Finding Nemo

For those that don't know my team & I operate over 25 different Toddler Soccer Centres throughout Northern Ireland.  Last week & over the weekend we played a fun game using the popular Disney movie, 'Finding Nemo'.  At this age using familiar movies or cartoon characters is perfect to motivate & relate to kids under the age of 5.  Imagination is key...let your inhibition go & have fun being a big kid yourself!  If you want to read more about my structure click here.  Below you will find my coaching notes...

Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo


A great game that toddlers can relate to as one of their favourite movies!

Movement, awareness, dribbling & co-ordination & passing.


In a 20 x 20 yard area set up a number of small traffic cones.

Ensure that you have enough cones for the size of your group.  Space the cones around the grid.


The toddlers are 'Nemo' & they 'swim' (run!) around all the rocks (cones).

The coaches are the 'sharks'.  When they shout, 'shark attack!'  The toddlers (Nemo) must hide behind one of the rocks (cones) so the sharks can't catch them.  If any of the sharks catch a 'Nemo' they then help the coaches & become a shark.


  1. Introduce a ball (Baby Nemo) & all the toddlers must dribble baby nemo around the ocean with them.  Again you can continue the same concept as above in 'shark attack.'
  2. To develop the session you can now encourage the toddlers to knock the rocks (cones) over with their ball.  This will help passing accuracy & is a lot of fun!  After knocking them all over they must fix the cones by balancing on one leg & fixing the cones up with their other foot - no hands!  You can maybe give the instructions, 'Messy Nemo' to knock the cones over & 'Tidy Nemo' to fix them back up.
  3. Finish with a little game called, 'Finding Nemo!'  Have a number of small orange disc cones (these are Nemo!) & hide them under another coloured cone like blue or yellow.  Also place a number of blue & yellow cones out around the grid with no orange cones placed directly underneath.  The blue & yellow cones are shells or rocks & the toddlers are sent out to find Nemo!


  • Listening skills.
  • Awareness.
  • Dribbling technique.
  • Passing accuracy.
  • Co-ordination & balance.

Want more info?  You can buy my Toddler Soccer book by clicking here!  Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or You Tube

1-on-1 Coaching – Taking players To The Next Level

With the demise of street football kids nowadays don't play the same amount of football as we once did growing up.  The overall technical ability of players suffers as there is not the same practice time.  When they attend their own club training they don't receive the individual attention they need & in some cases don't get the same freedom to play.

1-on-1 Coaching helped develop Luke

In Northern Ireland (& other parts of the UK) there is a problem with the lack of contact time players have with their coaches & clubs.  Generally most players will receive only one or two training sessions a week at their club.

Receiving two to three hours practice time a week, including a match programme, is not nearly enough for any player to develop & gain a good knowledge of the game.  Elite players in England & Holland generally receive 9-12 hours practice time a week with their coaches & club!

Another issue is the education & development programme in place at clubs around the country.  There are some great youth coaches & clubs in place, but for every good set-up you can be sure there are six poorly run youth teams.

A player's football education & understanding is very important.  In school, if a child struggles or falls behind in a certain subject, they will receive additional work on a one-to-one basis.  We should be offering exactly that in football.

Some players only train once or twice a week in a squad of 15-20 individuals.  If they have problems, they may often be left out of the starting line up, meaning that they will fall further behind.

Let's Get Started...

I have been working with a client for some time offering 1-on-1 coaching.  He arrived as a very talented player, but could only play with one foot.  It is amazing how extra coaching, 1-on-1, a good attitude & having fun can improve a player.  Add in goal setting & You Tube & you have a highly motivated & skilful player!

A 1-on-1 coaching session includes;

  • consultation & private programme
  • warm up
  • individual technical work
  • skill stations
  • free play
  • cool down
  • debrief & homework
  • Player Development Plan (PDP).

1-on-1 coaching may not be a priority for a parent, but I feel it should be if you really want your child to improve their technical ability.  This is especially true for children who are struggling.  It can be the difference between becoming a regular team player or leaving the game altogether.

Relationship & Praise...

When you work 1-on-1, it is essential that the coach & the player have a good relationship.  You need to like each other, trust each other & have a friendship but still maintain a professional distance.

Always welcome your students with a 'high five'.  Ask what kind of day they have had.  A bad day at school or a tiring day can affect performance, attitude & work rate.  Taking an interest in their daily schedule will open up lines of communication & benefit each session.  Even a disappointment from the previous game can stick in a player's head.  Talk, discuss & communicate continually.

