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COACHES

PLAYBOOK

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Introduction to Street Soccer USA . . . . . . 4

About SSUSA Methodology Guide . . . . . . . 5

TABLE OF CONTENTS
SSUSA Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Street Soccer Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

The Street Soccer USA Blue Card . . . . . . 14

Coaching Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Practice Structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Fuñino (Play Based Approach) . . . . . . . . 18

Trauma Informed Coaching . . . . . . . . . . 26

Crisis De-escalation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Restorative Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Playbook Icons & Key . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Warm Up Activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Skill Building Activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48


Fundamental Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50
Amateur Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Intermediate Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
Advanced Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90

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Introduction to Street Soccer USA
Street Soccer USA Methodology Guide

Vision The Street Soccer USA Methodology Guide provides Street


We believe in a world where all people and communities can Soccer USA coaches with an overview of our youth methodology,
unlock their potential of a healthy, confident future. defines the 8 Street Soccer Skills, explains the Funiño model, and
includes a comprehensive and play based activity guide designed
Mission for various skill levels amongst youth soccer players (ages 6-17)
Street Soccer USA uses the power of soccer to help people and transitional aged youth (ages 18-24).
of all ages and backgrounds discover their strengths and take The Methodology Guide aids new and experienced coaches
positive steps forward in their lives. alike by supplementing their knowledge of a sports based youth
development curriculum. For new coaches, simply use the
Model provided materials to create thematic practice plans. If you would
Street Soccer USA’s unique curriculum connects soccer skills prefer to design your own practices, use this playbook selectively
to life skills, giving players the tools they need to unlock and incorporate activities to fit your practice topic.
the promise in themselves. By hosting community-based
tournaments and showing up each day for practices and
games, we create the space for players to cultivate trusting
relationships, connect to local social services, and build
the skills and confidence to succeed. And because every
community is unique, we tailor our approach to fit each
community’s vision of success—whether it’s building a safe,
healthy place for community members to call their own, or
supporting local clubs so more kids have the chance to play the
beautiful game. From after-school programs, to adult training
sessions, we provide more opportunities for all players to have
fun, work hard, and lift each other up—on and off the field.

Impact
In just over ten years, Street Soccer USA has grown from a
single team in Charlotte, North Carolina to a national network
of 15,000 kids, teens, and adults in 14 different cities. We are on
a tireless mission to help more people across the country play,
grow, and win—and we’re excited to have you on our team.
Together, we can play for more.

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Street Soccer USA
Coaching Methodology
Soccer is Fun! Self-guided Discovery & Inquiry Based Learning
SSUSA applies play based soccer activities, utilizing games rather Let the game be the teacher! Rather than giving children the
than drills which allows practices to be player-led – stimulating answer, use questions to prompt them toward learning or
and unlocking creativity, confidence, and soccer intelligence. realizing on their own. This leads them to become independent
Relationship Centered Coaching thinkers and self determined problem solvers.
Research shows that the most protective factor of a child’s Fostering a Growth Mindset
development is a caring, stable relationship. We all need people Under-served communities perpetually under-perform
(or just one person) in our lives who expect us to show up, remind due to limiting beliefs, or fixed mindsets. Growth mindset
us we matter, and make us feel capable of achieving more. methodology encourages the transformation of a fixed
Coachable / Teachable Moments perspective to a growth perspective. As coaches we need to
Oftentimes the children are not aware of how lessons on the create spaces where kids can develop and grow confidently by
soccer field connect to lessons in the classroom or elsewhere. recognizing effort over talent, compassion over intensity, and
As coaches, we help them realize this by reinforcing positive allowing the success of others to be inspiration for ourselves.
behaviors such as sportsmanship and fair-play, and introduce Neuroplasticity
conflict resolution tactics. Neurons are the building blocks of the brain, they store
Teamwork and Collaborative Problem Solving information, develop our personalities, and even change our
Teamwork is an essential human skill. Playing on teams, we learn habits. At a young age the brain has high neuroplasticity – it can
communcation skills, empathy, and we become collaborative create, shift and reinforce the neurons in your brain. Physical
problem solvers. We also make friends, have fun, and find a sense exercise is proven to benefit the brain by improving learning
of belonging. Research shows that people who band together and memory. Exercise stimulates neural growth, increases
and support one another gain advanced analytic skills; for youth blood-flow to the brain and ultimately makes it easier for us to
on teams, their behavior, attendance, and performance in school literally change our brains. Research shows that students who
improves. And for those living in adverse circumstances, the engage in physical activity perform better academically. The link
effects of belonging to a team are even greater. between our mind and body is thoroughly considered in our
methodology at Street Soccer USA.
Age Appropriate Goal Setting
A child develops through incremental stages on their growth to Trauma Sensitivity
adulthood. In each stage they should be challenged to achieve Assume that there is always a story to behavior; while coaching
appropriate goals: For children younger than 9, focus on creating you may see emotional dysregulation, outbursts, shutting down
joy and engagement in soccer activities; youth aged 10-13 (5th-8th and other behavior. The more intense the behavior, the more
grade) should be challenged to learn and master individual skills; we support, listen, give space or explore with the player what is
youth aged 14+ are ready for the pressure of competition and going on behind their behavior.
should set goals to increase self-efficacy and self-regulation.
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Street Soccer Skills

Street Soccer USA focuses on a unique set of Street Soccer


Skills which emphasize sports based youth development. Street
Soccer Skills give coaches and youth language to connect on
the field soccer skills they learn to off the field attributes and
applications. As pairs, Street Soccer Skills teach a progression of
Fundamental, Individual, Teamwork, and Strategic Skills.

Soccer Skills Street Soccer Skills Street Skills

Facing Reality

Fundamental
Ball Control
Body Coordination Safety
Show Up

Skills
Fitness Respect
Play with Heart
Knowing the game Motivation
Concentration

Dribbling Confidence

Individual
Passing Self Regulation
Look Up

Skills
Shooting Accountability
Take the Space
Agility Self Expression
Vision Goal Setting

Empathy
Positioning

Teamwork
Camaraderie
Communication

Skills
Build Your Triangle Collaboration
Support Praise Great Play
Giving / Receiving Help
Transitions
Praise & Support

Strength / Weakness Knowing Your Strengths


Strategic
Play the Plan
Skills
Define a game plan Self Reflection
Adapting the plan Adjust Your Play Resilience
Problem Solving

Outcomes - What we play for:


Better Physical & Mental Health Increased Self-Efficacy & Worth
Teamwork & Relationship Building Goal Setting & Paths to Success

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Street Soccer Skills Street Soccer Skills
Fundamental Skills Individual Skills
SHOW UP LOOK UP
To “Show Up” is the action of being here, being ready, and You will not know what play to make if you don’t pick your head
knowing oneself. It means being fully prepared for and engaged up and see the field. The skill “Look Up” teaches you to be
both physically and mentally in what you are doing. To “Show aware of your surroundings and find opportunities, on and off
Up” also is knowing when you’re not showing up in full; nobody the soccer field. To find the best path to success, you’ll need
is perfect and we all have times when we’re out of it. It is up to “Look Up” and recognize your own feelings, thoughts, and
to us to acknowledge when this happens. Our players apply impulses and manage them in a way that lets you decide what
“Show Up” in their life by always coming prepared, being to do next. Oftentimes, looking up from your situation helps
present, and goal oriented. you recognize challenges, and find new opportunities.

