The INSPIRE Curriculum has been created to provide NSFA coaches access to ENGAGING, ENJOYABLE, SAFE and DEVELOPMENT focused training sessions. All content within the INSPIRE curriculum has been tried and tested for many years, across different age ranges and player abilities to provide you with a session that will confidently keep players focussed and enjoying their football.

Whilst delivering your session it is key to remember some key characteristics of those you are coaching and why they play:

Discovery Phase – Under 6 – Under 8

Players are very individual and require constant engagement in activities. Make sessions enjoyable and relevant by being fun and ensuring all players are receiving lots of touches of the ball. This phase should be considered ‘the ball and I’ phase.

Skill Acquisition Phase – Under 9 – Under 13

Player are still very individual focussed, however are also beginning to appreciate the benefits of working as a team. Test individuals by setting challenges and goals, along with providing feedback. Players must be challenged and engaged in competitive and enjoyable practices. Provide players a chance to problem solve themselves and ask questions to test their learning and football understanding.

Game Training Phase – Under 14+

Players are becoming more aware of the team work and the benefits of working together to complete a tactic or strategy. Continue to challenge players individually, however training players in a team environment, with players and coach coming up with tactics to their football style across different areas of the field.

Please select the session plan for the development phase that you are coaching. If you find an exercise is to challenging or easy for players feel free to try another session and activity from another curriculum. As a coach do not be afraid to try different exercises to challenge your players. Coaches are allowed to make mistakes as are the players whilst playing!

Curriculum Periodisation

Our INSPIRE curriculum is delivered in a four-week cycle, with two sessions delivered twice during this time. Repetition is an important component in learning and our cycle periodization allows players to familiarise themselves with the exercise in the first instance, before the coach can increase the challenge in the second instance. As a coach, this will also improve your delivery as you can better yourself on the second delivery. Sessions are repeated to enhance the understanding of exercises for the coach and player.

Aim to deliver the session as set out in the session plan on the first instance. Ensure that you reflect on the session, asking yourself whether the players understood the exercises, learnt the technical components and executed the player actions correctly. When you deliver the session for the second time, make amendments to tailor the delivery to your players based on this reflection. This process allows both coach and players to relearn.

Additional Sessions

Discovery Phase (U6-U7)

Discovery Phase (U8-U9)


Week One

Drills are the drugs of coaching – ARTICLE

John O’Sullivan – Changing the game project – VIDEO

A case for cognitive fitness

Week Two

Sweden’s approach to pushy parents – ARTICLE

Managing player behaviour – ARTICLE

Our top ten tips for parents – INFOGRAPHIC

Week Three

A game constraints approach- ARTICLE

Six women changing the face of coaching – ARTICLE

Functional Football Podcast

Week Four

We must be 21st century educators – ARTICLE

Where have the team players gone? – ARTICLE

In-game learning is KEY – ARTICLE

Week Five

Getting players to get along with each other – ARTICLE

The ride home – ARTICLE

Why specialising in sports is a BAD IDEA – ARTICLE

Week 6

Maximise your return on training – ARTICLE

Fornite is not sports’ enemy, outdated coaching is! – ARTICLE

Concussions and their impact – ARTICLE

Week 7

A-League at risk of crashing out of Asia – ARTICLE

Let the children play football like they do in Brazil – ARTICLE

Open letter to the parents sitting next to me – ARTICLE

Week 8

The life of a referee – VIDEO

Private academies in Australian football – ARTICLE

The problem with creativity – ARTICLE

Week 9

Emily Brown – 2017 NSFA Coaching Scholarship Recipient – ARTICLE

Saoirse Cobbe – Northern Tigers Girls SAP Coach – ARTICLE

Germany focus on ‘fun and joy’ to reverse decline – ARTICLE

Week 10

The power play, Rashford, Gascoigne and Gibson – ARTICLE

Ted Talk – How to build confidence in yourself and spark others – ARTICLE

Seven rule changes for the next Premier League season – ARTICLE

Week 11

From control to trust – ARTICLE

FFA back second division – ARTICLE

The world’s finest youth academy is not the best developmental system- ARTICLE

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