Are you looking for session plans that cover a range of topics? Does your club need a methodology or curriculum? Would it be great if all teams and coaches at your club or organisation were all working together and pulling in the same direction?
The BFCN Club Curriculum 120 page PDF that includes a curriculum and methodology for an entire club. It covers fun games for young players, 5v5, 7v7, 9v9, 11v11, goalkeeping, and futsal. Each one has several topics, and within those topics you will find; suggested exercises, full session plans, learning objectives, questions to check for learning, coaching points, diagrams, and accompanying topic related objectives to use on game day to link the learning from training into matches.
Exercises were illustrated using Sport Session Planner.
The methodology and playing philosophy is consistent all the way through, making use of rondos, possession games, and small sided games. Every exercise is fun, dynamic, realistic, relevant, and opposed. It is fun for all players, which maximises engagement and learning. The formation and playing style at each stage builds into the next, providing consistency and alignment, which gives an excellent framework for players to build their knowledge base and develop as players.
This curriculum works for coaches of all levels. The exercises and sessions are suggestions, which are easily adaptable. Yet the methodology provides synergy within the entire club, assuring that all coaches are singing from the same hymn sheet, and pulling in the same directions. Not all coaches have plenty of time to plan, which means that a PDF stored somewhere convenient can provide quick and easy guidance and ideas, saving much time and energy.
Easy to read, easy to understand, comprehensive, while leaving room for interpretation. Make this club curriculum yours today for £10. BFCN members can purchase it at half the price by using the discount code found in the members area.
Let's have a look inside.
This is a page on fun games for young players. This section is aimed at young, inexperienced players. Think U7 and below as the target, although many of the games can be used for older age groups, as they are dynamic and fun.
At the top of the page are suggested objectives for each session. At the bottom are questions that can be asked to the players during a debrief. Each detailed picture is accompanied by a brief description.
In addition to the different age groups are sections on goalkeeping and futsal.
The futsal section is predominantly aimed as a tool to enhance the development of footballers via the game of futsal. However, this doesn't mean it can't be viewed as a futsal scheme of work in its own right.
At the beginning of each age section (5v5, 7v7, 9v9, 11v11) is a brief overview of the topics and how the team plays, linking the methodology with the game model. What is consistent throughout the curriculum is that all the younger age groups build up towards 11v11, making it a seamless transition from one stage to the next. 5v5 prepares players to play 7v7, which prepares players to play 9v9, which prepares them to play 11v11.
Linking practices to matches is important. Games are extensions of training, continuing the learning, rather than being a separate entity with a different focus. If you worked on playing out from the back in training, why would you then ignore that during your game at the weekend? Youth football can be a rollercoaster in terms of performances and results. Teams can be placed in the wrong league, or a bad day such as a match coinciding with a birthday party or sleepover the night before means it can sometimes be a lottery which team turns up on the day. Which is why we compartmentalise the topics, and assess performance based on how our team performed relative to the learning objectives and challenges.
If you worked on counter attack, won the game 4-0, but created zero chances from counters? Is that a good performance? A lot of it really depends on the opposition. So by looking at the game through this lens, we continue the link from games to training. Sure, we need to improve our defending, counters, finishing etc. but we can only pick one per week or per game. Working on all of those elements spreads your focus too thin, and instead, nothing is improved.
The topics in this curriculum are repeated every few weeks, allowing you to reinforce learning, and go deeper each time. The topics are quite broad too, allowing the coach to adapt to the need of the players. Perhaps the topic is switching play, but how will you do it? Is it recycling the ball through the defence? Is it creating space to ping a diagonal?
The 7v7, 9v9, and 11v11 sections look like this:
You have the learning objectives and the questions, as well as suggested exercises and their descriptions. But then...
Then you have a full session plan, including descriptions and coaching points. The session plan goes through five phases, which is entirely down to the club or coach how much is done. The 360 player element is often a 1v1/2v2 or slightly overloaded, very small chunk of what is going to happen in the bigger picture. It mostly concerns the technical action, and where the pressure will be coming from. The next phase is something that resembles a rondo or possession game, opposed and often overloaded, allowing lots of repetitions in an exercise that includes several of the visual cues that are present within the game.
Next is pretty self-explanatory. There are two exercises, typically two being a progression from one. And then we finish with a small sided game. These games will include some restrictions, challenges, or other conditions to coerce and reward the desired behaviour we want to see as coaches.
Accompanying this, you will find position specific individual player challenges. The positions are labelled by number, such as 9 for the centre forward and 1 for the goalkeeper. These challenges give players instructions to help them take ownership and begin to reflect and analyse their performances. How often did you, as a striker, receive a pass under pressure with your back to goal? What was good about that? How does it help the team? How could you make it better? Coaches often have to work by themselves, and have a lot to monitor. With these player challenges, more ownership can be given to the players, allowing them to direct their own learning.
Coaches can purchase this for £10 (or £5 if you're a BFCN member). Perhaps not all of the curriculum is useful to you, and maybe you only want a specific part. So we've made it possible to purchase individual sections.
This PDF is useful if you're a coach looking for more ideas. It's also great for clubs to use if they are staffed by lots of volunteers, who have family and work commitments. Busy people who finish work at five and start coaching at six may not always have the time to dedicate to extensive session planning. A PDF on the phone can be easily viewed. Volunteers are what make the footballing world go round, but we often hang them out to dry by not preparing them sufficiently. This curriculum is comprehensive, easy to read, full of coaching points, and comes with exercises which are easy to understand and implement. You can get yourself a copy below.