Your Squad List

Very much linked to knowing your players... putting together a brief list of the strengths and key areas for development for each player in your squad, that you can share between the coaches of your team is something I was asked to do when completing the FA Youth Module courses and I found it hugely beneficial.

This doesn't have to include every single strength / area for development for every player - that would be a very long list, even for professional footballers - but including 2 or 3 things that you see as key points will help focus the coaches efforts with regard to individual development within what you're working on for the team as a whole.

An example below for several players from a made up U10 squad (any similarity with real players is purely coincidental).

Name Strengths Areas for Development Notes
Tommy Confident, physically strong, not afraid to tackle or block a shot. Powerful strike of the football. Great attitude, positive to teammates and very enthusiastic. First touch and general ball control. Try and ensure lots of touches in training to help with improvement in this area and work with Tommy on his basic technique as a priority. Concern is over-reliance on physicality will lead to a lack of technical development that will cause problems with confidence when others catch up physically. Ensure plenty of work on technical development.
Sasha Quick, skilful, can dribble and run with the ball well. Very good first touch. Balance and athleticism. Off the ball, Sasha doesn't work as hard as he could. This can frustrate his teammates (show him the Messi off the ball video?)
Shooting - he isn't looking up and placing his shots, instead preferring just to go for power over direction.
Give plenty of praise when Sasha does work hard off the ball and instead of shouting at him, as that doesn't work for him, have a quiet word pre-game. Challenge him to work hard and try to win the ball back high up the pitch.
Evie Unselfish, very keen to learn, always tries to do what coach has asked. Good technically, passes the ball very well and isn't afraid to tackle or work hard. Can go into her shell if she makes a mistake. Confidence not always the highest and needs to "believe in herself" more. Will try more confident things on the ball if we can help her self belief. Evie is one of the most technically strong players on the team, but doesn't see that in herself. How can we help with that? Something for coaches to discuss.
Sam Good shooting technique and a hunger for scoring goals. Can pass (but doesn't!), dribble and run with the ball. Excellent 1v1 skills. Passing. Teammates will get frustrated when they are in good positions and Sam doesn't pass. Work rate off the ball / tracking back to help defend could also be worked on. Decision making (when to dribble, when to shoot, when to pass etc.) In his last team, Sam always got to play up front, in every game and was never asked to do anything other than score goals. Play him in different positions sometimes, giving challenges regarding assists and give high praise for work rate and passing.
Mo (GK) Excellent shot stopping, brave, will throw herself at the feet of her opponents to claim the ball. Athletic, good balance and reactions. Distribution. Communication. Decision making (when to come and claim a through ball, when to stay on her line etc). Work on distribution by including Mo in plenty of our outfield training exercises. Decision making - encourage Mo to make a decision and stick to it, even if it turns out to be wrong, with no fear of recriminations. Keep encouraging her. Communication a team-wide issue to be address as a whole.
Ravi Great attitude, hard work, encourages others. Doesn't let mistakes get him down. 1v1 defending is excellent. Quick, strong and athletic. Could get forward more and join the attack. Stays in his comfort zone (defending) rather than pushing himself to try unfamiliar things. Encourage striding out of defence with the ball whilst others cover. Then work on what to do next (pass, continue run, perhaps even shoot!)
Jo Passing range is excellent, as is technique when passing. Plays with "head up" and sees the bigger picture better than most players of this age. Movement off the ball very good too. Happy to work hard. Could try running with the ball, dribbling, taking a player on more. Off the ball, can get knocked off the ball easily and shy away from larger, more physical players. Encourage positivity on the ball and work on taking players on. Physicality, shielding the ball etc. - show videos of small pro players showing strength and determination not to be knocked off the ball (Messi, Iniesta, Maradona etc.)