Soccer Drills for Coaches – Practice Makes Perfect

Filed under: Drills, Practice plans, Youth Soccer Coach, Youth Soccer Coaching by: admin

By Matt Hick

Coaches have used soccer drills for years to teach a variety of moves and strategies to players. While many players argue that repetitive drills are boring, the benefits of practicing the same skill over and over again can make the difference between a team full of qualified players who are ready to go up against even the toughest team, and a team with little or no teamwork capabilities or soccer skill.

The goal of the coach is to find drill that not only teaches specific playing skills, but which are fun for players. Here are a few basic skills drills to get your team started:

Taking Control of the ball is vitally important in the game of soccer. One way to help players learn to gain control is by separating them into two teams in two single file lines facing each other. Serve the ball into the air while each player fights for control of it.

Learning to protect the ball can be done with this simple one-on-one drill: have one player stand next to the ball with his/her feet a shoulder width apart, while the second player stands on the outside shoulder of the first player. Instruct player 2 to get his foot on the ball “by any means necessary”, which forces the opposing player to maintain balance, protect the ball and learn how to respond to aggressive opponents.

Some coaches prefer drills that more resemble a game. This short 8-minute drill is designed to provide constant movement in a fun way and helps players work on crossing, finishing, goalkeeping and team communication.

Break the group into teams of 3’s or 4’s, giving each team a ball. Instruct the player holding the ball to go to the sideline 18 yards from the end line. The player then dribbles the ball to the end line, and crosses the ball back toward the middle, while the teammates try to score one touch. If the ball is on the ground and is scored, the team scores one point, but, if the ball is served in the air and volleyed into the goal, it counts as 3 points. If the ball is played in the air and headed into the goal, it counts as 5 points for the team. Each player serves the ball twice before rotating. Each team can only use their own ball.

Here are a few other short drills that can aid players in developing better kicking and ball control:

Inside Roll: Roll the ball across your body from outside to inside with the inside and sole of the foot, stopping the ball with the inside of the other foot.

Push-Pull: Using the inside of the foot, tap ball back and forth and pushing it forward with one foot and pulling it back the sole of the opposite foot.

Pull Turn: Push the ball forward with one foot and pull it back with the other while turning your body toward the ball and taking the ball in the opposite direction with the inside of the first foot.

Kick Over ball: Kick over ball with the inside of the foot, while pulling it back with the sole of the same foot.
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