BLOCK 1: Psychological


Covid-19 Home Learning & Review


oThe principal of this block is to aid the team's psychological development further during lockdown, an area which is probably the most demanding area of my coaching. In all honest this is something not widely used in grassroots football and very much overlooked in my opinion.

I try to provide support in a number of different ways away from the grass and this way of 'coaching' allows our boys a greater responsibility to their overall learning. It allows the players to break through their individual barriers, with a safety net for them to make mistakes by trial an error through them doing decision making tasks that takes them out of the comforts zones. 


  1. Creating a visual board game designed around football with the players being able to move once a day after completing task.
  2. By planning a number of activities based around our squad and having the players to video or voice message their answers across. By me also replying/contacting the players via the same format gives them a sence of reassurance to break through barriers that they maybe dealing with because of the lack of contact with people outside their household due to lockdown restrictions.
  3. Key to this development is parents making time to do the tasks with the children, showing them online and buying into it


What Are The 4 Aiding Calls We Have Been Working On To Help Our Teammates?

  • We had some great answers from the boys and although the 'shouts' were not exactly the same as what I was trying to get them use to on the pitch, but comprehension of their words meant the same.

  • Some of the boys used additional shouts and explained these to me when I touched based with them. The fact they are thinking of different words is important as it shows they know what needs to be said to help a teammate and talking on the pitch is a part of the game.

What Is Your Favourite Goal Celebration?
Who doesn't like scoring a goal or watching their favourite player do so...and celebrating?

  • One thing that came across from this activity was the players delight at 'pretending' to score a goal and the love for this game. There were a couple of players who had to break through their own barriers, but they did it and this was a massive breakthrough them.

Can You Design Your Best 7 a-side Team With You In It?
The idea behind this was getting them to visualise themselves being on a field with their favourite players while I was able to collect some important information

  • Help me further develop relationships with the player understanding who they like so I can help get messages across.
  • Develop their comprehension of the 7v7 format by putting a constraint on using only formations we have played.
  • Some players using teammates within their best 7 players. Some of these were obvious because of close friendships within the squad from school etc, but some not as no direct relationship apart far time spent at Port of Bristol U9.

You Are Stuck On A Desert Island Playing A 4v4 Game Against Four Other Players...Winning Team Are Able To Leave The Island.

1. Who Is Likely To Pass?
2. Who Is Likely To Call For The Ball? 
3. Who Helps You The Most?

Again this was about getting to see their game from their eyes. Some 'golden nuggets' of information came from this to aid me coaching the children in future and some players went in depth on why they picked certain teammates.


Creating a little friendly competition between the squad spanning over 9 days. Again this was about them making the decision on what to choose and gaining confidence to send a video over to me. 

These videos were edited to create visual matches that the players could watch each day, with Charlie Moore winning overall.

I had some great feedback of this;

  • Players really engaged. Being really excited to see how they got on against teammates daily.

 Text message from a parent;

  • This has really helped 'Player A'. He has come out his shell as he has been struggling during lockdown with no football and it being such a big part of his life...thank you for all this Chris


Great to see so many smiles on the boys faces from the videos sent in. They have gone through so much externally away from the football club, but during these three lockdowns have missed out on so much football.

It is key for their development that they are able to express themselves and feel confident to do so around their teammates, even during difficult times such as now, where we don't physically meet two, three times a week. Me getting them to do things via video, voice message as well as being able to visually see eachother was my main focus and something I will continue during the next block (technical)

Key to this block also was decision making, with every task given, giving the player ownership of what they wanted to do. Yes, a few had hiccups but what 8-9 year old doesn't...even before you add all the upheaval of no routine of school, being at home unable to go out much, mum and dad not being at work as much, missing family and friends and of course football.