PLAY WITH HEART TAKE THE SPACE


Always give your best effort, but there’s a difference between After looking up, in order to make progress you have to be able
playing hard and playing with heart. To “Play with Heart” is to identify, create, and take advantage of opportunities around
to put your “heart” into your participation on the team; to you. It’s necessary to take open space on the field to create
understand your motivations, passions, and intentions and opportunities for yourself and your teammates. In life, you have
contribute to the team’s safe and supportive environment. to “Take the Space” by speaking what is on your mind and in
When using your heart you can recognize your teammate’s your heart, by taking real responsibility for your actions and by
or opponent’s differences and have respect for them. We thinking critically about where you want to go.
understand that your teammates or opponents have feelings
and stresses of their own, and we respect those feelings. Try to
connect to the best you and bring that with you everywhere Coaching Individual Skills:
you go. When asking youth participants about the SSUSA skills Look up
& Take the Space have them respond to the question(s): What
new skill or lesson did you learn today? or How did you use
Coaching Fundamental Skills: your new skill?
When asking youth participants about the SSUSA skills Show
Up & Play with Heart have them respond to the question(s):
How did you give your best effort today? or Who did you see
give their best effort today?

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Street Soccer Skills Street Soccer Skills
Teamwork Skills Strategic Skills
BUILD YOUR TRIANGLE PLAY THE PLAN
Though this is a technical term in soccer, it serves as a powerful When a team takes the field, they have a plan or strategy
connector to the life skills Street Soccer USA teaches around in mind. This plan is based on the team’s strengths and
teamwork. At the heart of teamwork and community, in soccer weaknesses, coalesced in the type of formation they want to
and elsewhere, is the ability to “Build Your Triangle,” forming play. If they want to be successful, they have to “Play the Plan.”
strong relationships with your teammates, friends, coaches, In life we are constantly creating plans for how to “play”- for job
and others who will support you on your journey. To do this interviews, for building relationships, for achieving our goals.
you have to be willing to give and receive help, work through Asking “what’s your plan?” reminds us to create a plan and stick
conflict, and still be there for your teammate with a level of with it.
trust and loyalty.
ADJUST YOUR PLAY
PRAISE GREAT PLAY As in the game of soccer, your experiences off the pitch don’t
Let your teammates, colleagues, friends, and peers know you always go exactly the way you plan it. So, as important as
support them. This act helps strengthen your community. planning is for success, it’s equally critical to be prepared with
“Great Play” does not only refer to the quality of a player’s a back-up plan in case things don’t go as expected. Learning
performance in a game or practice, it also references something to anticipate challenges and being able to “Adjust Your Play”
much broader: we may “Praise Great Play” for anything that an helps you keep calm when confronted with setbacks. Accepting
individual does that is praise-worthy, this includes their effort that things need changing confirms you have resilience and the
or attitude irrespective of outcome and their learning and ability to manage yourself through ups and downs.
growth. There are so many things our players and teammates
do that are deserving of great praise, so shout it out. Coaching Strategic Skills:
When asking youth participants about the SSUSA skills Play the
Plan & Adjust Your Play have them respond to the question(s):
Coaching Teamwork Skills: How did you come up with a plan? What was your plan? Did
When asking youth participants about the SSUSA skills Build
Your Triangle & Praise Great Play have them respond to the you change your plan?
question(s): How did you help your teammates? How did your
team work together? Who on your team helped you succeed
and how did they do this?

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The Street Soccer USA Blue Card Coaching Techniques

All coaches have their own


coaching style, create one that
works for you. Here are some
SSUSA techniques to add to
your coaching style:
• Keep a calm approach
• Ensure Physical & Emotional
Safety
• Have firm expectations with
compassionate enforcement
- “Be an iron fist in a velvet
The Street Soccer USA Blue Card is used to recognize and glove”
reward great play through positive reinforcement. Instead of • Utilize coachable moments
giving out red and yellow cards to penalize negative behavior, to allow players to see their
SSUSA coaches use Blue Cards to promote the positive, pro- success and development
social behaviors that we celebrate. The Street Soccer USA Blue • Maximize informal time!
Card is an integral part of our methodology and is used in our
programs across the nation. Group Management Techniques:
• Establish group agreements
The Street Soccer USA Blue Card can be used as creatively and with your team on the first
often as you see fit. Here are some suggestions as to how you practice, stay vigilant in
can use the Blue Card at practice: abiding to them
• Use attention getters (call
• Pause play to recognize a players good sportsmanship, fair
and respond, clapping, etc.)
play, strategic thinking, or leadership.
and visual & action cues with
• Allow youth to give Blue Card shout outs between activities
specific language
and at the end of practice.
• Act as a player in a game
• Recognize role model behavior of players who are on task,
and coach in a peer to peer
engaged, and showing respect to the coach or teammates.
manner
• Allow a player to hold or carry the Blue Card looking for
• Have back pocket games
someone to give it to during play.
or activities when practices
• Periodically, distribute fully filled out paper copies of the
don’t go according to plan
Blue Card to players for them to take home and show off to
friends and family.

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Practice Structure Practice Structure

Set Up - Prior to practice, coaches arrive 15 minutes early Skill Building Activity(s) - Players participate in games and
to gather gear, check in with site staff, clear practice area of play-based activities that use soccer as a pathway for character
hazards, set up for the planned practice (have a whistle, SSUSA development. Games should be played in small groups. Coaches
Shirt, and Blue Card!), and review the practice plan with support look for coachable moments to reinforce strategies of success,
coaches or Program Leaders. offer ideas for improvement, or shout out positive role models.
Opening Circle - In the opening huddle, coaches greet each Scrimmage - Save 15+ minutes of practice for scrimmages. Try
player with the Soccer Handshake and check in on how the to keep games small (no larger than 6v6) to maximize individual
players are feeling. This huddle is the time to walk through time on the ball. If numbers are large, create 3+ teams and rotate
the day’s practice and review group agreements. Be sure to playing teams. Alternate between a standard and Fuñino field
introduce the SSUSA Skill for practice and review how youth can set up. Encourage kids to apply the SSUSA Skill from practice to
recieve a Blue Card. find success in the scrimmage.
Warm-Up Activity - Players engage in a 5-10 minute warm up Team Huddle and Shout Outs - At the end of practice coaches
activity that emulates the movement of soccer. This activity can and players gather in a closing huddle. Players are asked to give
be done with or without a soccer ball. shout outs to their teammates’ effort for displaying the SSUSA
Skill, these shout outs can be echoed and expanded on by
Stretching Circle (optional) - Players alternate leading stretches
coaches or reinforced with Blue Cards. Practice concludes with a
for the team; coaches can explain physical health benefits of
team cheer.
stretching.

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Funiño Funiño

Street Soccer USA develops independent, creative, and self- Funiño benefits player development by providing more time
determined problem solvers. The Funiño model lends itself on the ball, introducing width and options, allowing for creative
towards building these traits. decision making via goals, and thus cultivates problem solving
skills and intelligence in young players’ minds.
Funiño Structure
The Funiño game is typically set up with 4 goals, 1 yard from the
sideline in each corner of the pitch (see diagram below). The Funiño Philosophy
field is typically 20-25yds wide by 20-25yds long, though the • Funiño’s play based and player centric approach maximizes
field size can fluctuate based on number of players and their movement and physical activity and reduces coaching time
skill level (or available space). (90% player led - 10% coach led).
• Use an Inquiry Based Approach to lead youth to self-
Splitting the field into 3 quadrants length wise (see diagram guided discovery via effective questioning, rather than
below) can allown a coach to creatively use conditions and instruction. The game is the best teacher!
restrictions.
• Avoid the three L’s - Lines, Lectures, and Laps by playing
3v3 play is the baseline for Funiño play, increasing each player’s free flowing games rather than drills.
number of touches on the ball. As player abilities improve, • The Funiño model mirrors situations from the game of
more players can be introduced to each team. soccer and encourages cooperation amongst players via the
Use kick-ins rather than throw ins to keep the ball on the triangle formation - an effective shape in all styles of soccer.
ground. • All players are in scoring positions at all times.
• It’s simple and most importantly, it’s FUN!

1yd.

