Coaching resources


As somebody who has done a fair bit of it over the years, I’m running out of fresh ideas about different ways to coach the early years of players. Currently with the under 10’s and looking at ways of developing spatial awareness and making correct runs and support runs while attacking, while keeping the most important element, fun! Obviously some lads get it already, but would like to get the weaker kids on the same page if possible…

My questions are:

Are there any good online resources or youtube videos for these purposes? I’ve searched online but can find nothing of real use.

Is there an app for that? :slight_smile:

What do you think is an appropriate age to start deploying tactical play?

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If you are in Ulster 3 years of age.

I find Colm Nally quite good and user friendly - currently with Meath seniors. Have a look at his twitter stuff here


not sure regarding drills , or apps etc.

i do say to my young fella if he passes a ball , always make a run - now hes 6 and playing with the under 8’s and only started last year so hes not as advanced as some of the other lads in terms of kicking and soloing , so as a result doesn’t get the ball passed to him as much.

not under 10’s anyway , think if you can keep them in zonal positions - Back midfield and forwards you’ll be doing well.


Personally I feel U10’s is too early to be considering most if not all of the above. I would focus on skills development and fun but different clubs have different views on it.

Splitting your pitch into squares or lines can teach positional awareness without the regimented effect.

Shane Smith on Twitter is very good to follow and his emphasise is on fun & skill development.

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I wasn’t suggesting it for under 10’s!!! I’m mad, but I’m not that mad.

We work on that in training, but come match day, they’re all ball followers again!


Smith seems to be the resource I was looking for, thanks @whatever appreciate it. Nally seems to be more appropriate for adult coaching.

Some of the teams we’ve played had obviously coached their players to pass and move into space and look for the ball again. It was their mantra on the sideline. We haven’t done it yet, but was looking at ways of introducing drills to coach it.

Fun is THE most important thing for the lads as far as I’m concerned. I know most of the kids run from their cars to get up to where we train, so that’s a good sign!


Shane Smith and Colm McNally are excellent. Try Barry Mullane also on twitter, think he’s GPO in Fingalians and involved with Brigids.

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Starting off I’ve done warm up where it’s like the old bull dogs run, try to get from one side of a square to the other without getting tagged, teaches kids not to run in straight lines, movement and evasion, it warms them up and a bit of a laugh.

Move on to small areas where it’s 3v3 or 4v4 teams alternate kick pass then hand pass, have to get to five without interception makes them think about making runs and stopping and changing direction. Can vary it with 4v4 on both sides of a set of goals three passes before a point and when the ball goes over/wide other crew take over.

As you say at u10 your just trying to stop ball watching/sheep in a heap. Tactics come later but if they get used to constantly moving to receive a pass the more in-depth stuff follows.


We’ve called off training tonight as the pitch is flooded. Guess I’ll just have to do laps with them next night to make up for the lack of training :blush: :wink:


Any tips and trick on how to stop U8s running off in the middle of a match to play with the cars in the carpark

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Take the keys off them?


Tag is another great option here. Get each player on one team to put a bib into the back of their shorts and play a small game. Players need to pass the ball around and also not have their tag removed. If tag is removed they move to the opposite team. Keep playing until all tags are removed.

Game forces movement after the pass and to assist a player with the ball while bringing all the fundamental movement principals into play.


Another good resource. He is Brigids GPO, used to be ours in O’Dwyers and plays hurling in Fingallians and coaches or used to coach their U16 hurling team. Think he also is with the Hurling development squad.

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They are from Finglas, they don’t need the keys


It’s also important to build team spirit. I helped coached an u12 team a good few years back and every few weeks we’d get a load of Bulmers 2 litres and go for a bit of a sess down by the tracks. And it really stood to them too. Well able for the gargle now so they are.


Pillar used that drill against Mayo in 06 :wink:

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Think John Morrison(RIP) might done some of these drills. He was a genius. Similar to Micky Whelan ahead of his time with coaching drills.


Should have done the old lions call of 99, marched in a group and then on the call battered the nearest mayo man.


The youth of today no idea of what laps are, I’m sure some sports scientists head would explode if you suggested any player run laps, twas character building and the skill of evasion by jumping into a ditch when at the manager wasn’t looking was all important.

Anyway as their u10 and missed the ball session I’m assuming it’s double weights tomorrow night rochey, it’s u10 after all can’t be letting them away with that.

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