Posts tagged ‘Warm-up’

Five Goal Warm-Up Game

Lately I’ve begun many of my training sessions with a game. Not necessarily as a Whole – Part – Whole practice progression but just as a way to engage the players from the start and get them energized and excited to at training.

This is a game that I’ve used as a warm-up and in the main part of the session. I like it because of how many different things you can coach depending on your focus. As with most small-sided games, the kids really enjoy playing it so they get a lot out of it.

Here is how the field is set up:

The size of the field and goals can vary based on the Continue reading ‘Five Goal Warm-Up Game’ »

Using a Tag Progression as a Warm-Up

This week I want to share a warm-up that I’ve used with every age group I coach. It’s a fun and dynamic game that can be used to prepare for many different types of sessions.

It’s based on a simple game of Tag. The first thing I do is have all of the players give me their ball and move into the penalty area. I give one player a scrimmage vest to hold with instructions to just play ‘Tag’. This is a game that every kid is familiar with and requires little or no explanation. THey know that the person holding the vest is it and they need to stay away from them while staying in the area. There will be players that start to ask questions and I usually just say, ‘Play Tag’.

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I have the ‘It’ player hold the vest so that they can hand it to the person they tag but I’ll show the ‘It’ player as a different color in the diagrams for clarity.

I ask all of the players to at least be jogging even if the ‘It’ player is not  chasing them. If there is not enough pressure on the players I will either make another player ‘It’ or limit the space to only half of the penalty area.

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Next, I’ll have the players each get a ball, including the ‘It’ player. They play the same game with the same rules but now they are each have to focus on controlling a ball. This makes it much harder for the players who are ‘It’. I emphasize that the best way to avoid being tagged is to change direction away from the pressure because you’ll be able to move faster than the ‘It’ player since you know where you’re going and they don’t.

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I increase the pressure on the dribblers by taking the ball away from the ‘It’ player. Now they try to touch the ball with their foot rather than tagging a player with their hand. This means that they dribblers are avoiding the pressure just as they would in the game. I encourage them to face pressure and beat the ‘It’ player if they can or turn and protect the ball by shielding it if the ‘It’ player is too close.

With less experienced players I will give them a move that they can do to make them immune from being tagged if they try it. This is great to use with moves or fakes that the players may have learned recently. They know they will be safe if they try it so there’s no fear of making a mistake. As they improve I’ll say that the ‘It’ player can catch them in the middle of the move but if they complete it they can’t be chased. That means that they have to perform the move early and explode away from pressure.

Another option is to require the ‘It’ player to ‘take’ the ball, not just touch it. This encourages the players to fight to keep the ball even if the defender touches it. It also forces the ‘It’ player to win the ball and not just poke it away.

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As a final progression I’ll designate two ‘It’ players to work together and try to win the ball and pass it to me. If they do this the ball is out of the game but the player who lost it stays in the area to help their teammates by showing for a pass if they are under pressure. I emphasize that they need to help players who are under pressure and not just pass the ball with a player when their is no defender around.

This naturally progresses from individual possession to a game of keepaway where you can talk about passing the ball to the player with the most space  and always moving it away from pressure.

Can you suggest any additions or changes that you would make to teach other techniques or tactics? Please share them in the comments section below.

Have a great day!

Tom

 

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’ »

Warm-Up for Shooting

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.

Warm-up
Balls traveling into stride, balls traveling away from stride, movements with back to goal, balls coming out of the air.

Procedure
Groups of four (2 players in the middle – one is a defender, one is an attacker) check away, receive pass, set, hit the target

Coaching Points

  • 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.

Progression

  • 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!

Tom

Warm-Up for Shooting

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 Continue reading ‘Warm-Up for Shooting’ »

An All Inclusive Warm-Up

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity is a warm up drill working on dribbling, passing, receiving and vision.

Start with a circle with a 20 yard diameter (you can use the center circle for this).  Put 4 cones in the middle around 4 yards apart and surround the circle with players.


One player starts with a ball and dribbles to the middle and then Continue reading ‘An All Inclusive Warm-Up’ »

Possession Warm-Up

It’s easy to get in the habit of doing the same activities over and over again.  As an example, we want to do a possession warm up with 3 groups of 5.

In the DVD Tactics and Drills for Training Forwards, Bob Warming, shows an interesting way to do this a bit differently.

The first game is a typical 4 v 1 game in limited space.  With a 10 x 10 grid the players are restricted to 1 touch soccer and if possession is lost, the player who lost the ball goes on defense.

While one group is playing the 4 v 1 one touch possession game the second group is playing 3 v 2.


This 3 v 2 game has less of a space limitation and also allows up to 3 touches per player.  The one other condition is that each of the attacking players must be moving at all times.  This is much less of a static activity and involves takeovers, moves etc.

The third group is playing 4 v 1 with a big twist.  It’s two touch maximum and possession is lost if the ball hits the ground.


This possession game is working on heading, juggling, movement and support.   It wont work for a group of beginners but a higher level team could and should have up to 20 touches in a row.

