INSPIRE Blog: To be or not to be… organised!

‘To be, or not to be’, a fellow Englishman once wrote.

To be organised is to be prepared, having a plan, understanding the logistics and getting the ball rolling. Many moments in life exist due to organisation. Taking the kids to school, packing their lunch, completing work on time, picking the kids up from school and turning up at Regimental Oval in Killara to deliver a training session for 12 energetic, little footballers.

Life is busy, no doubt, and the football training session usually gets pushed far down the list of priority items to achieve in your day-to-day tasks. After a busy day, the last thing any adult wants to deal with is a mass of children being louder than usual, running around in circles and not listening to instructions.

You are just trying to help, can the kids not understand that!

Throughout my experiences in community football, I see two main types of coaches:

  1. ‘Turn up and wing it’ coach
  2. ‘I have a plan…..’ coach

Those in the first category begin to burn out and feel tired of the season after week 6 or 7, nearly at the halfway mark. Their sessions can be characterised by kids sitting on the ground, misbehaviour, boredom and usually a coach that is pulling at their hair by the 40-minute mark.

Those in the second category have a longer lifespan. Players are more focused, players are smiling, giggling and even impersonating a wild and wonderful animal based on the activity being played. These coaches look calm, in control and even though at times things go pear-shaped, have the ability to whip something together to bring the wild beasts back into something that resembles a football environment.
Football coaching is an easy job, however, can also be the most daunting and stressful if not done right….just like the food shopping. Without a plan, you aimlessly walk up and down the same isles, collecting ingredients for a meal at a time.

The aim of INSPIRE is to make your life as the coach easier and more enjoyable by taking on the responsibility of planning, designing and incorporating football skills into your sessions. As mentioned before, you live a busy life and each week do not have 30 minutes to sit down and plan a session. We have compiled extremely fun and engaging games into our INSPIRE curriculum to keep playing ENGAGED, having FUN and developing their FOOTBALL SKILLS in order to make your coaching experience just as enjoyable as the players.

In keeping with our vision of supporting all coaches and therefore all players we have expanded our INSPIRE curriculum this season:

Discovery Phase – Under 6 – Under 8

‘the ball and me’ – For our youngest minds to make them fall in love with football through lots of fun games and activities, whilst trying to have all players receive more than 500 ball touches per session!

Includes some ‘advanced sessions’ throughout the year to challenge players!

Skills Acquisition Phase – Under 9 – Under 13 – Beginner

Generally for players in the younger age groups or new to football. If you ever feel the players are bored with the content, try stepping them up into the advanced curriculum or reevaluate your coaching style.

Skills Acquisition Phase – Under 9 – Under 13 – Advanced

Generally for players in the older age groups. If you feel players aren’t having enough success in the exercises or low on confidence, trying reverting to the Beginner curriculum for a couple of sessions.

If you coach an Under 12 or 13 team, feel free to include the Game Training component from our Game Training Phase curriculum to provide players with tactical training. However, always remember to do the Skill Acquisition session ‘Skill Introduction’ and ‘Skill Training’ components as a lead into this component.

Game Training Phase – Under 14+

For players Under 14 – All Age. This curriculum will provide players with the technical training during the ‘Passing Practice’ and ‘Positioning Game’ components, with tactical training during the ‘Game Training’ component.

If your players are struggling with the technical aspects I would highly recommend combining the Game Training Phase session with the Skill Acquisition Phase Advanced curriculum. The perfect mix!

We can never standardised humans and therefore as a coach, it is your responsibility to choose the right session for your players. Never be ashamed to drop them down a peg. At the end of the day, our measure of success is the players’ enjoyment of the game, meeting friends and learning some new football (and life) skills.

Being super organised it easy. Follow the steps below to create your own curriculum and be prepared at all times with session plans ready to read and adapt:

  1. Buy a refillable plastic sleeve booklet from the supermarket – $3.
  2. Print off the INSPIRE Curriculum season plan – CLICK HERE.
  3. Each week print off your INSPIRE session plan.
  4. During the season, print off our ‘INSPIRE cheat sheets’ that will be released.
  5. Stay up to date with our INSPIRE e-newsletter blogs, discussion items and XLR8 skill of the week.

You are organised, the kids will be smiling, and your hair will be intact by the end of the season (*no guarantees).

If you are finding our INSPIRE curriculum hard to follow, or you do not think you are getting the most out of it, please be attend one of the many NSFA Coach Education workshops we will be hosting throughout the association during the season. These will be posted on the NSFA Coach Education page once they are scheduled.

Happy coaching!

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