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The Boot Room


Issue 09 April 2014


Grassroots


Formats There are lots of different formats of the game which are great for tournaments: 3v3, 4v4, 5v5, 7v7, or 9v9.


You may be coaching a team in a transitional year - for example moving from 5 to 7 a-side or 7 to 9 a-side, so running a World Cup tournament offers a great opportunity to play with the dimensions and laws of the game relevant to your next season.


Alternatively, perhaps you want to play a smaller format with a particular focus on players having more touches of the ball. You should also take the opportunity to ask the players what format of the game they would like to play. One week you might decide the format, next week let the players decide.


Work Space The space available for most grassroots coaches is a far cry from Brazil’s spacious stadia. The game format chosen will dictate whether you split your area in half and run parallel games or whether you give those teams on the sideline observation and feedback tasks - you can sell this as world cup scouting.


Additionally, you may be afforded enough space for a team to have a ‘training camp’ for post-match reflection, which may be player or coach led. Use this area and opportunity for players to discuss what went well in the last game? What can be done to make the performance even better? And any changes for the next game?


This space may also be suitable as a breakout practice area. The players may have time to work on a theme linked to their tournament performance.


This would give them time to focus on improving a certain aspect of their game and not just on how many games they’ve won and how many points they’ve got.


The role of the coach Children all over the country will have the opportunity to see the world’s finest footballers this summer, no doubt witness some exceptional skills that they will want to try out when they next play, coaches must make the most of this enthusiasm, by encouraging new skills and ways of playing the game by providing an environment where new skills can flourish.


Young players will be keen to try out the skills on show from players like Messi, Rooney and Ribery


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