Each game would be played for 2 minutes and then they would switch to the next game.  In a 6 minute period the players have been exposed to a variety of types of possession and by changing things up, it keeps things interesting for all.

Consider using this type of variety in training and see how much the players will appreciate it.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Why a Dynamic Warm-Up Is Vital

A dynamic warm up is vital to a successful training session.    There are many different versions and mixed feelings regarding whether there needs to be a ball involved or not.  Many feel any time in training that doesn’t utilize a ball is wasted time.  I, and others, feel it’s more important to get a good warm up and to have the players truly ready (both physically and mentally) for when the ball is then added to the warm up.

In this activity, start with 4 cones in a line, 10 yards apart.  Another 2 cones are in a different line 10 yards apart and 10 yards to the side of this first line. 2 more cones are in a similar line 10 yards to the other side.

Two lines of players start by going to cone 1, then to cone 2, then to cone 3, then to cone 4, then to cone 5 and then to cone 6.  When they get to cone 6 they jog back to the starting line.

* To start, the players jog through the set up.  When the first player gets to the third cone, the next players starts
* Next the players skips through while opening the gate.  This means the player brings their leg to their chest, then swings the knee to the side and then does the same with the other leg
* Next the players skips through will closing the gate (exact opposite of the previous one)
* Next the players jog through with high knees
* Next the players jog through hitting their heals to their butt.
* Next the players carioca.
* Next the players jog backwards
* Next the players jog forward at 50% speed
* Next the players go through at 75% speed
* Next the players go through at 100% sprint

This is a nice dynamic warm up that helps players get ready for their training session.  Similar warm-ups can be found from our book, Dutch Drills For Total Team Training.

‘Dots’ Warm-Up

I think it’s important to start practices with an activity that will engage the players and get their attention. When players arrive at the practice field they have usually come from a busy day of school. They may have spent some time playing with friends around the neighborhood. Depending on their practice time, they may have eaten dinner. Before they can be expected to learn anything we have to get them to focus on where they are and what they are doing.

Most of the time I begin with a fun game that they will enjoy but will also have a connection to the topic of the session I’ve planned. Another exercises that works well is the ‘Dots’ warm-up that I’ll describe below. I’ve done this as with ‘Gates’ as well but one day I was short on cones and just put a single cone down rather than use two cones to create a gate.

This had some unintended consequences that offered some things that the gates did not. The cones can be approached from any angle which makes it easier for the players to dribble smoothly from one cone to the other without have make a radical change in direction. Secondly, two players can dribble at the same cone and as long as they changed direction before running over the cone, they could both perform the movement and dribble away to the next cone. This also adds some additional pressure to change direction in time because they risked running into another player and not just a cone. There are also advantages to using gates so you can experiment with both and see what works best for your players depending on what you’re trying to teach.

Three different colored cones are spread randomly around an area. The size of the area depends on the number of players you have as well as their age and ability level.

To begin with I have the players dribble from one ‘Dot’ to the next in a pattern of their choice. They are allowed to change the pattern whenever I stop the players for a change in rules or to give a coaching point.

There are many things that you can have the players focus on as they dribble: inside/outside of one foot only, dribble to the right of each cone using the farthest foot, change speed as they pass each cone, change direction away from each cone, etc.

Next, I’ll have them perform a certain fake or move when they approach a specific color cone. For example: Have the players perform a scissors when they come to the yellow cone in their pattern. The players simply dribble to the orange and blue cones. Add different activities for the other cones one at a time until the players have something to do each time they reach a cone.

This warm-up is limited only by your imagination. Please share your ideas for variations in the comments section of this post.

Warm-Up Game

The start of a session sets the tone for the day, focuses the players on soccer and gets their body ready for physical activity. With younger teams (U12 and below) I like to start with a game that relates to the topic I’ll be teaching. One of my favorites for days that we are working on dribbling is a progression of Tag.

To begin with, the players leave their ball outside the grid. The two players who are ‘It’ (you can use only one for the youngest players) hold a colored bib. The other players move freely throughout the grid. The players who are ‘It’ try to tag another player. If they do, that player gets the shirt and tries to tag someone else. The other players are encouraged to move constantly and be aware of where the ‘It’ players are.

After two minutes everyone, including the players who are ‘It’, get a ball. The rules are the same but now everyone has to control a ball while they are trying to tag players and avoid being tagged. If a player dribbles out of the area they take the bib from the closest defender.


Next, the players who are ‘It’ leave their ball outside the area and instead of trying to tag people with their hand, they try to tag the ball with their foot. The dribblers are asked to move the ball away from the pressuring player and protect it.

In the final progression the players who are ‘It’ must take the ball away before their change role with the dribbler. If the ‘It’ players kicks the ball out of the area, the dribbler gets it back. If the dribbler leaves the area, he changes roles with the closest defender.

This is an easy to understand warm-up that provides everything necessary to prepare a player for practice. It is also progressive as it begins without a ball adds more defensive pressure gradually. You can add pressure by increasing the number of defenders depending on the age and ability of the players.

What is your favorite warm-up?