Coaching Tips & Analysis


the inside of a stadium with the ajax logo on it

Ajax Amsterdam, one of the most renowned football clubs in the world, has gained recognition not only for their success on the field but also for their exceptional youth development system. The Ajax playing system and coaching sessions have proven to be instrumental in nurturing young talents and honing their skills. In this blog post, we will delve into the Ajax youth system, the playing system used by the first team, and the various youth practices and drills implemented by the club.

Ajax Youth System

The Ajax youth system is widely regarded as one of the best in the world. It focuses on developing technical skills, tactical awareness, and a strong footballing philosophy. The club’s emphasis on nurturing young talents has produced some of the finest players in the game, including Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, and Dennis Bergkamp.

At Ajax, youth players are exposed to a structured training program that emphasizes individual skill development. The coaching staff places a strong emphasis on ball control, passing accuracy, and decision-making abilities. This approach enables young players to develop a solid foundation and a deep understanding of the game.

Ajax Playing System

The playing system used by the first team at Ajax is known for its attacking style of play and fluid movement. The team typically employs a 4-3-3 formation, with an emphasis on possession-based football. This system allows players to express their creativity while maintaining a strong defensive structure.

One of the key principles of the Ajax playing system is the “Total Football” concept. This philosophy encourages players to be versatile and comfortable in multiple positions, enabling seamless transitions and fluid movement on the field. The playing system emphasizes quick passing, positional interchange, and intelligent movement off the ball.

Coaching Sessions: First Team Training

The coaching sessions for the first team at Ajax are meticulously planned and executed. The focus is on improving technical skills, tactical awareness, and team cohesion. The training sessions incorporate a variety of drills and exercises to enhance specific aspects of the playing system.

One common drill used in training sessions is the “Rondo.” This drill involves a small group of players forming a circle and attempting to maintain possession of the ball while surrounded by defenders. The Rondo drill helps players improve their passing accuracy, decision-making, and ability to handle pressure.

Another drill frequently used by the coaching staff is the “Positional Play” exercise. This drill focuses on improving players’ understanding of their roles and responsibilities within the playing system. It involves simulating game scenarios and encouraging players to make quick decisions based on their positional awareness.

Youth Practices and Drills

Ajax places great importance on the development of young players, and the club’s youth practices and drills are designed to enhance their technical abilities and tactical understanding. These practices and drills aim to create a nurturing environment where young talents can flourish.

One popular drill used in the Ajax youth system is the “Passing Square.” This drill focuses on improving passing accuracy, first touch, and communication skills. Players form a square and pass the ball to each other, aiming to maintain a high tempo and crisp passing.

Another effective drill commonly used in youth practices is the “Small-Sided Games.” These games are played on smaller fields with fewer players, allowing for increased touches on the ball and more opportunities for individual skill development. Small-sided games also encourage creativity, decision-making, and teamwork.


In conclusion, the Ajax playing system and coaching sessions are integral to the club’s success in developing young talents and maintaining a high level of performance. The emphasis on technical skills, tactical awareness, and a strong footballing philosophy has proven to be a winning formula. By implementing these practices and drills, Ajax continues to produce exceptional players who excel both on and off the field.