Coaching at Balmain DFC

Our club depends on volunteer coaches drawn mainly from our parent, carer and player community to provide coaching across our teams.

 All members of our community including males and females, regardless of prior football experience are encouraged to participate as coaches or assistant coaches and will be supported by the Club to complete coaching certificates relevant for the age group they support.

The club provides all equipment, training opportunities, coaching advice and support to assist volunteers be successful in this role.

Coach Materials & plans

All registered coaches are provided  access to the club’s comprehensive and age specific  development coaching plans as well as additional materials to support the preparation of coaching sessions. Registered coaches will be provided access to this secure site when attending the coach information session held prior to the start of the season.

In addition, all course materials for Football Federation Australia’s National Football Curriculum are available for use by community coaches and provide a wealth of material and guidance to support coaches plan and implement their sessions.

Below is a summary of the defined development objectives, session plans and links to sample activities for each age group that provide a high level guide to coaching your team.

Philosophy and Coaching Tips

  1. Make it fun & funny. Whether your players continue to play soccer will depend on whether it is fun. Keep up the joy and allow them to achieve what they need: score goals and master that silly rounded thing.
  2. Lots of touches! It is especially important that every player at practice has a ball and is using it for most of the time (as opposed to watching, listening to instructions, or standing in line).
  3. See the attached games and exercises. All are written exactly for needs of 4 and 5-year-old players.
  4. Don’t let anyone get hurt – physically or mentally. Punching and abusing don’t belong in football.
  5. Teach the basic idea of football and its rules.
    • Not using hands, holding, pushing or hitting other players (it is good to “fight” for the ball, but not to use hands to hit or push).
    • The concept of a “field” that has lines (or is outlined by cones) that you should stay inside.
    • The concept of “score there and don’t let them score here” aka which is your goal?
    • DO NOT EXPLAIN any defending or attacking. Simply, do you have the ball? Can you score? No? Go get the ball and score.
    • DO NOT EXPLAIN any positioning and do not separate for defenders and attackers. “If you don’t have the ball, how can you score?” is your defending principal explained. “You have the ball, go and score” is your attacking principal. Positions require reason, 4 and 5-year-olds require action!
  6. Stop the game if they run off the field and restart from the sideline (kick-in), no corners.
  7. Kicking the ball with any part of the foot is ok. Toe kicks are natural first attempts (no problem with that), best way for them to learn for future is straight lace kick.
  8. Emphasize on dribbling and kicking the ball. Being “selfish” is normal, do not discourage that. For young players it’s natural to run with the ball and they don’t really understand the passing concept. Explain “passing” as “Can you score? No? Can he/she score? Pass them the ball to do so”
  9. Occasionally being on the floor due to contact is normal, do not stop the game after every contact. Explain what is and what is not allowed.
  10. Facilitate the learning and fun time through minigames and games. 4 games/exercises in a session are plenty. Think of your sessions as a child. What do you want to do? Shoot and score!

Here are some sample activities for Tiny Tigers:

Balmain and District Football Club’s official YouTube channel. Watch highlights, how-tos, interviews, training tips and more.

Follow us on our social media for more club content:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/balmaindfc

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/balmaindfc/

This phase in players development belongs under Discovery phase, under FA curriculum. Details here.

U4-U5 Philosophy and Coaching Tips
  1. Make it fun & be funny. Whether your players continue to play soccer will depend on whether it is fun. Keep up the joy and allow them to achieve what they need: score goals and master that silly rounded thing.
  2. Lots of touches! It is especially important that every player at practice has a ball and is using it for most of the time (as opposed to watching, listening to instructions, or standing in line).
  3. Do not let anyone get hurt – physically or mentally. Punching and abusing do not belong in football.
  4. Teach the basic idea of football and its rules.
  • Not using hands, holding, pushing or hitting other players (it is good to “fight” for the ball, but not to use hands to hit or push).
  • The concept of a “field” that has lines (or is outlined by cones) that you should stay inside.
  • The concept of “score there and don’t let them score here” aka which is your goal?
  • DO NOT EXPLAIN any defending or attacking. Simply, do you have the ball? Can you score? No? Go get the ball and score.
  • DO NOT EXPLAIN any positioning and do not separate for defenders and attackers. “If you don’t have the ball, how can you score?” is your defending principal. “You have the ball, go and score” is your attacking principal. Positions require reason, 4 and 5-year-olds require action!
  1. Stop the game if they run out of the field and restart from the sideline (kick-in), no corners.
  2. Kicking the ball with any part of foot is ok. Toe kicks are natural first attempts (no problem with that), best one for them to learn for future is straight lace kick.
  3. Emphasize on dribbling and kicking the ball. Being “selfish” is normal, do not discourage that. For young players it’s natural to run with the ball and they don’t really understand the passing concept. Explain “passing” as “Can you score? No? Can he/she score? Pass them the ball to do so”
  4. Occasionally being on the ground due to contact is normal, do not stop the game after every contact. Explain what is and is not allowed.
  5. Facilitate the learning and fun time through minigames and games. 4 games/exercises in a session are plenty. Think of your sessions as a child. What do you want to do? Shoot and score!

Here are some sample activities for U4-U5:

Running with the ball

All with graphics and description, all equipment needed is provided in your KIT bag.

Unique content can be found on our Youtube channel.

Balmain and District Football Club’s official YouTube channel. Watch highlights, how-tos, interviews, training tips and more.