Another important factor is praising each player.  Remember it is just you & the player, so it is essential that you motivate & encourage the player throughout the session.  Always correct technique in a positive way & reinforce good practice so that the individual is constantly improving.

Coaching Style...

So, what do I work on during a 1-on-1 session?  I love to concentrate on the technical side of the game, with activities such as skills & tricks, touch, passing & finishing.  I also throw in many fun activities.  Repetition is good, but I also like to contain some fresh ideas.

We start with activities from the skills grid & PSV warm up & go on to the 4-goal game.  We then focus on our mini pitch & mini goals & play 'First Touch', 'The Raul Spoon', & 'Finish & Pass Through The Hoop' games.  We end with a series of games including some fun games such as 'Lob The Keeper' & 'Crossbar Challenge'.

However, training doesn't end on the pitch.  Each 1-on-1 student has homework to do, such as setting themselves goals & doing research using the web.

We set the homework together after discussion.  Players can also gain more information on training sessions, diet, fitness, preparation & psychology using the web.

Visual psychology - surround yourself with it!

Player Development Plan...

I also set goals for players when they start, which must be updated each month.  It is important that all players have long term goals to aim for, but essential that they have short-term goals that they can achieve along the way.  We simply use a blank bit of paper & list strengths & weaknesses.  We look how we would improve on our (notice I always use 'our' as we work together as a team) weaknesses.  We then have short-term goals like play 'X' amount of games, creating goals or scoring goals.  We also aim to improve length of 'keepie-ups'.  You always need to be realistic & ensure that the short-term goals are achievable.  If the player can do 30 'keepie-ups' it's better for them to target 35 rather than 40 so that their next target is then more realistic & likely to be achieved.

Also, if the player has a target of setting up 6 goals over the course of a month you have to remind them that they have reached their target if they provide 6 good passes to the forward even if he doesn't score from them, so you are always being realistic & positive.  The long term goal?  Well this can be to play for an English club side, play for the national side, anything!  However, in the end it is up to the individual who must put in the work.

Finally, we always name tricks & games after players or teams.  I also encourage players to look up You Tube to see top players in action.  This helps to better visualise the skill sets they need & lets them see what could be possible.

If you are interested let me know & I will write a blog piece based on my Player Development Plan that you can tailor for your own use.


Always review the player, your performance & your programme.  You should watch the player in game situations so you can effectively see how his or her individual performance is coming on.  Take notes so you can adapt your programme to suit the individual.

Keep a check with the player & parent on their daily schedule, e.g. school work, other training sessions, other hobbies, diet, sleep, etc. & make suggestions for change if necessary.

Coach Tim's 1-on-1 Session...

I thought I would share one of my typical 1-on-1 sessions with you.  This is a session I delivered to a talent last week.  After greeting him with a high five & having a quick chat we started our warm up by juggling a ball between us.

Warm Up

Ronaldo 7

Ronaldo 7


The 'Ronaldo 7' originated from the great Manchester United Coach, Rene Meulensteen, & of course Ronaldo.

The Dutch coach was brought to United to operate as the Skills coach.  He used Ronaldo & his squad number to demonstrate 7 different skills.

The idea is that your feet is the furthest thing away from your brain.  So through repetition you will operate things without thinking - instinct or to improvise.

The other bonus is though using the 'Ronaldo 7' in a warm up it increases the bodies temperature along with maximum touches of the ball.  In fact your players could touch the ball several hundred times - much more beneficial than jogging around the side of a pitch!  It is simply improving the players touch & co-ordination.


Easy - give the player a ball!


For the player to carry out 7 different skills at a high tempo.  The player & ball should not move from their starting position.

The Ronaldo 7 is made up of the following moves;

