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
I start with volleys and focus on Continue reading ‘Breaking Down the Technique of Shooting’ »
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’ »
Rather than standing in lines and running around cones, it’s through playing futsal that many elite level players, particularly in Brazil and Spain, developed their silky ball skills, smooth passing and lightning quick decision making. Players love small sided games, and the benefits are obvious. Players get more time on the ball, more touches and the intense nature of futsal puts them under more pressure to be perform. It’s a wonder it’s taken so long for coaches to realize the benefits of harnessing futsal in their training programs.
Continue reading ‘From Futsal to Soccer’ »
I think that most coaches have a couple of resources that they go back to time and again. Improving Your Team’s Speed of Play by David Williams is one of those books for me. The quality of the sessions and thoughtful coaching points always give me ideas that I can use in training with my teams.
This excerpt is from the Small-Sided Games section of the book.
Suppose I have seventeen players, including two goalkeepers, of a reasonably high standard to work with. My aim for this session is to improve the players understanding and ability to run with the ball.
The two teams are set out in a 3-2-2 formation plus a goalkeeper, and I have included the extra player as a floater ( F ). In the defending zone three defenders play against two strikers and Continue reading ‘Improving Your Team’s Speed of Play’ »
This is one of those sessions that I read or saw another coach present but I can’t recall where. I wish I could give the coach credit because I’ve found it to be a very useful session to teach players how to make runs for their teammate with the ball.
The three runs that this session focuses on are checking, drifting and Continue reading ‘Teaching Three Runs to Create Options’ »
I sat down to plan my U8 and U10 practices the other day and while going through my old sessions and thinking about previous games I realized that it would be a great day to just let them play. We didn’t have any games the following weekend and there hadn’t been a practice this season that I just let them go at it.
I regularly have the boys play various 1v1 games and we always finish with a small-sided game at the end of training but every once in a while I like to plan an entire session around playing competitive 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 games. This gives the players a break from the usual format and gives them a chance to use all of the skills that we’ve been working to improve. They love it because Continue reading ‘Just Let Them Play’ »
The year our club is emphasizing the need for our teams to learn to play out of the back from goal kicks and goalkeeper possessions. It will take time for the players to learn how to maintain possession under pressure and build up an attack. There will also be times when we give up goals because of mistakes by the goalkeeper and defenders. However, the long term up-side far out weight the loss of a goal or even a game. If we train our players to deal with pressure and play around it from the back, they will be better able to do this all over the field.
This starts with our youngest teams. Here is how we want our U8, U9 and U10 teams to take goal kicks: Continue reading ‘Playing Out of the Back’ »
During the summer I spend some time combing through new training ideas for the upcoming year. As I begin to assemble my training calendar for the fall I’m always on the lookout for economical drills and exercises that incorporate conditioning aspects along with technical and tactical elements. With only two days of training per week, I don’t want to spend 30 minutes just training conditioning to get my players fit for soccer again after the summer break.
With my older teams (U13 to U18) I hold a series of preseason conditioning sessions to give the players a base of fitness that we can work from. With my younger teams (U8 to U12) Continue reading ‘Ball Orientated Conditioning’ »
I would say that most coaches believe that it’s very important for all soccer players to be very comfortable with the ball at their feet. How they go about developing this confidence varies widely from one coach to another. Some will focus on fast footwork exercises, others will use cones or other obstacles to encourage players to keep the ball under control.
I’ve had the most success using fakes and moves to train ball control, creativity and 1 v 1 ability at the same time. The moves engage the player’s imaginations and make it fun to practice. I discussed which Continue reading ‘1 v 1 Training’ »
One of the perks of being apart of WORLD CLASS COACHING is that I have access to a large library of training sessions from some of the top professional, collegiate, and youth coaches. We have published books and DVDs on every aspect and topic of coaching.
I often refer to our DVD especially for new ways to approach topics to keep my coaching fresh and interesting to the players I work with. I think we’re all probably guilty of using the same few drills or exercises for a specific technique over and over. This can be a good thing because it allows us to focus on teaching the game rather than having to spend a lot of time teaching the drill. But changing things up on occasion can breath new life into a stale session and motivate players to perform at a higher level with the addition of new challenges.
In the past if I was looking for a new warm-up for a shooting practice I would have to scan through three or four DVDs to find what I’m looking for. This changed recently with the addition of our new Video Library. It contains more than 400 clips from many of our most popular DVD titles covering a wide range of techniques and tactics. Now I can search this library and find a clip instantly. I can even log in and view the videos on my Android phone (it also works with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad).
Here’s the warm-up I found from former US Woman’s National Team Assistant, Lauren Gregg.
Balls traveling into stride, balls traveling away from stride, movements with back to goal, balls coming out of the air.
Groups of four (2 players in the middle – one is a defender, one is an attacker) check away, receive pass, set, hit the target
- Check back at an angle
- Receiving player – don’t check square, check at an angle where you can see goal, teammate, and defender at the same time
- Player receiving form the setter get on a 45 degree angle to strike into the target
- Look over your shoulder
- Not square – got to be at a 45 degree angle
- If you need to take a touch to clean it up then do that.
- Checking player now has the option to turn, dummy, or set
- Coaching Points
- Check to the ball with some urgency
- Look over shoulder for defender
- Targets adjust
- Defender’s defend like you mean it
- You only need a half step to shoot
- Receive with foot furthest from the defender
Check out the new Video Library have access to hundreds of drills, exercises and small-sided games on every technical and tactical topic.
Have a great day!