Session design

Game-intervention-game (GIG)

The Game-Intervention-Game approach is sometimes also referred to as whole-part-whole. It provides an opportunity for coaches to integrate both direct instruction and game-based approaches to coaching within a session.

Starting and finishing the session with a game also provides more realistic decision-making and touches of the ball in context. This can also help engage players more quickly at the start of the session, before progressing to the ‘teaching’ component (intervention). R

eturning to the game then allows the coach to observe and assess whether the players have learnt what has been taught.


A progressive approach is the term given to sessions where the complexity of the practices ‘progresses’ from simple to more complex. This could be, for example, starting with a more explicit, drill-type activity before progressing to an intervention or game-based practice.

This approach is sometimes referred to as ‘Skill Intro – Skill Training – Skill Game’ or as ‘Beginning – Middle – End’.

The benefits of this approach are that it allows for the teaching to be ‘built up’ over the course of the session. This can help the coach deliver it in a more step-by-step manner to support player learning.


A circuit (or carousel) approach is where multiple practices are set up and players rotate between these over the course of the session. This can be beneficial to work on a variety of different skills, or to focus on different parts of a specific theme (such as finishing).

This can also be beneficial for managing large groups or when similar age groups are training at the same time.