  1. Toe Taps - Place the sole of the foot on top of the ball then look to alternate feet.  Switching from left foot to right foot.  Look to increase speed.
  2. Sides - Play the ball between left & right foot by passing with the inside of each foot.  Look to increase speed but keeping the ball under control at all times.
  3. Sticky Tape - Start with the sole of the right foot on top of the ball.  Look to roll your foot from one side of the ball to the other.  Try to get your foot as close to the ground as possible but don't touch the ground or let go of the ball.  Depending what is most comfortable balance stationary on your left foot or hop.  Change feet after set time.
  4. Laces, front roll, drag back - Start of all right foot.  Use the laces to hit the ball in front of you, then drag back with the sole of your right foot.  Continue at speed.  Switch over to your left foot.  Then after set time look to mix.  Kick the ball with laces of your right foot, drag back with the sole of your left foot.  Kick out with the laces of your left foot, drag back with the sole of your right foot.  Repeat at speed.
  5. Step Over - Ball is stationary.  Right foot should step over the ball from the outside over, adjust footing then repeat with left foot.  Continue at speed.  Insure you don't touch the ball or move from the spot.
  6. Ronaldo Scissors  - The famous Ronaldo skill!  Right foot should come around the inside of the ball then make a complete circle around it.  Repeat with the left foot.  Continue at speed, again don't touch the ball & keep in the same area.
  7. Tap Dance - Fun co-ordination one to finish on.  Front part of each foot touches the ball.  Left foot, right foot, left foot twists around the back of right leg to touch the ball.  Right foot, left foot, right foot twists around the back of left leg to touch the ball.  Repeat at speed.


  1. Time each skill.
  2. Add different skills.


  • Touch.
  • Perfecting skills.
  • Speed.
  • Co-ordination.
Want to see us in action & find out why we do it?  Click here to watch the video!

Control & Passing

Control & Passing


Great session that concentrates on control & passing accuracy.


20 x 20 yard grid with a series of cones spread about the grid.

Coaches stands at one end of the grid with a supply of balls while the player stands at the other end of the grid.


Super session that works on the players touch & passing accuracy.

  1. The coach passes the ball.
  2. Player controls ball.
  3. Player then passes ball to knock one of the targets down.

The game can start by allowing the player to enter the grid after controlling to knock down the cones.  As their ability improves put a restriction that they must pass the ball from outside the grid.

Play a couple of rounds with a set number of balls, i.e. 15 footballs to knock down 10 cones.  Keep score.


  1. Increase distance away from targets.
  2. Vary the technique of the pass, i.e. lofted, driven with laces or outside of the foot (both coach &player.)
  3. Vary the part of the body that you control the ball with.


  • Communication & keep eye on ball.
  • Good first touch & keep the ball from getting stuck under your feet.
  • Non kicking foot, body shape facing target.
  • Quality passing, good accuracy & weight in the pass.
  • Get the head up.
  • Use of both feet.
I would then have the player break off & run through S.A.Q..  We would concentrate on the speed ladder, hurdles & hoops.  I have devoted a section in my book based on what we do & set up.

PSV Game

PSV Game


This is a session I viewed at the PSV Eindhoven Academy.  Hence the name!  PSV has one of the best Youth Academies in Holland.

This session has everything to develop great young players & their touch, technique & finishing.


5 cones should be placed in zig zag motion on either side of the pitch.

Add spiked poles a yard or two in from each post for additional target practice & scoring.

Place approx 7 balls on either side of the half way line.


Player starts dribbling the ball while performing a trick at each cone (imaginary defender) once they complete the 5 cones they should perform a skill & finish with a shot at goal.

Alternate from either side so that your player uses both feet.


  1. Operate from both sides.
  2. Operate certain skills.
  3. On the last cone rather than always going inside to shoot, vary, go outside & use other foot.
  4. If you have a player over operate with defender so that when attacker comes through last cone there is a 1 v 1 duel.
  5. Or you can operate with a goalkeeper.  Have the player finish by taking the ball around the approaching keeper.


  • Dribbling skills.
  • Turns & tricks.
  • Balance & speed.
  • Execution of skills at pace.
  • Quality finishing.
  • Follow shots in.

4 Goal Game

4 Goal Game


Developing touch & passing accuracy in a themed game.


Set up a grid measuring 40 x 40 yards approximately.  Place 4 mini goals around the outside, 1 on each side placed centrally.

A supply of balls is placed in one of the corners.


The player is positioned in the centre of the grid.  The coach is positioned in one of the corners with a supply of balls.

Each mini goal signifies a playing position;

  1. Goalkeeper / Defender
  2. Right Midfielder
  3. Left Midfielder
  4. Attacker

The session starts with the coach kicking the ball in for the player to control.  As the coach kicks the ball they shout a position, i.e. 'Forward'.  The player controls the ball with 1 touch before passing the ball into 'goal 4'.

Vary the position that you call.  Encourage the player to be on their toes.  The secret is a good first touch along with quality passing.


  1. Increase distance away from mini goals.
  2. Vary the technique of the pass, i.e. lofted, driven with laces or outside of the foot.
  3. Vary the part of the body that you control the ball with.
  4. Time the session - against the clock!