2yd. 15yd.
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Funiño Funiño

Why Funiño? • Live in the Present - Generally speaking, children have very
At Street Soccer USA we look beyond the soccer pitch, we little interest in the past or the future. They are focused on
recognize the power that soccer has to positively impact the the present moment and the game of soccer will help them
outcomes of all those who play. The many parallels listed achieve that.
below link SSUSA’s Soccer for Social Change Curriculum and • Feeling Understood - Children don’t think as logically
the holistic player development of Funiño. These connections as adults do. Their ideas, thoughts and reasoning lack
provide a platform for coaches to make a difference in the lives coherence, but they depend on emotional support to feel
of their players. cared for. As a coach, it’s important to support and lift up
youth on the pitch.
• The Power of Play - Play is as essential to kids as breathing;
it’s how they grow in both body and mind. A child’s learning
is limitless when they play with others: it stimulates mental,
physical, social, and emotional aptitude.
• Safety - Providing a physically and emotionally safe
and supportive play environment is critical for youth
development.
• Self-Discovery - The game of soccer reflects many aspects
of life. Through the process of discovery, youth will
progressively develop intelligence and be more comfortable
with challenges and dealing with adversity.
• Peer Recognition - Children become highly motivated
through praise or recognition of their effort, creativity, and
problem solving. Praise from a coach or teammate(s) can
encourage youth to even try harder. This is the basis for
cultivating a growth mindset in youth.
• Independence - Children prefer to do things on their own,
and reach independence as soon as possible. Thus children
should predominantly work out their own solutions to
problems the coach presents.
• Socialization - Instinctively, children reach out to others of
a similar age. They love to be part of a group (team), share
their ideas, and collaborate. This socialization helps them
discover their identity.

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Funiño Funiño

Conditions & Restrictions Fuñino Benefits for Players


There are various elements a coach can implement to challenge • Funiño is easy for players to learn and understand.
a player’s approach to playing Funiño: • Funiño reduces crowding of players around the ball (a
• Enforce a touch limit • Use alternative ways characteristic of young soccer players) so that each player
• One player must remain in to score: completing a participates fully in the game. It’s highly physically and
the attacking half consecutive number of mentally engaging.
• Players can only score with passes earns a goal, a give • Many children can play at one time - one full-sized soccer
their non-dominant foot and go earns a goal, etc.) pitch can fit up to 8 Funiño pitches, thus up to 64 youth can
• Players can only score with • When a team falls behind be playing at one time.
a one-touch shot by more than three goals, • Smaller teams gives time and space for players to think and
• Every player on the field they can bring an extra act on the ball, thus improving technical and tactical play.
must touch the ball once player on the pitch or Repetition of abilities learned in Funiño cultivates feelings
and keep possession prior when a team goes ahead of competence from self-determined decision making.
to scoring by more than three goals, • Funiño uses 4 goals which encourages players to look up
• Every player must be in they have to bring a player and think before they act, thus players learn how to use
the attacking half in order off the pitch space optimally in different phases of the game.
to score
• Funiño helps to attract children to the game who generally
do not like sports. There is no real barrier-to-entry
technically or tactically, and most importantly, many
opportunities to score.
• There are many variations (over 50) to the Funiño style, so
the game stays fresh and interesting for players. Variation
promotes essential life skills such as perception, decision-
making, innovation, creativity and grit.
• Funiño has players interchanging positions so all players
learn both attacking and defensive abilities.
• Funiño helps youth feel adventurous and this gives them
confidence to express themselves through their play. It also
helps develop movement off-the-ball.
• Learning takes place in a fully-integrated holistic
environment, just as the game of soccer itself. There is no
isolation or separation of technical, tactical or physical
22 elements. 23
Funiño Funiño

Sports Based Youth Development Components of Funiño


• Funiño Encourages an Active Lifestyle - Physical exertion is
integral to the style of play (all players are involved), thus it
combats the effects of sedentary lifestyle and risk of obesity.
• Physical Exercise as an Emotional Respite - Funiño creates a
safe environment where youth can participate, have fun, and
find a healthy way to release stress.
• Confidence and Self Esteem - Players learn through creative
trials, and are given the freedom to make and learn from
mistakes. Thus Funiño develops competence in challenges,
leading youth to be prepared to overcome adversity.
• Analysis and Problem Solving - Young players are encouraged
to think for themselves without being spoon-fed the answer.
They learn how to process information, recognize problems,
find solutions and implement them.
• Emotional Self-Control & Self-Regulation - Funiño players
learn to control their emotions in frequent critical moments of
the game, like after conceding a goal. They have little time to
get angry, as they’re too preoccupied mentally and physically.
• Social & Emotional Learning through Teamwork - Funiño
paves a pathway for players to learn various social and
emotional benefits such as how to make friends, offer support
to their teammates, abide to a sense of good sportsmanship,
lose honorably, take responsibility for their mistakes without
blaming others, accept the group they belong to, appreciate
and recognize contributions of teammates.
• Fair Play - Youth are encouraged to demonstrate respect
and honesty toward their teammates, opponents, coaches
and referees. Funiño teaches players to value and accept the
rules of the game, play fairly, accept the mistakes of others,
not discriminate against any player, and praise great play
regardless of the winner.

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Trauma Informed Coaching

What is Trauma? How & Why is Play Important in the Trauma Healing Process?
“An experience that is emotionally painful, distressful, or “Play is... an extraordinary way of healing scars left by a disaster.
shocking, and which often have lasting mental and physical It not only lessens anxiety and depression, but restores hope
effects. It involves the creation of emotional memories about and creativity. It brings back pleasure and desire, which are the
the distressful events that are stored in structures deep within foundations of psychosocial life.”
the brain. It is believed that the more direct the exposure to the -Edgework Consulting, Playing To Heal
traumatic event, the higher the risk for emotional harm.” While at play, an individual can encounter “good stress” with the
- US National Institute of Mental Health
support of a team and coach, allowing them to better cope with
stress off the field and expand their capacity to handle certain
What Does Trauma Look Like?
situations. Thus play and exercise become a tool that allows an
Fight, Flight, Freeze - The responses to experiencing trauma are
individual to form new thought patterns around stress and regain a
wide and varied. This can make it very difficult to determine
sense of control in their life.
when someone is triggered by a previously traumatic
experience. The better we become at recognizing the signs
of trauma the more we can orient ourselves and have a
productive approach to each other’s behavior. This leads up to
understanding and having a Trauma-Informed Approach.
What does it mean to be Trauma informed? What can
coaches do (best practices) to be trauma informed?
“Trauma Informed Care Perspective is based on the recognition
of psychological trauma as a pivotal force that shapes the
mental, emotional, and physical well-being of those seeking
healing and recovery with the support of mental health and
human services.”
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration

As coaches the elements we want to ensure are a part of every


event we oversee are:
• Your Team is an Emotionally and Physically Safe Space
• Familiar Practice Structure and Group Agreements
• Consistent and Long Term Engagement for Lasting Change
• Relationships are the core of social emotional development
• Integration and Recognition of Local Cultural Practices

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Crisis De-escalation Restorative Practices

Street Soccer USA Coaches should always use positive behavior Restorative Practices work transversely to our current punitive
management strategies to prevent situations of crisis from justice system. In a restorative practice, the victims are given a
occurring. However, even with this intentionality, crisis can chance to communicate and explain the real impact of any harm
occur. Crisis De-escalation techniques can be used when they have suffered. It considers those who commit harm as hurt
positive behavior management techniques have failed. themselves and helps them take responsibility and make amends.
• If you experience an incident with your team, safety is the
After harm has been done, a best practice is to have one on one
top priority. This may mean isolating the triggered player
followed by group talks around restorative practices. To initiate
until the player has calmed down and is able to rejoin the
this conversation, you can use the following questions:
group.
• What happened and what was your role in it?
• When addressing the player in crisis tone and body
• What was going through your mind?
language are more important than what you are saying;
• What did you hope would happen when you…?
slow down your speech, lower your tone, and speak clearly.
• Looking back on that, what do you think now?
• Don’t block exits, or stand squared off from the player.
• Who has your behavior affected?
Maintain a comfortable distance, open and relax your
• Who is upset or hurt by what you did?
posture, and maintain a soft gaze.
• How can we put things right again?
Once the situation is calm, clarify that it is not the person you • Is there anything else you can think that might help?
have a problem with but with their behavior. Use C.L.E.A.R.
Communication - Calm tone, Listen first, Expand your
emotional vocabulary, Ask questions, Review the plan when
speaking with this player.
To guide the conversation, there are a handful of questions you
can ask to revisit the group agreements of your team. You can
ask:
• How is your behavior impacting others?
• Is this creating a positive effect on the team?
• What would the team be like if everyone broke this rule?
• Why do we have this rule as part of our group agreements?
• How can you communicate your needs to the rest of the
team in a healthy way?

