Soccer drills, soccer training sessions and soccer practices from top coaches. These pages are intended to provide a variety of training options to coaches to improve their ability to deliver quality sessions and practices.
The sweeper/stopper method of defending is a popular defensive system in youth soccer. The role of a sweeper is given to a player that plays behind the line of defenders. It is that player’s duty to cover the space behind the defense and in front of the keeper, and sweep across to remove the danger of the opponent’s attacks. As with all tactical plans, it is dependent on the strength of the players involved. Here are three drills to help develop the effectiveness of defending with a sweeper.
Receiving and turning to attack and score in the defender (A)’s goal. (2) Passes the ball into (1) who has to receive and turn and beat (A) and score a goal. Have the attacker run the ball into the goal to score or shot it in.
This exercise is what the Barcelona thinking model of passing and movement is built on. Adding a Neutral player to play thru. Players start at 7 years old and use it right thru the ages; and even at senior level it is a staple practice for the players.
Please read to understand the “attention to detail” required to do this correctly. Its not just a passing around the square game, it is so much more than this. We build it up to make it work with real pace and accuracy; as again; it speeds up the mind and body in decision making.
Use these drills to work on closing down the opposing team's defenders in the attacking third of the pitch and prevent your opponents from playing out of the back so easily.
Use this Thru Passes in Traffic drill from Smedley to work on passing angles, speed of play and timing the run.
Having studied Brazilian soccer I have been impressed with two things; Their angled passing style of play and the sideways on aspect of their play. Their ability to disguise a pass by “front foot” passing These exercises are designed to incorporate each of these characteristics into our players.
Work on attacking, decision making and speed of play with this small-sided game from Smedley's Soccer Site.
The ideal is to have two teams both playing a 1 – 3 – 2. When both teams play that shape the coach can get a substantial amount of teaching done. This model teaches the players to read the passing windows from backs into midfielders or from midfielders into forwards.
When defense is discussed, it is often in the context of the team. Yes, the defensive system employed by a coach, whether it is man-to-man or zonal, is important. But what are as important and often overlooked are the technical and tactical defensive abilities of the individual players. Following is a practical session that addresses the individual skills of tackling, closing down and containing from the front and back -- as well as exercises that incorporate these skills into a team's defense.
This test measures an athlete’s agility; the ability to change direction quickly and control movement of the whole body.
Work on finishing with this four goal drill from Smedley.
The difference between defensive and attacking shape is just the spacing between players and between units. Defensive shape is short and tight, attacking shape is wide and long. To help the players when you do this initially keep the same spacing between players and units as they move around the field to get the concept across. As they get better you can move on to increasing the spacing such as when we get possession of the ball and we need to have the players go wider and longer in their spacing between each other.
Work on using possession to penetrate and score with this session from Mario Prata presented at the 2017 Soccer Champions Coaches' Clinic.
Use these drills to help players recognize when and how to change the point of the attack in relationship to situations that the game presents.
This small-sided game emphasizes playing between the lines by finding the neutral player in the end zone and quickly supporting him to open up the defense and score.
A pre-shot dribble can be extremely important to creating scoring opportunities. Use this session from Ian Mulliner presented at the Soccer Champions Coaches' Clinic to work on your teams dribbling to score.
In many multi-sprint sports such basketball, hockey, rugby, soccer and so on, players often have to reproduce sprints in quick succession. The ability to recover between sprints and produce the same level of power over and over is a measure of sprint fatigue.
The following activity can be used to improve the overall game awareness of individuals within a team concept. This session is an indicator of how quickly players recognize the “correct run off the ball” by a teammate and consequently they make the “correct pass”.
Work on timing runs, speed of play and decision making with this small-sided game from Smedley's Soccer Site.
There are several different strategies to executing an effective throw-in, but the primary keys are to not lose possession and hopefully gather some offensive momentum. Here are two plays to get you started.
Baseball, cricket, boxing and golf are all sideways on sports. Baseball players, cricketers and boxers are sideways on because they are one sided, right or left handed. This is not the only reason they are sideways on, however. Players have much less capacity to shift weight if they are flat footed and standing square. Shifting weight from back foot to front foot is one of the secrets to impact power. This is true of soccer players also but the reason we call this section “Sideways On” is because soccer is a 360 degree sport with high levels of activity going on all around the players and they need as wide a scope of vision as possible. Being sideways on gives soccer players the ability to see a comprehensive field of view and gives them many more choices than if they were facing the wrong way receiving a straight pass.
Work on passing and receiving in the penalty area with this 3 v 2 finishing drill from Smedley.
Use this drill to work with your goalkeeper on dealing with crosses from the flanks and the field players to work on near and far post runs.
If you want to compete at your best at soccer, you need to commit to preseason training, so that your team’s strength and cardiovascular fitness peaks at the right time. This is a moderate intensity aerobic training session. This session is designed to replicate the demands of soccer.
This session on developing players technically includes 3 drills and was presented at the 2017 Soccer Champions Coaches' Clinic by Sigi Schmid.
The main focus for this game is to encourage the movement of your players off the ball. The players are also looking for opportunities to play the ball through the triangle to score points. The defender must defend the triangle and do their best not to go through the area.
Partner and a ball training is perfect for the beginning of practice sessions or before a match, to get players feet moving quickly and sharpen their touch before competition. Partner and a ball training can also be used for players for self improvement of different techniques such as cruyff, pullback v, volleys, headers, and many more.
The first player in Line A runs thru the first ladder, and then stops to play a double pass with the Feeder. After passing back to the Feeder, he continues thru the second ladder to play a double pass with the first player in line B. After striking the return pass, he immediately turns into the field to receive a thru pass from the Feeder. He then finishes first time on goal.
One of the considerations in developing a counter attack strategy is what to do with the forwards once the ball goes past them. This is important and needs careful reflection. I saw the Danish team in Euro 1988 playing with one forward high and the other in a low “mirror” position when the Danes were defending. They, therefore, had a short pass available when the intercepting player was under pressure and a long pass to a high CF when pressure was broken. As you will see in the diagram the forwards for the red team have shifted to “mirror” the position of the ball in case it is won. This is the kind of strategic thinking coaches must consider when putting together a counter attacking strategy.
Work on Quality of Passing/Receiving Skills, Awareness/Decision Making and Movement in this Passing and Receiving Training Session from The NSCAC.