Soccer for Schools

What is it?

Soccer in international schools looks very different from soccer played in academies, clubs, or any organized institution outside the school program. The main reason why it is so different is because students are frequently moving from country to country or school to school, and so lack consistent training and correct progressions, which translates into accumulated gaps in their learning over a period of time. Academic pressure in some geographical areas also hinders the appropriate development of every student in the area of sports, and it can impact students’ active lifestyle in both the short term and longer term. The truth is that coaches and teachers can make all the difference in this fluid situation.

If a coach or a teacher understands the dynamics of the international school systems, they will start changing the way they teach and coach soccer to ensure that every single one of their students will grow to love being active, will consistently improve and develop, and will grow to love soccer and transfer those skills to any invasion games situation or life scenario. We, as coaches and teachers, have a greater battle to fight, as our job is harder when we have to cover gaps and bring the enjoyment and the beauty of every game and activity back to life, so that every child would love to play, score, win, while staying active and loving to move.


Andrei Chicu has lived and worked internationally for over 17 years, first in Kuwait, then in Romania and now in China. Originally a professional Soccer player, he discovered his passion for teaching early on, and mixed it with his love for sports in his PE teaching roles. He taught and coached various sports and levels, ranging from Early Childhood to High School, and enjoys inspiring his students to become active life-long learners, critical thinkers, and problem solvers.

Andrei has a BA in Physical Education and an MA in Sports Management. His Major is in coaching Soccer and his Minor is in Swimming. He is also a UEFA B Licensed Soccer coach and a certified Parkour for Schools Level I coach. Andrei presents at various international conferences around the world, and enjoys connecting with fellow like-minded educators driven by the desire to learn and grow.

What would I learn?

During this one-day workshop, participants will look at the key developmental stages in every soccer player’s life and how to address the specific needs for every stage. Participants will also spend time practicing some of the most effective games, drills, and activities, which help support this and to understand what are the Do’s and Don’ts at different stages in a soccer player’s life. These principles transcend the world of soccer/football and can apply to multiple sports and areas for any student.

Participants will also learn about the differences between what soccer looks in academies, clubs and different professional association. Gaining the understanding of what an appropriate activity should look like for every age level and every group is the most important factor in deciding the type of practices every coach/teacher uses to support student development. If activities and practices are not chosen properly they end up creating harm on a long term basis, by not helping the student develop and very often causing them to dislike the discipline itself. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will learn about different teaching models and how they apply to an educational based soccer program. 
  • Participants will learn to select the correct activities for their students when differentiating for every individual. 
  • Participants will also learn to analyze and assess players as they play and set up a simple assessment activity in order to create their season plan for the students. This way, coaches will develop a “coach’s eye” and be able to not only spot gaps and suggest improvements, but also make the difference between what activity is effective and what activity is not, and how to choose it.
  • Participants will also discuss the main issues that can impact on trying to deliver and implement an effective program and to measure success. Topics will include: time, space, equipment, number of students, administration and behavior management, etc. 

Workshop Expectations

At the beginning of the session, participants will receive a hand-out including the topics covered throughout the workshop and will work in groups to create mini activities for players at different developmental stages. 

Who is it for?

This workshop is tailored for program supervisors, athletic administrators, physical education teachers, soccer coaches or any interested individuals who want to learn more about how soccer can be best taught in international schools.