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Playbook Icons & Key

The following pages will contain warm-up and skill-building


activities to use at your Street Soccer USA practices. These
activities are designed for use with specific skill levels. Each
activity is supplemented with progressions to change the
strategy or to require players to approach the game differently.
To be sure you are coaching the intended skill(s), there are
strategic coaching points listed that point out skill development
indicators.
Review the playbook key and icons below which designate skill
level, activity progression(s), and skill development indicators:

Fundamental skill level Amateur skill level

Intermediate skill level Advanced skill level

Recommended play on a SSUSA Park

Activity progression: conditions, and restrictions

Coaching points & Skill development indicators

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Warm Up Activity
The Name Game

Objective
To learn the names of the players and coaches on a team in a
dribbling or passing activity.
Activity Progression
Try creating a dribbling or passing pattern:
Street Soccer Skill
Use one ball and rather than dribbling freely in the circle,
Show Up (pg. 10)
have players dribble or pass directly to a teammate.
Have players dribble or pass to the same teammate each
time so that a pattern is formed. Players receiving the ball still
Set Up say their name!
Players and Coaches stand facing each other in a large circle; Challenge the team to see how fast they can complete one
everyone should be at least arms length apart. cycle of the dribbling pattern.
Coach or Player(s) have a soccer ball at their feet; 3 soccer Challenge the team to see if they can complete the pattern
balls max. in reverse order.
How To Play
Dribble the soccer ball into the circle, practice a few turns,
then find a teammate or coach to leave the ball with.
Say your name when you receive the soccer ball, be sure to
Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
speak loud enough for the entire circle to hear you.
Focus on proper dribbling technique - inside or outside of
Player with soccer ball dribbles into the circle then to a new the foot, close ball control, head up.
player.
Pause game, see if player can go around circle and say every-
one’s name.

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Warm Up Activity
Volcanoes & Craters
Objective
To integrate a dynamic warm up into free flowing activity.

Street Soccer Skill Activity Progression


Restrict movement to only walking, skipping, lunging, etc.
Play with Heart (pg. 10)
In Round 2, have partners link arms so they have to move
eveywhere together.

Set Up
In a large grid (15yd x 15yd) scatter 20 cones – half of the
cones are to be placed right side up (volcanoes) and half are
to be upside-down (craters).
Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
How To Play Look for players in each round that are Playing with
Volcanoes & Craters is played in quick, 2-3 minute rounds Heart – youth who are stopping when you indicate to,
Round 1: On the coaches mark, players run through the grid communicating with their partner, encouraging thier team to
trying to turn as many craters into volcanoes (or visa versa) keep trying thier hardest, and aren’t gaurding cones.
as they can. Play for a few mintues then stop the game, see
who flipped the most cones.
Round 2: Have players find a partner. Partners now work
togehter to flip over cones. Cones can only be turned over
if both players are touching the cone. Play for a few mintues
then stop the game, see which pair flipped the most cones.
Round 3: Split group into two teams. One team is only
flipping cones into Volcanes and the other is only flipping
cones in to Craters. Play for a few mintues then stop the
game, see which team won by counting the number of
Volcanoes vs. Craters.

34 35
Warm Up Activity
Driving Test

Objective
To introduce or expand ball controll skills at a variety of speeds.

Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators


Street Soccer Skill Focus on proper dribbling technique - inside or outside of
Take the Space (pg. 11)
the foot, close ball control, head up. The coach should walk
around the grid while calling out motions to monitor individ-
ual skill and give them postivie/constructie feedback.

Set Up
In a large grid (20yd x 20yd) have every play begin with a
soccer ball at their feet.
Demonstrate the motions of Go (jog), Stop, Slow Down
(walk), Speed Up (run), Right &Left Turn, & U-Turn.
NO CRASHING - You fail the driving test if you crash into
another player. Teach players to keep the ball close, and
have thier heads up.

How To Play
Players dribble around the grid while the Coach calls out the
motions at random.

Activity Progression
For groups that are more developed soccer players, teach
a skill move (scissor, step over, pull & push, etc.) to practice
with each motion.

36 37
Warm Up Activity
Blob Tag
Objective
To focus on collaborative problem solving and communication
in a free flowing tag activity Activity Progression
Race the clock - Challenge the Blob to see how fast they can
Street Soccer Skill
get everyone tagged.
Build Your Trinage (pg. 12)
Add a soccer ball - All players start with a ball and the Blob
tries to kick thier ball away. When a players’ ball is kicked
away, that player joins the blob.
Set Up
In a large grid (15yd x 15yd or larger) have two players link
arms or hold hands to form the “Blob.”
Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
How To Play Blob Tag is all about teamwork and communication. Look
The Blob moves around and tries to tag other players. As
for individaul Blobs that are talking amongst themselves to
other players are tagged, they link arms and join the Blob.
choose one player to tag, or look for Blobs that are talking to
Once the Blob grows to 4 players, it splits into two smaller each other to work together and tag players.
blobs (2 players each) and there are multiple Blobs tagging
players. If the Blobs have a hard time working together, model for
them what it looks like when individuals in a Blob try to run
Blob tag ends when all players are a part of a Blob.
different directions. Then ask the team what they would do
to make it easier.

38 39
Warm Up Activity
Flag Tag
Objective
To teach quick transitions between offense and defense in a
flowing activity.
Activity Progression
Street Soccer Skill Introduce a soccer ball after a few minutes of play. All players
Play The Plan (pg. 13) have a ball that they must keep control of when avoiding
having their flag pulled or trying to pull flags.

Pause the game and have players share out what agility
Set Up moves they are doing to avoid having thier flag pulled. Use
In a large grid (min. 15d.y x 15yd) distribute bibs / pinnies these stratagies when coaching the rest of the group
(Flags) to most players; have 3-5 players start without a flag,
they are it.
Players tuck their flag into their pocket or wiastband so that
most of the flag is dangling.
Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
How To Play Have players think about how they will plan to quickly switch
Players with flags try to avoid having their flag being pulled from avoiding defenders to chasing after flags. Why is it
those who are it. important to not get frustrated when your flag is pulled?
When a flag is pulled, the player who was it tucks their
pocket or waistband. Player who had thier flag pulled is it When a ball is introduced, do players change how they play?
and must find another player’s flag to pull. Are they moving slower, being more reserved? Recognize
players who can share thier strategy.
Make sure no one is guarding, blocking, or hiding thier flag.

40 41
Warm Up Activity
Bones, No Bones

Objective
Use agility and spatial awareness in a variation of freeze tag.

Street Soccer Skill Activity Progression


Adjust Your Play (pg. 13) Try changing the size or shape of the grid; ask the players
how they will approach the game with the new size/shape of
the grid.
Restrict movement to only walking, skipping, running
Set Up backwards, etc.
No set up required – game is to be played in a grid with a
maximum size of 15yd. x 15 yd.

How To Play
Everyone is it! All players begin with “Bones” that give them Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
the ability to move. After every two rounds, bring the ground in for a quick
Coach instructs players to tag a certain body part (back, hip, huddle and ask players to demonstrate or explain the
knee, shoulder, etc) using only one hand to avoid pushing. strategy they are using to avoid being tagged.
Everyone tries to tag each other, when you tag someone
shout “No Bones” which makes you lose your bones and When starting each round and identifying a new part of the
have to take a knee or sit down. body to try and tag, also point out how to look out for other
players – look over your shoulder, side to side, etc. Recognize
Remain down until a teammate tags you (anywhere, not players who are scanning the field.
specific to body part) and says “Bones,” which gives you the
ability to get up and run around again.
Play multiple rounds of Bones, No Bones; each round have
players tag a different body part and thus Adjust their Play
by having to dodge and maneuver the space differently.

