Functional Technique Training Session

The following session comes from Mario Prata, Director of Coaching for Connecticut Junior Soccer Association and was presented at the Soccer Champions Coaches' Clinic. Find out more about the Soccer Champions Coaches' Clinic. 


This is a functional technique session. Functional training involves training or practicing the specific demands of a position or a role. This can be for an individual player, or for a unit (i.e. defense).

Functional Warm Up (10 Minutes)

Set up: 8-12 players; 25x20 grid; adjust size depending on age and ability of players; 2 variations

Instructions: The first passing sequence, RED players pass it to BLUE players who make diagonal runs and pass back to RED players' feet with one touch avoiding the defender (disc). RED players alternate turns with their own teammate at the same disc.

functional warm up

Coaching Points:

  1. Passing and receiving technique
  2. Movements and timing of runs
  3. Creating separation from defender (cones) by checking away before receiving each pass
  4. Change of space, speed of play, game awareness

Small-Sided Activity (15 Minutes)

Instructions: 6v6 to end zones. Teams score by combining with a pass into the end zone. Player that receives the ball in the end zone has to time his run or will be offside. Player can't be static in the end zone when receiving the ball. Player has to make a times run into the end zone to score a goal.

Red team players: #2, #4/5, #3, #6, #8 and #10

White team players: #11, #9, #7, #10, #8 and #5

small sided activity

Coaching Points:

  1. Timing of passing and movement
  2. Principles of Attack (penetration, mobility, improvisation, support, width)
  3. Game cues for penetration versus possession
  4. Quality passing and receiving, sound individual defending, positional awareness for disrupting opponents attack, tactical sense for initiating attack (penetration versus possession)


Expanded Small Sided Activity (15 Minutes)

Instructions: 7v6 Red team defends the big goal and the white team defends three small goals. With off-sides at the midfield mark offensively for red team and at the top of the box for the white team.

Red team players: #1, #2, #4/5, #3, #6, #8 and #10

White team players: #11, #9, #7, #10, #8 and #5

expanded small sided activity

Coaching Points:

  1. Coaching points from above
  2. Timing of passing and movement
  3. Principles of Attack (penetration, mobility, improvisation, support, width)
  4. Game cues for penetration versus possession

Match

Instructions: Duration of 30 minutes; 8v8 game with goalkeepers (on a 3-3- Formation) or 7v7 with goalkeepers (on a 2-3-1 Formation)