The owner of Salford pre-school football programme Little Legends has published a step-by-step guide on how to coach players aged 4-6.

Expert coach and now author Chris Hughes has published The Complete Series to Coaching 4-6 Year Olds: All Seasons.

He said: “I’ve been kicking a football since the day I was born; it was my first present off my dad and when I think of home…I don’t ever remember not playing football; every lunchtime at school, every evening.”

Credit: Chris Hughes

Initially Mr Hughes didn’t plan on publishing a book.

Alongside running Little Legends he has taken his younger cousin Charlie to various different football clubs,  where he found himself witnessing coaches struggling to provide age-appropriate sessions for the youngest players.

He said: “In one session I watched players ‘attempt’ at just five years old; laps of the pitch, press-ups, squats, sit-ups, practice throw-ins and the standard passing line drill where there was 1 ball between 12 players. It was at this moment I realised that these coaches needed help.”

So Mr Hughes sat down, compiled a list of sessions and began writing his book series.

He said: “I want to successfully inspire, teach, train, coach, mentor and guide my newly empowered coaches to grow an army of technically competent skilled footballers who love the game and for each and every coach to become a master of U5 and U6’s coaching.”

He started coaching football when he was only 16 years old himself, teaching players as young as 18 months. He started up his own coaching programme Little Legends in 2015. The programme has been designed effectively to incorporate the seven areas of learning and development set out by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS.) But mainly allows the children to express themselves and understand the world whilst having fun. Chris and the ‘Little Legends’ team believe that the physical development of young children from all backgrounds should be encouraged.

Previously he worked for a small coaching company but found himself struggling to progress and decided to join the professional game at Bolton Wanderers FC, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

He said: “Working for a professional club was fun, but I had a boss telling me what to do, when to show up, for honestly, little money and it burnt me out. I knew I had to be my own boss, but I didn’t have enough money saved up to buy into a coaching franchise.”

From there Chris went headfirst into making his own coaching company learning the ins and outs of how to manage a small business.

Credit: Chris Hughes

“I’ve now got 30 nurseries on board in Salford and run many public sessions, so it’s been a real success for me” Chris proudly reflected.

A Salford resident himself, Chris said: “Salford seems to choose you” as he expressed how grateful he is for the people within the communities Little Legends works in. Describing everyone as ‘kind-hearted’ and ‘enthusiastic.

In October Chris visited the House of Commons to discuss his new loan as an ambassador for the Start Up Loans Company. During his visit Chris was introduced to MP’s, journalists and VIP’s ,everyone he spoke with were interested in his story and background.

“I like to think that I was selected to do this role as I understand the challenges of small business but I also see the benefits and if I can inspire others to take the plunge and take a loan and start the business of your dreams than my duty as an ambassador will be fulfilled.”

For the next year Chris will be working closely with the Start Up Loans team to help encourage people to take the first step towards starting a business.

“I’ll be speaking to local residents here in the North-West as well as working on national campaigns to help encourage the growth of businesses across the country.”

Chris plans to consolidate Little Legends in Salford, maintaining the strong relationships within the community he has successfully built within he last 4 years and equally wants to continue to share his knowledge to benefit other coaches by selling his books and producing online training programmes.

The Complete Series to Coaching 4-6 Year Olds: All Seasons’ is available to purchase online at now.

For more information on Little Legends Pre-School Programme click here

You can connect with Little Legends and Chris Hughes on Facebook and Twitter 

One Comment

  1. Tricia Wilson

    Great work Chris so proud of you.

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