42 43
Warm Up Activity
1 vs. 1 Tag / Ring of Fire

Objective
Increase agility and acceleration in a warm up that can progress
into a ball control activity. Activity Progression
Start 1 vs 1 tag at a reduced speed that builds round by
Street Soccer Skill round. For example in Round 1 players can only walk, Round
Praise Great Play (pg. 12)
2 players can skip, & Round 3 players can run.
For Advanced players in Ring of Fire - require a skill move
after each gate to evade defender. Players must be able to
confidently dribble at speed before adding this progression.
Set Up
In a large grid (min. 15d.y x 15yd) set up 10+ pairs of cones to
create gates.
Have players find a partner for the activity

How To Play Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators


1 vs 1 Tag
Use the time between round to “Praise Great Play” by asking
All pairs line up on an end of the grid, one player on the end
pairs shout out what they see thier partner doing well.
line and one player 3 yards in front of them.
On coaches mark, front plater tries to run through gates to During Ring of Fire look for players that change speed and
score points. Trailing player tries to tag the front runner. shield the ball to keep it away from their partner. Have them
demonstrate this skill for the team to work towards.
When the front player is tagged, the roles switch and they
now must chase their partner who is trying to score points.
Ring of Fire
Introduce a soccer ball to the game. Front runner scores
points by dribbling through each gate.
Trailing player has to steal the soccer ball, then they can
score points.

44 45
Warm Up Activity
Stuck In The Mud

Objective
To practice ball control and defensive dribbling while being
spatially aware; encourage communicating during setbacks. Activity Progression
For groups that are beginner soccer players, require the Mud
Street Soccer Skill Monsters to walk.
Look Up & Take the Space (pg. 10)
Teach a skill move to evade Mud Monsters – scissors, step
over, Cruyff turn, etc.

Set Up
In a large grid (min. 15d.y x 15yd) have every play begin with a
soccer ball at their feet.
Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
Focus on proper dribbling technique - inside or outside of
Select 3-5 players to be “Mud Monsters” that begin without a
the foot, close ball control, head up.
soccer ball.
How To Play Recognize players who are calling out to their teammates to
Players dribble around the grid while the “Mud Monsters” help them get free, or to Mud Monsters who work together
attempt to knock away their soccer balls. to catch dribbling players.
If a players’ ball is knocked away, the player will retrieve
their ball, then hold the ball above their head with their legs Look for plyers who “Take the Space” by dribbling to open
spread apart and exclaim, “I’m stuck in the Mud.” areas of the field, away from the Mud Monsters.

A player stuck in the mud remains stuck until a teammate


dribbles their soccer ball through the stuck player’s legs. This
frees them from the mud and allows the player to resume
dribbling.
Rotate Mud Monsters every 2-3 minutes.

46 47
Skill Building Activities
Games & Play

At the core of Street Soccer USA’s Coaching Methodology is an


emphasis on play-based, player centric practice activities. This
style of coaching benefits player development by promoting
more time on the ball and allows for creative decision making,
thus cultivating problem solving skills and intelligence in young
players’ minds.

The following games and play-based activities are designed


to prepare Street Soccer USA coaches to connect our 8 Street
Soccer Skills (pg. 9) to the games being played at practice.

Please review the icons below to make sure the activities you
are using are appropriate for the age group your coaching.

Fundamental skill level Amateur skill level

Intermediate skill level Advanced skill level

Recommended play on a SSUSA Park

Activity progression: conditions, and restrictions

Coaching points & Skill development indicators

48 49
Skill Building Activity
Fundamental Skill Level
Marbles

Objective How To Play


To develop targeted / instep passing skills. All players must remain on the end line of the grid, they can
not move closer to the marble or into the grid.
Street Soccer Skill
Play The Plan (pg. 13) On the coach’s mark, players try to pass their balls to knock
the marble and score points:
1 point if the ball is knocked out of bounds on a sideline
2 points if the ball is knocked past the other team
Players can not touch the marble with their feet (or any other
Set Up body part) to stop the marbles movement.
This game works well on a mini-pitch (1/2 court) but can also
Players can only make contact with the marble with a soccer
be played in a square grid (10yd x 10yd).
ball. They can even place their foot on a ball and let the
Divide team into two equal groups, have the groups stand marble hit it.
on opposite edges of grid.
Place one ball (different color/unique) in the center of the
grid. This is the marble.
Distribute the rest of the balls so either group has an equal Activity Progression
amount. Add a second marble to have multiple targets. Play each
round until both marbles are out of play/scored.

Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators


Make sure youth are using a proper passing technique, with
the instep of their foot.
Have youth work together to block the marble - how can
they distribute soccer balls? should everyone pass at the
same time?
Rather than kicking a ball right when it comes to them, have
players stop the ball and make an accurate pass.

50 51
Skill Building Activity
Fundamental Skill Level
Haunted House

Objective
To develop directional dribbling skills.

Street Soccer Skill Activity Progression


Take the Space (pg. 11) Allow Zombies to run to steal balls.

Teach a skill move like a stepover for dribbling players to get


past the Zombies.

Set Up
Create a large rectangular grid (20yd. x 10 yd. minimum) with
endzones (2 yds. deep). The large center section is called the
“Haunted House.” Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
Everyone starts in one endzone (aka “Safe House”) with a Make sure youth are dribbling with thier heads up to avoid
ball at thier feet. zombies and are keeping the ball close to them.

Choose 3+ players to start in the Haunted House, these 3


players are “Zombies” or defeners.
How To Play
On the coach’s mark, players try to dribble through the
haunted house from one safe house to the other.
Zombies must move like zombies! Which means they cannot
run after dribblers.
Make sure players are dribbling through the haunted house,
not just kicking their ball to the other end then chasing it.
If a Zombie kicks a ball away from a dribbler, that player
becomes a Zombie.
Play until everyone has become a Zombie.

52 53
Skill Building Activity
Fundamental Skill Level
Space Invaders

Objective How To Play


To work on instep passing technique in a playful activity. On the coach’s mark, the asteroids run through the asteroid
belt while the spaceships use rocket blasts to try and hit the
Street Soccer Skill feet of the running players.
Play With Heart (pg. 10)
The Rocket Blasts must be on the floor! Avoid injuries by
requiring two touches (still ball) on retrieved blasts, and
proper instep passing technique.
If an asteriod is hit by a rocket blast then they become a
Set Up spaceship and get to blast rockets at ateroids.
Create a long channel (15yd x 2 yd) that runs through the
middle of your practice area, with at least 2yds of space on Play until there is only one asteroid left, then restart.
either side of the channel. This will be the “Asteroid Belt.”
On the top and bottom of the long channel, create two small
circular grids (enough to fit all players). These are “Planets.”
Divide the soccer balls so that there is an even amount on
Activity Progression
Have asteroids start the game by walking only, once the
either side (left or right) of the asteroid belt. The balls are
youth get a hang of the game, allow running.
“Rocket Blasts.”
Have all of your players start on one planet at an end of the Have asteroids link together and have to move through the
Asteroid Belt, they are now “Asteroids.” asteroid belt in pairs.
Chose 2 or 4 players to be “Spaceships” and have them find
a soccer ball to stand over on either the side of the asteroid.

Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators


To ensure the safety of players, ensure all rocket blasts
(passes) are on the ground and kicked from a still ball (two
touches). It may help to limit spaceships to one rocket blast
per round.
If the spaceships are quick to reload (collect the balls) they
can get more blasts in each round, and play more rounds.

54 55
Skill Building Activity
Fundamental Skill Level
Not In My Yard

Objective
To introduce clearing the ball in a defensive manner.
Activity Progression
Street Soccer Skill Add a condition - players must pass the ball to a teammate
Play With Heart (pg. 10) before it can be cleared to the other side.

