain and dedicated

Also, I don’t think our youngsters play enough games to learn a full understanding. I have been abroad and there they play games, they can play against boys clubs, they can play against local teams. We can’t. We can’t play Newcastle or Gateshead or Darlington ot Hartlepool – we are not allowed to – those are the Rules and Regulations. We can play them in what is called out of season breaks so we would play Hartlepool before the season starts.

Yes, all three are important, but equally important are ability and dedication, and, to become a top player, you need to have some kind of personality too.

Boys should be dedicated to training and be there at least 10 minutes before the start, although I don’t see it enough of that nowadays and they don’t stay behind and train – they don’t get a bag of balls and smash 50 in the goal as an extra touch. At United we used to stay behind and watch Cantona training and there was no one more dedicated than David Beckham. You must have the Fire in your belly is it so important for success.

Wesley ngo Boheng

Skill – yes it is important. From the skill everything follows and height is an advantage if that’s the way you play, but you have to be prepared to learn from your experience and from the experience of others.

There are maybe 25 or 30 players in your squad and everybody has got his own way of doing things so you can learn from them. Also, if I play in a bad game I get the DVD and watch it at home. It may get me down but I am going to learn from it and prove why I am here.

The Teenage Years

Chapter 7- The Teenage Years – are they a crucial age?

Coaching young players in their teenage years can be a challenging time; these years are a crucial time in every child’s development. At this age they are experiencing some of the biggest changes in their lives, in addition to rapid mental and physical growth, this time coincides with exam pressures and a shift in their priorities too, as a result there is a number who will chose to leave the sport,

Pre-teenage children tend to be interested in pleasing adults; as they get older, and start to mature and try to find their way in the wider world, this changes to impressing their peers. At this age they can be difficult to manage as they mature at different rates and are ready for new challenges and more responsibility at different times. What’s more they can be easily frustrated with some of the difficulties of growth and how this affects their ability to play

The teenage years is the time for coaches to consolidate the child’s football skills and teach them how best to manage the more complex aspects of the beautiful game, offering words of encouragement and adjusting activities to cater for changes in coordination, balance and growth.

Let’s see what our experts have to say......


The physical and tactical side of the game is further developed in the 16 to 18 year olds so that, by the time they have reached 19 to 21 and in the reserves they are going to be considered close to the first team material.

Everything has got to be done in the right order and in an appropriate way for the development of the payer and the teaching never stops - even playing in the first team you can learn something in a training session.

For myself personally, 14 was probably pivotal because that was when the decision was made regards signing me as a school boy. I was at Southampton School of Excellence and I loved it, but I was young and found I it difficult to live away from my home and the support of my family. That was why I went to Newcastle

A lot of people say that you come to a cross roads in your life and for children some say that 14 to 21 is a real crucial age. Would you agree with that or some people are saying 16 to 21 is crucial, or 16 to 25. What are your thoughts on that – you have got your exams, you have got your girlfriends, you have got your football, your potential job, potential marriage – engagement.

Yes, during the early teenage years you are growing rapidly and you can be fatigued from this and the demands of school, as a result your performance on the pitch can be affected. Also between 14 and 16 schools are always being asked to decide what you want to do in life, but often you just don’t know and in football it’s often still too early to tell whether or not you will make the grade as you still have some developing and maturing to do,

Also, once he hits his early teens a boy who was technically good can often become mentally unsure of himself and retreat into his shell. If this is the case we coaches need to work hard to get him over that and remind him of the skills he learned at 8, 9, 10 and 11 and try to ensure they can reproduce these on demand at the right time.

The big crossroads comes after formal education ends aged 16; this is when girls and boys start to be introduced to alcohol, they start to learn to drive and find other distractions. It’s a hard tough world and they have learnt the hard way, by their own experiences.

Latest update on communication for cancellation of sessions.

Please note that this is how S20 (Gateshead) will be communicating with you from now regarding cancellation of sessions.  There will be no further text messaging service for cancellation of sessions.

We advise that you ALWAYS check 1 hour before leaving to attend your sessions to ensure that it has not been cancelled. 

If a session is cancelled S20 will communicate by the 2 methods below only:

  1. We will update the 'Recent Posts' on our home page at www.soccer20skills.com  If there is no information listed the session is on.
  2. We will leave a message on the answerphone of 07979911720 for you to ring and check if you do not have access to a computer.

S20 Session Cancelled Thursday 5th February 2015

Afternoon,  we have just received a message from the school that the pitch has still patches of icy which make it not playable for the children.

Tonight's session is cancelled.  See you all next week.  If you travel with or know anyone who may not have received the message, please advise them.

We are as disappointed as you and hopefully see you next week for your session, weather permitting.  Thanks for viewing this message and keep up to date with us by accessing this area.

We will be in touch about how we can communicate as quickly as possible with you after the text service was insufficient on Monday Evening.

Many Thanks

S20 Team

Monday 2nd February 2015- Session Cancelled- Cardinal Hume

Afternoon,  we have just received a message from the school that the pitch is covered in ice and not playable for the children.

Tonight's session is cancelled.  See you all next week.  If you travel with or know anyone who may not have received the message, please advise them.

We are as disappointed as you and hopefully see you next week for your session, weather permitting.  Thanks for viewing this message and keep up to date with us by accessing this area.

Many Thanks

S20 Team

Thank You! Teenage Cancer Trust

A huge thanks to everyone who has contributed to the collection for the Teenage Cancer Trust.  Please see their thank you letter below.


TCT thank you