Follow us on our social media for more club content:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/balmaindfc

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/balmaindfc/

Development Objectives
  • Start, stop, change direction with the ball
  • Basic motor skills development (with the ball) including jumping, hopping, skipping, rolling, bending, twisting, reaching
  • 1:1 Player to ball ratio
  • Limited Coaching!
Session Plans All sessions revolve around soccer-related games. The object is to have fun, introduce kids to the game and develop basic motor skills. The key areas of focus will include:

  • Running with the ball (4 sessions/program)
  • Changing directions with the ball (4 sessions/program)
  • Shooting the ball (2 sessions/program)

See FFA National Curriculum pp 85-126 for additional information and session plans for this age group.

Sample Activities
Development Objectives
  • Receive the ball with the back foot (both left and right)
  • Instep passes over short distances
  • Inside turns, outside turns
  • Running with the ball under control
  • First touch receiving balls on the ground
  • 1v1 skills
  • Primarily 1:1 player to ball ratio with introduction of group activities in pairs
Session Plans Fun remains of paramount importance and emphasis remains on individual control of the ball. Partner play can begin to be introduced.

  • First Touch (4 sessions/program)
  • Running with the ball (2 sessions/program)
  • 1v1s (2 sessions/program)
  • Ball striking (2 sessions/program)

See FFA National Curriculum pp 85-126 for additional information and session plans applicable to the junior members of this age group. For more advanced members see the FFA Skills Acquisition program.

Sample Activities
Development Objectives
  • Introduction to receiving balls out of the air
  • In step shooting
  • Inside of the foot finishing
  • Body shape when receiving the ball
  • Ball striking over medium distances
  • Group activities (pairs, threes)
  • Still primarily 1:1 player-to-ball ratio
Session Plans Players begin to learn how to train. More game related activities can be used to teach basic fundamentals.

  • First touch (4 sessions/program)
  • Ball mastery -tight spaces (2sessions/program)
  • 1v1s/2v2s/2v1s (2 sessions/program)
  • Ball striking (2 sessions/program)

The FFA Skill Acquisition Plan Manual will provide you with additional information and session plans for htis age group.

Sample Activities
Development Objectives
  • Ball feints
  • Creating space
  • Ball striking (chipping, outside of foot passes, half-volley and full volley shooting)
  • 2v1, 2v2, 3v2, 3v3 attacking and defending principles
  • Crossing (near post and penalty spot)
  • Playing out from the back
Session Plans This is a critical time for players as this is when they decide to commit to the game. Focus should be in improving technical ability under increased pressure, reduced time and space.

  • Combination play (3 sessions/program)
  • Attacking/defending principles – 1st/2nd/3rd player (2 sessions/program)
  • Ball striking (2 sessions/program)

The FFA Skill Acquisition Phase Manual will provide you with additional information and session plans for this age group.

Sample Activities
Development Objectives
  • Ball striking (chipping, bending, outside of foot, etc.)
  • Crossing (far post and top of penalty area)
  • Heading to score goals and clearances
  • Heading (to pass, backwards and diving headers)
  • 3v3 attacking and defending roles
  • Game moments (BP, BPO and transitions)
  • Playing out from the back
Session Plans Game-related training continues to be the focus. The details around first touch, passing, receiving and shooting are critical. Attention to detail and movement off the ball become more important.

  • Playing out from the back (3 sessions/program)
  • Combination play (3 sessions/program)
  • Attacking/defending principles – 1st/2nd/3rd player (2 sessions/program)
  • Ball striking (2 sessions/program)

The FFA Game Training Manual will provide you with additional information and session plans for this age group

Sample Activities
Development Objectives
  • Game moments (BP, BPO and transitions)
  • Playing out from the back
  • Mid field play
  • Defending, recapturing- zone defence
  • Football conditioning- attack
Session Plans Team performance-related training continues to be the focus. The details around first touch, passing, receiving and shooting continue to be critical.

The FFA National Curriculum pp. 189 – 267 will provide you with additional information and session plans for this age group.

The Senior Coaching Certificate manual is also a useful resource for session planning for this age group.

Sample Activities

Coach Education

BDFC supports its coaches in completing the relevant coaching courses for the age group they support by covering the full or partial cost of course. The following courses are supported by the club:

Certificate For coaching: Course time
Grassroots Coaching 5-9 year olds 3 hours
Skills Training 10-13 year olds 14 hours
Game Training 13-17 year olds 14 hours
Senior Coaching 17+ year olds 14 hours

BDFC also provides up to 2 C-Licence scholarship per year to coaches who show an exceptional commitment to coaching at Balmain. Paid over two years, the awarding of these scholarships will be based on:

  • Length of time coaching at Balmain
  • Clear disciplinary record
  • Number of teams coached, and
  • Other voluntary contributions to the club.

Football NSW provides extensive information on the certificate programs, and the club will communicate with all coaches on the availability of local courses throughout the year. For more information, or to register your interest in attending an upcoming coaching course, contact the club’s Development Committee.

Coach Support

All coaches will be invited to a coach information session at the start of the season where they will:

  • Be provided with important information on coaching for the season
  • Hear from the club’s professional development coaches on making the most of coaching
  • Get more information on the opportunities for coaching courses and certificates
  • Have the opportunity to set up a coaching mentor who can provide support to new or developing coaches through the season

Additional links

Kanga Cup

State Cup

CDSFA Resources and FAQs