Set Up Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators


This game is designed for a mini-pitch or enclosed field with Look for players that are moving around frequently to find
walls. soccer balls to clear, shout them out at the end of a round
for their effort which leads to more chances to kick the ball!
Divide team into two equal groups, groups start on opposite
ends touching the wall.
Dump all the soccer balls onto the field with an even amount
on each side.
How To Play
On the coach’s mark, players run from the endline and try
to clear their side of the field from all soccer balls by kicking
them to the otherside.

Play for a few minutes then freeze the game, make sure no
more balls are kicked after you freeze the game as this is an
automatic loss for that team.
Count the amount of balls on each side of the field,
whichever team has less balls on their side wins that round.

56 57
Skill Building Activity
Fundamental Skill Level
Steal The Bacon

Objective
To introduce 1 v 1 skills in light competition.

Street Soccer Skill Activity Progression


If no goals / points are socred after 15 seconds or so, call out
Show Up (pg. 10) & Praise Great Play (pg. 13)
a second number to play 2v2 or have 2 defenders try and
steal the ball.

Set Up
Create a large grid / field with a goal on either end. Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
Split team into two groups and number off players in each When a round is over, have the players who were involved
group (1, 2, 3...). Make sure everyone knows their number. high five the rest of thier team, reagrdless of a goal or not.

Have the two teams line up on opposite corners of the field.

How To Play (2 Variations)


Coach calls out a number and tosses a ball into play. The
players whose numbers correspond play 1v1 to goal.

Have teams spread out in half of a field / grid. Each team has
a ball and begins passing it around. When the coach calls out
a number, the player whose number corresponds runs to the
other teams grid and tries to steal their ball. First player to
steal or kick out the ball wins that round.

58 59
Skill Building Activity
Fundamental Skill Level
The Gauntlet

Objective
To develop dribbling skills with light pressure.
Activity Progression
Street Soccer Skill If players have enough ball control, allow defenders to try
Play With Heart (pg. 10) and steal the ball.
Add defenders / attackers to have a 2v2, 2v1, 1v2 approach.
Teach a skill move to dribblers to try to get out of pressure.

Set Up
Create a narrow rectangular grid aka “The Gauntlet” (3yd x
15yd) divided into three equal sections (3yd x 5yd). To avoid
long lines, create multiple Gauntlets. Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
Have one defender start in each of the grids, and a line of New soccer players should be encouraged to have
dribblers at one end. confidence with the ball at their feet, they need to learn
to evade pressure but not loose control of the ball, so it’s
How To Play important that defenders do not steal the ball at first.
Dribblers start at one end of the The Gauntlet and try to
dribble through each section, beating the defender there. Players should make a quick cut or move to beat the
defenders, you don’t want them to turn their back on the
Defenders should not steal the ball at first, they are to apply
defender (not move forward) to take too long in each grid.
light pressure.
Rotation: Dribbler completes the Gauntlet then takes the
place of the last defender. All defenders move forward one
grid. First defender joins the dribbling line.

60 61
Skill Building Activity
Amateur Skill Level
Risk
Objective
To develop dribbling techinque and ball control while avoiding
defenders.
Activity Progression
Street Soccer Skill To make the drill competitive, make it a race. The first team
Take the Space (pg. 11) to dribble around all the cones without touching one wins.

To challenge players, set up red and green cones alternating


in each colum. When players get to a red cone, they must do
ten toes touches on the ball.
Set Up
Create a colum of five cones, each cone is one yard apart.
Have players stand at the start of each colum; make enough
colums so there are no more than three kids in each line. Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
Name each cone a dangerous word. Have these words be Focus on keeping the ball close to your body and emphasize
age appropriate - for young kids try snakes, sharks, etc; for that it is not a race. Players using small touches will have
adolecents try peer pressure, disrespect, etc. more succes.
How To Play Every step, they should touch the ball and learn to look up
On coaches mark, players dribble down the colum of cones, while dribbling. Encourage players as they get comfortable
avoiding contact with them, using the inside and outside of they can go a little faster between the cones.
their feet.
If a player touches a cone that has a “dangerous word” on it,
they must stop and go back to the end of the line.

62 63
Skill Building Activity
Amateur Skill Level
Triple Threat

Objective
To build players’ communication and movement off the ball
skills in a fast paced, quick scoring game
Activity Progression
Street Soccer Skill Enforce a touch limit to increase movement off the ball and
Play With Heart (pg. 10) passing between teammates.

For younger and less skilled teams, have two or three soccer
balls in play. This prevents crowding and gives more players
an opportunity to have time on the ball.
Set Up
If possible, create a Funiño field. The two goals on Mini Pitch
also works well.
Divide your team into groups of 3. Each group is a country
competing in the world cup! They have to choose which
country they are representing. Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
How To Play Are the players talking to each other? Listen for players
It’s a 3 vs 3 vs 3 tournament and every goal can be scored on! asking for the ball or choosing which goal to attack.
A team can not score until all three players have touched the
ball, while maintaining possession of the ball Patient possession of the ball before finding the open goal
is mastery of the game. Look for players or teams showing
When a goal is scored, that ball remains in the goal and the awareness on the field, collaborative efforts, and strategic
coach sends a new ball into play. (Teams can not score on planning.
the same goal twice in a row. )
Play until one team has scored 3 or 5 goals.

64 65
Skill Building Activity
Amateur Skill Level
Volcano

Objective
To work on attacking or defending to a target.
Activity Progression
Street Soccer Skill Have attacking players complete a set number of passes
Look Up (pg. 11) before trying to knock the ball off the cone.

Try adding a second defender to the game, faster passes


with more precision.

Set Up
Use small cones or discs to make a small grid (2yd. x 2yd.)
Place one cone in the center of the grid, place one ball on
top of the cone. Create multiple stations like this. Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
Divide players into groups of 4 or 5, and send each group to Angles and movement off the ball are key in this game, when
one of the stations. an attacking player does not have the ball ask where the best
supporting position would be.
How To Play
Players stand outside of the small grid, circling it; no one
Look for players who can score off a one touch pass, this
can go inside the grid. One player is defensive, the rest are
shows they know what they want to do with the ball before
attacking.
the receive it.
The defender tries to prevent the attacking players from
passing to knocking the ball off the cone in the center. This
can be done by either blocking a pass or stealing the ball
from an attacker.
When a player successfully knocks the ball off the center
cone, that player becomes a defender.

66 67
Skill Building Activity
Amateur Skill Level
The Bank Game

Objective
To develop team possession skills - passing and moving.
Activity Progression
Street Soccer Skill Once the game is well understood, let two players defender.
Build Your Triangle (pg. 12)
Add a touch limit.

Set Up
This game works well on a mini-pitch, but can also work in a Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
rectangular gird (20yd x 15yd) split into two halves. Being able to use the entire space in this activity is
important, players should spread out to make it harder for
Divide your team into two equal groups and have groups the defender to steal the ball.
start in opposite halves.
How To Play
Coach will play a ball into one teams grid, this team begins
passing the ball around trying to connect 5 passes.
The other team sends one player across to apply pressure to
the team passing the ball.
For every 5 passes the team passing the ball connects
without the defender stealing / touching the ball, they earn 1
point “in the bank.” (10 passes is 2 points and so on)
To “cash in their points” they must pass the ball to the other
teams half. (They will also send over a defender at this time)
If the defender steals the ball, they must send it back to
their team’s half to let them start trying to earn points. If a
ball goes out of bounds, send a new ball into the defending
players side.

