Planning a football coaching session used to be done with a pad and paper, and while that’s still a great way of getting things prepared, there are now many online coaching tools and digital applications to help coaches.
Football coaching session tools provide coaches with the ability to draw formations, create animations and to see these in 3D to bring the sessions to life. With the ability to make the sessions more visually engaging with videos and images, it has become a great way to share the sessions with your players.
We have recently launched a new course in our Football Coaches Toolbox on the MiMentor Platform called ‘Plan, Prepare and Review’, led by UEFA Pro Licence holder Ben Garner, which helps coaches understand how to put together the best possible sessions for their team.
In the course, we look at different ways to get your ideas down and also provide a template session plan to use yourself.
But there are now many other ways to draw up your sessions, so here we take a look at eight online football coaching session tools and apps that could help you.
This is by no means a definitive list, so if you know of any other good solutions that you use to plan your sessions, let us know…
SPORT SESSION PLANNER
Sport Session Planner is an online platform that we have used here at MiMentor to produce sessions and practices for our Plan, Prepare and Review course.
It’s really simple to create 3D sessions and practices from scratch, or dip into the vast library of content available and customise or adapt them to suit your team or the outcomes you need to achieve from your session.
The session editor allows you to choose a variety of pitches or playing areas, add in players in your team’s colours, equipment, lines and markings and text to illustrate your practice. There is also an animation function to turn your session plans into short videos.
You can then share easily with your players in a number of ways, including exporting to pdf to print off, save privately in your own session library, or open up for public users to try for themselves.
Sport Session Planner is available in for individual members or club accounts. MiMentor members who sign up for our Plan, Prepare and Review course also get a 25% discount off the platform.
What: Sport Session Planner is an online platform accessible via the website.
How: Individual membership starts at £39.95 per year.
Similar to Sport Session Planner, TacticalPad enables members to create sessions and practices using 2D, 3D and animated pitches, as well as changing angles and perspectives. The team editor function allows you to fully tailor the look of your sessions to suit your club.
You can incorporate all the required equipment within a playing area of your choice and export your final designs to image, pdf or video. The stadium view for animated practices is a nice feature, while the platform overall is easy to use for planning training sessions, formations and match analysis.
There is also a session library where you can access to borrow, adapt and share practices with other members. Now in its 10th version, the TacticalPad website says it is used by more than one million coaches worldwide and regularly receives updates based on feedback from users.
What: The application is available to download for Windows, Mac, iPad/iPhone and Android devices.
How: A one-year licence for a single device starts at £23.49.
The i-Drills app is for ipad users to draw up simple football practices and coaching sessions for downloading and sharing. You can create sessions on one of the many 2D pitches and playing area views available, including 11-a-side pitches and futsal courts.
Place the player or counter icons around the pitch, along with training equipment to illustrate your session layout. While there is no animation feature with i-Drills, you can add in slides to your session plan to show progressions, and you can also include notes and descriptions to help you, or even fellow coaches, when delivering sessions at training.
After building your practice or full training session, you can share it around the world by posting to the ‘Transfer Market’ (which requires an additional subscription) or the ‘Coach Mates’ section, where you can link up directly with fellow coaches. There’s also social media sharing and email options.
I-Drills was originally launched in 2011 and, through a previous link up with the English Football Association, it was also known at The FA Coaches App.
What: The application is available to download for iPad only.
How: A one-off purchase of £4.99, or the monthly plan that gives access to shared content is priced £1.29 per month.
SOCCER TUTOR TACTICS MANAGER
Tactics Manager is now in its third iteration and, like the other applications mentioned above, it allows coaches to create their own practices, tactics and session plans.
There are no animation features with this tool, but you can use various pitch angles to create static session layouts that incorporate fully editable players and teams, equipment graphics and text if required. You can also add training notes to your sessions in the planner before exporting to jpeg or pdf files.
According to the website, Tactics Manager is used by youth and professional coaches around the world and also offers a free trial version to download.
What: The application is available to download for PC and Mac, with iPad and android versions, as well as web access, also an option.
How: A one-off licence purchase of £59.99.
Labelled as the website ‘for the creative coach’, Touchtight offers a wide array of content to help football coaches plan and deliver their sessions, including a library of smart animated football drills and sessions for any level of coach and player.
There are a number of subscriptions available, from a free package to lifetime membership, but not all offer the session planning tool they call ‘10 – The Creator’, although all memberships do offer a 14-day free trial.
When you log in, the interface presents the template options with nearly 30 pitch or playing areas to choose from in either 2D or 3D views. With your chosen pitch you can then drag and drop icons, lines and equipment images on to the area, as well as text, similar to other platforms mentioned above, to build up your practice.
Additional slides allow you to build in progressions to make up your full football coaching session, which you can then print out or share directly to social media. There didn’t appear to be an animation function to turn your practices into video clips, but it is a very simple and easy to use tool.
What: An online platform within the subscription models of the website.
How: Free for 14-days with any plan or get full access from £25 per year.
360Player, which was launched in 2014, is a comprehensive platform that offers tools for communication, player development, team administration, statistics, and analytics, and is useful for clubs at all levels.
While you can’t create your own practices and sessions from scratch, the product offers a training planner, which allows you access to a vast library of drills to curate sessions or your own library of practices that you can use with your team. It also has the added functionality of adding in content from elsewhere on the web.
However, while it has a lot to offer, it is mainly aimed at clubs, rather than individual coaches with team subscriptions requiring a minimum of 15 users.
What: It’s available on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.
How: Annual packages starting at $5 per month for each user, with a minimum of 15 users.
THE COACHING MANUAL
The Coaching Manual offers a range of content and practices to support coaches, including videos, blogs and session plans, some accessible through their free basic package.
They also have design tools within subscription packages that will allow coaches to create simple session plans themselves.
The Diagram Creator uses a drag-and-drop interface allowing members to design practices using equipment graphics, players and lines on a range of 18 different pitches and playing area templates. You can also create progressions easily using the duplicate feature.
When you have your diagrams ready, you can import them into the Practice Creator where you can build up a session adding in notes and even images and videos from YouTube or Vimeo to help illustrate your plan.
The system allows coaches to print their plans in a clean and simple layout or store them in the online folders for easy access and sharing in future.
What: The tools are available online via the Coaching Manual website
How: The session planning design tools are part of the Coaching Manual’s premium plan, costing £60 per year.
ACADEMY SOCCER COACH
Founded in 2006, Academy Soccer Coach work with a number of professional clubs and organisations around the world. They offer an array of services to support coaches and teams, including their white-label coaching software which allows you to create customised and fully branded session templates.
The Interactive Session Plans and Digital Coaching Forms provide a flexible, user-friendly solution for planning and recording coaching sessions featuring your club branding, which can be used time and time again.
Create your session graphics with the easy, drag-and-drop functionality and insert into the forms to build up your sessions. You can then save the plans to your computer, your mobile device or on the new AscCloud, where they can be stored securely, shared with other coaches and accessed when you’re at training.
What: The tools are available online via the Academy Soccer Coach website
How: A free membership gives access to a demo version of the Session Template Software, with premium packages starting at £20 per year for individuals.