A plan for your first coaching session

Need to plan your first session. Here’s a plan on how to plan!

Be ready to start planning

Check our checklist on the 10 things you need to know NOW.


Talk to players (and their parents if appropriate) in the days before the session. Ask them what games and activities they enjoy doing. You will want to put them into your plan.

Plan your speech

Your opening lines are important to you more than the team. Get them right to give you the confidence to make a difference.

Here’s an example:

Welcome to the session. My name is Joe. I’m taking the session tonight. 

A few basic health and safety checks. If you feel ill or injured, tell me immediately. Can you check that you are not wearing any jewellery or watches? We are going to be working in this area of the field. 

We will take a drinks break after 10 minutes.

Right, let’s start with a game of [INSERT ONE OF THEIR FAVOURITE WARM-UPS]

Plan your session

For your first session, make it last an hour, and that’s it.

Start with a very simple game with few rules. Try Tiger Tails for younger players. Older players try these touch variations. Build up the intensity slowly.

Let them play, but assert yourself. Do this by being a tough referee.

Then work on two skills for the session, with about 10-15 minutes on each skill. Make the activity very simple to set up. It might even be one you’ve seen the players do before or they love doing.

Then finish with a game. Ideally, the game will be like the game they are playing that season, or can be touch rugby.

And that’s it.

  • 1 minute chat
  • 15 minutes game
  • 12 minutes skill 1
  • 12 minutes skill 2
  • 20 minutes game

Here are links to some templates. Print them out and then fold them in half to fit into your pocket.

PDF Plan template

WORD Plan template

Focus on one coaching thought

With so much going on, make sure you focus on just one thing you have to do well.

For the first session, the best area to think about is speaking when everyone is quiet. Don’t worry about the other aspects yet.

You only need to do this when you are explaining something. Ask for silence, wait, ask again and wait. Then once you have silence, explain.

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