  • Communication & keep eye on ball.
  • Good first touch & keep the ball from getting stuck under your feet.
  • Non kicking foot, body shape facing target.
  • Quality passing, good accuracy & weight in the pass.
  • Get the head up.
  • Use of both feet.

Hoop Game

Hoop Game


As a coach use your imagination as the 'simple' games can be the most effective & fun.

I created this game when clearing my speed, agility & quickness equipment up.  I was walking up the bank to my van & shouted to Luke to try & pass the ball through the hoop I rolled down the bank!

We then got his dad to roll the hoops down the bank while we split the balls.  Luke was one side & I was the other.  This kept in easy in terms of retrieving the balls & added a fun competitiveness to the game!


A series of hoops at the top of a small slope.  Player to have a number of balls & positioned approximately 20 yards away.


Roll the hoops down the slope, 1 by 1, as the player tries to pass the ball through the hoop.

Accuracy, weight & timing all play a part in this simple, but highly effective & fun game.


  1. Vary the distance away from the hoop.
  2. Roll the hoop faster.
  3. Vary the pass, driven, inside of foot, outside of foot etc.


  • Passing accuracy.
  • Weight of pass.
  • Timing of pass.
  • Use of both feet.

Coach Tim's Book...

I have just published my second book, ’1-on-1 Coaching The Secrets To Improve ALL Football Players – GUARANTEED!’  So if you have enjoyed my blog piece you'll love my book!  I am very pleased with the book; I am basically sharing with you my entire programme.  Please support my project and spread the news about my new book.

To receive your FREE taster of the book, or order your copy, simply click here!

Tim Wareing's methods will improve ALL players!

What does the book offer?

’1-on-1 Coaching The Secrets To Improve ALL Football Players – GUARANTEED!’ by Tim Wareing.   Tim Wareing is a highly sought after coach.  With over 15 years coaching experience and having achieved the prestigious UEFA European ‘A’ Licence at the age of 24, his methods and coaching philosophy are known and respected worldwide.

‘The tactics & philosophies of a UEFA A Licence Coach who has European Clubs monitoring his players talents.’

Who is Tim Wareing & how can he develop my players?

Tim spent 6 years at Irish Premier League side, Lisburn Distillery.  He held roles as Reserve Team Manager and under 18 Manager.  He played his part in developing Youth International Players and players for the first team, before setting up a very successful Academy for the Club.

He continues to travel on a regular basis across Europe to continue learning and sharing his coaching philosophy.  Tim has visited FC Barcelona, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Braga.  His training methods will improve ALL players through using the latest and most innovative procedures.

With a host of clients and clubs requesting Tim to work with them, and families travelling from New York and Paris to access his coaching, he has put his award -winning programme together in this book.  ’1-on-1 Coaching The Secrets To Improve ALL Footballers – GUARANTEED!’ not only provides readers with his session plans, but includes information on his successful blue print on how to coach players on a 1-to-1 basis.  He has also included a section on his renowned ‘Player Development Plan’.

This book has been specially designed, so that each session is simple to follow, yet includes the coaching points that Tim offers to his players.  Today, when we see less and less street football, the technical ability of our players is decreasing.  ’1-on-1 Coaching The Secrets To Improve ALL Footballers – GUARANTEED!’ will change that and improve everyone’s technical ability and game understanding.

Videos of Tim at work…

1-on-1 Coaching by Tim Wareing

1-on-1 Coaching by Tim Wareing 2

1-on-1 Coaching by Tim Wareing 3


‘Luke has been receiving 1-on-1 coaching from Tim for over two years.  He has been part of Tim’s community programme from the age of six.  After six months of Tim working with Luke he was invited into the Liverpool Academy based in Belfast.  He has also been invited to the IFA County Down and Excellence Programme.  A number of clubs are monitoring Luke’s development after a successful performance in Holland on Tim’s Academy tour as well as a great season with his club.  I can’t speak highly enough of the importance of 1-on-1 coaching and how it has developed my son’s talent and ability.’

Martin Kenny, parent of Luke
Current Liverpool Belfast Academy Student

Tim is also author of, ‘Toddler Soccer The Essential Guide’, that has sold in over 20 different countries.  You can order a copy from here; www.ToddlerSoccer.Org/book

If you want to…

  • Find out more
  • Buy the book
  • Stock the book
  • Organise an interview with Tim

Then simply contact Tim direct on, 07740120788 or by email,

Remember this book will improve the technical ability of EVERY player that reads it…