Archive for the ‘General Coaching’ Category.

Fitness Training Indoors

The indoor season provides a change of pace and focus that I think is good for player development but you don’t want to completely lose the base of fitness that was built during the outdoor season. The challenge is that you have a limited amount of space to work with when you’re training indoor. We use a school gym, and a small one at that. I look for exercises that mimic the movement patterns of the game while using space as economically as possible.

 

The warm-up below is from Dave Tenney Continue reading ‘Fitness Training Indoors’ »

Repetitive Turning Exercise

I like using high energy, repetitive exercises for skill training. They engage the players and give them a lot of opportunities to practice a skill that we have worked on before.

One of my favorites is Tag Turning.

TagTurning

Basic Pattern

  1. Two lines of players are facing each other
  2. One player has a ball (Player 3)
  3. A player from the opposite line starts in the middle (Player 1)
  4. Player 1 goes back toward his line and tags the next player (Player 2)
  5. Player 1 then checks back toward the ball and Player 3
  6. Player 2 follows closely behind
  7. Player 1 calls for the ball and Player 3 passes it to him
  8. Player 1 receives the ball and turns around Player 2 using one of the four turns taught earlier
  9. Player 2 then moves to tag Player 3 while Player 1 passes to Player 4 and the pattern continues

Continue reading ‘Repetitive Turning Exercise’ »

Fitness and Skills Testing

In next week’s podcast on CoachingSoccerWeekly.com I discuss the preseason training routine that I perscribe for my players. One way to ensure that they actually DO the preparation is to test them at the start of the season. I also test them at the end of the season.

I use the testing put together by AthleteFIT.com. There are six tests; one fitness test, three skills tests and two speed tests.

I’ve found these to be a great indicator of how ready my players are to train. The test we do at the end of the season also tell me if what we have done has improved the players technically and physically. There is only so much we can do to improve speed, you either have it or you don’t but one of the Continue reading ‘Fitness and Skills Testing’ »

1 v 1 to 3 v 3 Continuous Game

I like using continuous games because they are high energy, engage the players and create a very competitive environment. If you keep score then the game can replicate the pressure of the actual game.

62215-1

This game is best played with at least six players on each team. To start the coach passes a ball into the middle and Continue reading ‘1 v 1 to 3 v 3 Continuous Game’ »

Recovering After a Tournament Weekend

The end of the year includes the most important tournaments of the year. We played one over Memorial Day weekend and our State Cup competition begins on the following Friday. I usually plan to train for an hour one each of the days in between the tournament and State Cup.

The first session is purely for recovery. I want the players to get together get warmed up and go through a couple of easy, non contact exercises and fun games to get players loose and rejuvenated after having played four games over the long weekend. The tournament was an Continue reading ‘Recovering After a Tournament Weekend’ »

Gaining Possession

This is a training session that I’ve often used to work receiving. I’ll return to it once a month or so. Sometimes I’ll repeat the session once a week (with variations) for three weeks to focus the players on these skills.

Juggling
I begin with a juggling warm-up. It begins with free juggling and progresses to include some form of limitation depending on the level of the players.

Progressions

  • One juggle and catch – for players having trouble with the technique of juggling
  • Progressive Juggling – One and catch, two and catch, three and catch, etc.
  • Right Foot, Left Foot continuous pattern

 


Throw, Receive and Dribble Away
The players each have a ball in their hands. They jog around the area, throw the ball slightly Continue reading ‘Gaining Possession’ »

Train Midfielders and Defenders to Pass to Feet or Space

With only two practices per week with my teams I’ve found that it works best to focus on a technical topic (Running with the Ball, Dribbling, Control, Shooting) during our first practice of the week and then Passing and Possession progressing to a small-sided game during the second session. We also do one shooting exercise toward the end of practice just to keep a focus on that before the weekend.

I’m always looking for variations on possessions games to focus on different aspects of possession and to keep the practice fresh. I was reminded of one recently when I was looking through one of our best selling books, ‘Players’ Roles and Responsibilities in Systems of Play‘. By creating target areas in each corner Continue reading ‘Train Midfielders and Defenders to Pass to Feet or Space’ »

Different Games Teach Different Skills

Each winter soccer teams in the cold weather states are forced inside to continue to train and play. Some are fortunate enough to continue playing the game as they do outdoor. Facilities like Total Soccer in Wixom, MI provide 11 v 11 and 8 v 8 fields indoors.

These facilities are rare around the United States so most teams are left with one or two options: Futsal or Indoor Soccer (also known as Arena Soccer). The two formats are very different

Futsal is FIFA’s recognized form of soccer indoors. It is played all over the world is the only form of soccer indoors that offers a World Cup. Futsal is often played on a basketball sized surface with goals that are 3 meters wide by 2 meters tall. Each team plays with four field players and a goalkeeper. The Futsal ball is a, ‘low bounce’ ball that is one size smaller than the ball each age group plays with outdoor. The rules are almost the same as outdoor soccer with a few exception.

Arena Soccer is played on a field most similar to a Continue reading ‘Different Games Teach Different Skills’ »

Breaking Down the Technique of Shooting

A player’s shooting technique is a bit like a golfer’s swing; there is a generally accepted way to shoot a soccer ball but there are also individual differences that can exist without a negative effect on the final product.

Even though there we can accept individual difference, I think it’s important to give young players a template to work from. This session is designed to give a player the key points so that they check for breakdowns in these areas if they are not hitting the ball with the kind of power or accuracy they are looking for.

Volleys in Pairs

111014-1

I start with volleys and focus on Continue reading ‘Breaking Down the Technique of Shooting’ »

Dynamic and Active Warm Up Variations

A good pregame warm-up should get a team physically and mentally prepared to play from the first whistle. You can look for some patterns that may point to a need to change how your team warms up before matches.

Does your team often have a slow start or go down a goal early?

Does your team always play better in the second half?

If you answer yes to these question then the issue may Continue reading ‘Dynamic and Active Warm Up Variations’ »