205 Sports uses a standard template for describing training session activities. The template includes the 205 Principles of Play, the objectives for the session, a sample timing of activities, and detailed descriptions for each activity. The template is implemented using Excel and many sessions can be combined into one Excel workbook.
The template is designed to be folded into a smaller format to allow coaches to carry a copy of the session plan in a jacket or pants pocket on the field, as reference during activities.
The template is divided into a header blocks. and up to 4 activity blocks.
The header block is further divided into sections.
The Principles of Play section at the top of the template contains the principles adopted by 205 Sports which are defined by the TOVO methodology.
The time and date of the session, the target training group, and the objectives for the session are contained in the header block:
Sample timings for the session are in a separate section. Note that these timings are suggested and may be altered based on the response of the group within the activities.
Each plan contains up to 4 activity descriptions.
The activity descriptions include:
- The space required for the activity. For many activities, the size may need to be adjusted based on the age, ability, and success of the players.
- A sample timing for the activity.
- If the activity is designed for load management, the number of sets and repetitions of the activity, and the work/rest timings are included.
- An explanation of the activity, sample coaching points, and possible progressions.
- A schematic (drawing) of the activity.
Adjustments to the plan
The saying goes “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
The same is true with youth soccer training sessions. Many times, the activities that we plan out don’t work as expected. It is important that we start with a mental picture of how the activity should look and the responses we are expecting from the players. If things aren’t working out as planned, we must be ready to make adjustments: increase or decrease spaces, spend more time trying to draw specific details from the players, jump ahead if the players are “getting it”, recognizing when players are getting bored and moving ahead, and skipping progressions or possibly even whole activities.
The practice plan is simply a model of a practice session – the coach should be flexible in their approach to the individual activities.
Bringing the plan to the field
The practice plan sheet is designed to be folded up so that it can be brought to the field as a reference. The following pictures show how to cut and fold the session.
There is one cut (to even out the sheet) and three folds:
- The cut at the bottom allows the folded up sheet to fit neatly together.
- The first fold is on the line separating the header blocks from the activity blocks
- The second fold is on the horizontal line between activity blocks.
- The third fold is on the vertical line between activity blocks.
Once folded, the sheet will fit in a jacket or pants pocket.
The following pictures illustrate the cut and folds.