How to design a training session

Make the most of the time with your players by prioritising enjoyment, says Liverpool's academy director, Alex Inglethorpe

We've all endured an awful training session where a manager's brightest idea is you and your team-mates jogging aimlessly around a pitch. 

All you really want is a proper kickabout – and that's exactly what should be happening, according to Liverpool's academy director Alex Inglethorpe. Having bossed the Reds' under-21 team, after spells with Tottenham's youth side, Exeter and Leatherhead, the 43-year-old should know. 

More after the break

"The first thing you look at is the make-up of your group," he says. "If you're dealing with adults, generic Saturday or Sunday leaguers, they're there to have fun essentially. 

"If anything they're probably paying subs to you, so the emphasis has to be on making sure they enjoy it and come away having learned something. Everything with the ball where possible - you wouldn't want them running around pitches. 

"With younger age groups you want more of an emphasis on technique, looking to master the ball in all situations. But at the root of everything they've got to enjoy it." 

Alex Inglethorpe was speaking at the Science + Football Conference. This year's conference is on Sunday, April 12 at St George's Park. For more information visit

Promo sitewide