68 69
Skill Building Activity
Amateur Skill Level
Split ‘Em

Objective
To expand or develop team possession, defensive shape, and
long passing skills. Activity Progression
Street Soccer Skill Once the game is well understood, let two players defend.
Play The Plan (pg. 13) Alternatively, to make it easier, play without a pressing
defender or keep the central team defensive for 3 minutes,
then rotate so there are no transitions during play.
Add a restriction requiring the through pass to stay on the
Set Up ground to count.
This game suits a mini-pitch, but can be played in a Add a restriction - the ball can’t stop moving.
rectangular grid split into three equal sections (10yd x 7yd).
Divide your team into three equal groups, each group starts
in separate sections.
The team in the middle starts defending.
Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
How To Play Being able to use the entire space in this activity is
This is a possession and through passing activity - The coach important, players should spread out to make it harder for
plays a ball into one end section and that team begins the defender to steal the ball.
passing the ball around. At this time the middle team also
sends one defender into add pressure. Have the team in the middle think about the best way to
position themselves to block the through pass or be ready to
After stringing together 5+ passes, the team in possession apply quick pressure to the receiving team.
tries to pass the ball to the team on the other endline,
without letting the central defensive team block / intercept
the cross.
Each successful through pass is worth one point. If the ball
is blocked or stolen by the team in the middle, the middle
team take the place of the team whose pass was blocked
and a new ball is sent into the opposite section.

70 71
Skill Building Activity
Amateur Skill Level
Side Swipes

Objective How To Play


To expand or develop team possession, defensive shape, and This is a combination passing game played to goal. Teams try
long passing skills. to keep possession of the ball by using the width of the field.
Street Soccer Skill There are multiple ways to score points in Side Swipes:
Take the Space (pg. 11) & Play The Plan (pg. 13) One point is awarded if a team can keep possession of
the ball and connect passes to both of the wall players
(switch the field).
Wall players can’t pass to other wall players.

Set Up Players in the middle can’t defend the wall players.


Create a large grid (25yd x 20yd) with goals at either end, can Wall players can’t leave the side channels.
be set up Funiño style as well.
Three points are awarded for a goal, however goals can
Along the sidelines, create two channels (2yd wide) that span only be scored after a wall player touches the ball.
the length of the field.
Split the players into two teams and give them jerseys/bibs.
Have one player from each team start in each of the
channels (2 players in both channels, one from each team. Activity Progression
These are “wall” players). The rest of the players start in the When a ball is played to a wall player, the central player takes
middle grid. the wall players place and the wall player dribbles into the
middle grid.
Allow all players to defend the wall players.

Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators


This game may take some time to adjust to, don’t over coach
the start, let players learn by playing.
Players in the middle need to constantly be moving to create
space and passing lanes for the wall players.

72 73
Skill Building Activity
Amateur Skill Level
Escape Attack

Objective
To practice possesion under defensive pressure.

Street Soccer Skill Activity Progression


Play With Heart (pg. 10) Play The Plan (pg. 13) Start by calling out only one number, thus sending over
one defender. Gradually work up to calling two or three
defenders to add pressure on the team in possession.
Delay your approach to calling out numbers, wait between
each number to allow pressure to slowly build.
Set Up
On a SSUSA Mini-Pitch or rectangular grid split into two
halves (min. 10yd x 8yd) split team into two groups of 4-10
players (team numbers must be even).
On each team, number each player off from 1 to how ever
many players are on a team. Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
Try to make the skill level even with how you numbers off -
How To Play give the lesser skilled players lower numbers and the higher
Each team must stay in their half and maintain possession of skilled players higher numbers. This also makes the game
the ball. more competitive.
When the coach calls out a number (or series of numbers) This game game can be frantic, look for players who can stay
the player whose numbers were called run into the other calm and make quick passes in two touches.
teams half and try to steal their ball. Both teams send a
player(s) over.
There are multiple ways to score:
1 point is awarded if the defender(s) touch the ball to
disrupt possession.
2 points are awarded if the defender(s) steal the ball and
kick it back to their own team’s half.
3 points are awarded if the defender(s) steal the ball and
score a goal.
Have each round last at least 15 seconds

74 75
Skill Building Activity
Amateur SkillLevel
Amateur Skill Level
Ultimate Ball

Objective
To introduce team possesion in a handball activity

Street Soccer Skill Activity Progression


Play The Plan & Adjust Your Play (pg. 13) Once the group gets a hang of playing, add a condition that
disallows overhead passing. If a pass is thrown over the head
of a defensive player, it counts as a turnover. This promotes
movement off the ball, check into open space, and quick
passing.
Set Up If players take too long to make a pass, add a restriction that
In a large grid divide players into two teams. if a player holds the ball for more than 5 seconds, it counts as
This game is played with your hands a turnover.

How To Play This game can progress onto the ground to play team
The object of the game is to complete a set number of possession with your feet.
passes (5 or more depending on age/skill level of players) to
earn a point. Play until a team has 5 points.
When a player has the ball in their hands, they must remain
stationary. They can only pivot (like in basketball) but cannot
take steps.
Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
Quick passing before the defense is organized is the key to
The defending team cannot pressure the player who has success, ask players to recognize the open spaces and move
the ball in their hands, they must defend the other team’s away from the payer with the ball to spread the defense.
players who are moving around.
The defense can either play man to man marking or zones,
If a pass is dropped, knocked down, or intercepted. The ask teams to stick to one strategy or the other and see which
other team begins counting passes to try and earn points. works best.

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Skill Building Activity
Amateur SkillLevel
Amateur Skill Level
Rondo

Objective
To work on possession and defensive organization.

Street Soccer Skill Activity Progression


Take the Space (pg. 11) Play the Plan (pg. 13) To warm up for this game, you can play 5v2 or 3v1 passing/
keep away.
Impose a touch limit to make players approach the game
differently.
Set Up Add defensive penalties, if players are being split by passes
Consider your teams technical ability when playing this the team has to defend another round.
game, more skilled groups can work in smaller spaces. Create
a square grid.
There are two even teams plus two to three neutral players.
Create a zone for the neutral players in the grid (center, Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
sideline, corner). Highly competitive teams can warm up with this activity to
How To Play encourage quick ball movement and defensive organization.
Play possession with advantage on offense via neutral
players.
Every 10 uninterrupted passes completed is worth a point.

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Skill Building Activity
Amateur SkillLevel
Amateur Skill Level
Triange Goals

Objective
To get players to communicate their intention when making
decisions on the field.
Activity Progression
Street Soccer Skill For younger teams that tend to bunch together, play with
Take the Space (pg. 11) Build Your Triangle (pg. 12) two soccer balls.
Add a touch limit or require a set number of passes to be
completed before a goal can be scored.

Set Up
Create a large square grid (20yd x 20yd) and place 3 goals on
the edges or corners to create a triangle. (The goals should Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
face the center of the field. Encourage players to ask for help attacking a goal. They
should call on their teammates to collaborate to connect
Divide players into three equal teams and give them bibs/ passes and beat the defense.
jerseys to wear.
Teams are assigned to defend one goal.
How To Play
Each team starts the game with five “lives” that are lost
everytime thier goal is scored on.
Two teams can collaborate to try and score on the third.
The game ends when one team runs out of “lives.”

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Skill Building Activity
Intermediate
Amateur SkillSkill
LevelLevel
Flying Changes

Objective
To practice quick transitions between offense and defense

Street Soccer Skill Activity Progression


Play With Heart (pg. 10) Adjust Your Play (pg. 13) This game can be played 1v1, 2v2, etc.
You can also build play by having the defending player stay
on the field when a new ball is brought in - 1v1 becomes 2v1
becomes 3v2 and so on until a full scrimmage.

Set Up
On a SSUSA Mini-Pitch or rectangular grid with goals, divide
players into two teams and have them start on end line next
to each goal. (Goalies optional on mini-pitch, no goalies on
pop-up nets) Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
This game teaches players to think about what comes next.
Each team has a stock of balls, and players are ready with a After you score there is no time to celebrate, or if you lose
ball at their feet. the ball you can’t get down on yourself because you have a
How To Play responsibility!
Start a 1v1 game by having one line dribble towards the other The main focus is to get back on defense and be resilient
side; a defender steps up to apply pressure. through any outcome.
Once the attacker passes half field, they can try to score.
After the attacker shoots, loses possession or scores, a player
from the defenders team dribbles into play and the attacker
immediately plays defense.
The former defender returns to the end of their team’s line.
The game continues in this rotation: attack, defend, return to
line.

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Skill Building Activity
Intermediate
Amateur SkillSkill
LevelLevel
Shoot The Gap

Objective
To work on possession, movement off the ball, utilizing the
entire space of the field and to make quick transitions between
offense and defense. Activity Progression
To warm up for this game, you can play 5v2 or 3v1 passing/
Street Soccer Skill keep away.
Take the Space (pg. 11) Play The Plan (pg. 13)
Impose a touch limit to make players approach the game
differently.
Allow more defensive players to pressure the team in
possession.
Set Up
On a Mini-Pitch or rectangular grid create three consecutive
10yd. x 10yd. grids.
There are three equal sized teams (3-8 players) wearing bibs.
One team in each grid. Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
Make sure the defenders applying pressure are rotating.
How To Play
This is a possession and crossing activity - Each team is in Check for understanding by having a quick huddle during
one grid, but the teams switch grids regularly. a transition. Ask how a team can best prepare to receive a
cross, or how to be spatially aware when in possession.
The team in the middle grid is defensive while the teams on
the ends are attacking / possessing.
The coach plays a ball into one end, and that team begins
passing the ball around. At this time the middle team also
sends one defender into add pressure.
After stringing together 5+ passes, the team in possession
tries to cross the ball to the team on the other end-line,
without letting the central defensive team block / intercept
the cross.
Each successful cross is worth one point. If the ball is blocked
or stolen, that team becomes defensive and a new ball is
sent to the team on the other end.
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Skill Building Activity
Intermediate
Amateur SkillSkill
LevelLevel
Triange Attack

Objective
To get players to practice strategy for play on a SSUSA Mini-
Pitch or 3v2 attacking / 2v3 defending.
Activity Progression
Street Soccer Skill Have the offense and defense switch positions
Play With Heart (pg. 10) Build Your Triangle (pg. 12) If the offense is dominating add a touch limitation or scoring
rule (one touch scoring, opposite foot scoring).

Set Up
This game is played on one half of a mini-pitch.
Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
This game can get very competitive, but it’s important that
3 attackers and 2 defenders (plus a goalie) start in play. The both offense and defense stay focused on learning team
two defenders must hold on to one end of a bib/jersey/ positioning.
towel to stay connected.
On offense, players should stay in a triangle shape and use
How To Play the entire half of the mini-pitch to maximize time on the ball.
The coach plays a ball to the three attackers who are playing On defense, players should learn to defend by cutting off
to score a goal. Every goal is worth a point. passing/shooting angles
The two defenders must hold onto the bib/jersey the whole If the game is lopsided, add conditions suggested above.
time while defending. They are trying to steal the ball or
clear it out of the half.
If the defenders steal the ball and pass it back to the goalie
or clear it to the other half, they score a point.
If the defenders let go of the bib/jersey the attackers get a
point.
Play until the defenders or attackers score 5 or 7 points, then
rotate groups.

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Skill Building Activity
Intermediate
Amateur SkillSkill
LevelLevel
Rally

Objective
To work on possession, movement off the ball, team defense
& organization, and utilizing the entire field. This activity also
promotes quick transitions between offense and defense.
Activity Progression
Start with keep away & no points. Then incorporate scoring.
Street Soccer Skill Add a one touch limitation.
Take the Space (pg. 11) Build Your Triangle (pg. 12)

Set Up Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators


Create a square grid relative in size to the number of players This game will inspire movement off the ball and encourage
on your team. This game works well on a mini-pitch. an organized shape offensively and defensively. Look for
Divide group into two equal teams. Include neutral players man to man marking.
for odd numbers to aid in possession. The game may start in a quick / frantic pace, but should even
out as teams get the hang of it.
How To Play
This is a possession activity - the objective is to be the first Coaches should instruct why communication is important
team to connect 15 sequences of five consecutive passes. - time, turn, man on for offense and pressure, cover for
defense.
Everytime five consecutive passes are made, the team in
possession gets 1 point.
If ten consecutive passes are made, the team in possession
gets 2 points.
If only four passes are made, that team gets no points.

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Skill Building Activity
Advanced Skill
Amateur Skill Level
Level
End Zone Soccer
Objective
To work on possession, movement off the ball, team defensive
organization and utilizing the entire play space.
Activity Progression
Street Soccer Skill Start by playing team possession, then progress to each team
Look Up (pg. 11) Build Your Triangle (pg. 12) Play The Plan (pg. 13) attacking / defending a specific end-zone.
You can apply conditions and restrictions such as a touch
limit or set number of passes completed before scoring.

Set Up
This activity is custom made for a SSUSA Mini-Pitch, though
it can also be played on a grid with end-zones on the
touchline. On a mini-pitch, the goal mouth is the end-zone. Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
This activity challenges and motivates players to stay
Divide players into two equal teams, plus one neutral player focused and committed to an objective. Players (and teams)
in each end-zone often get frustrated defensively as points are often scored
How To Play consecutively.
This is a possession activity, with a scoring component.
Organization is critical to success in this game, as is quick
Which ever team posses the ball first gets to choose which play and teamwork.
goal they are attacking. Team score a goal by connecting
a one-touch passing sequence with the neutral end-zone
player (it can be a wall pass or a pass to a third player).
Once a point is scored, the team switches directions and
attacks the other goal.

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Skill Building Activity
Advanced Skill Level
Black Jack
Objective
To work on possession, movement off the ball, team defensive
organization and incentivize one touch passing and quick play.
Activity Progression
Street Soccer Skill Start by playing team possession, then add limited touch
Build Your Triangle (pg. 12) Play The Plan (pg. 13) restriction. After a few minutes of play, remove touch
restriction and add the one touch scoring element.

Set Up
On a SSUSA Mini-Pitch divide players into two equal teams Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
(plus neutral players if odd numbers). This is a great activity for selfish players, or players who have
Activity is played with one ball, however have a spare ready good dribbling skills, but need to cultivate better passing
if ball goes out of play. skills, and improve their vision of the field.
How To Play Oftentimes, players will force one touch passes; this is a
This is a fast-paced possession activity, the goal is to be the good teachable moment - remind players that ultimately
first team to connect 21 one touch passes. they’ll be more successful if they wait for the best
opportunities to score (connect a one touch pass).
Players can use as many touches as necessary, although each
team ONLY counts one touch passes. This games makes defensive organization / balanced offense
an important strategy. The team in possession must work
much harder to connect passes if the defense is cutting
down angles and defending as a group.

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Skill Building Activity
Advanced Skill
Amateur Skill Level
Level
Small Sided Counter Attack

Objective
Counter attack strategy & positioning on offense and defense.

Street Soccer Skill Activity Progression


Build Your Triangle (pg. 12) Play The Plan (pg. 13) You can add conditions or restictions to the game by
requiring every attacking player to touch the ball before
attempting to score, limiting the number of touches an
attacker can take, or adding a time limit to the attack to make
the game move quicker.
Set Up
On a SSUSA Mini-Pitch create three attacking lines with cones
on one endline and two defensive lines at the other endline.
Both goals have keepers. Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
How To Play Start the game slow, model the activity so everyone
The offense starts with the ball and begins their attack down understands the flow. Gradually build up to quicker / more
the field against the two defenders & keeper. free play.
When a goal is scored (or keeper makes a save and holds the
ball) the player who shot the ball becomes a defender (the Encourage clear communcation to get the group to work
other two attackers are out of the remainder of play) and the together and fully understand how to play.
two former defenders now attack the other goal 2 vs. 1.

Players rotate clock-wise through the cones to play all


positions.

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Skill Building Activity
Advanced Skill
Amateur Skill Level
Level
Rotation Possession

Objective
To work on possession, movement off the ball, defensive
organization, and utilizing the entire field. This activity also
promotes quick transitions between offense and defense. Activity Progression
Add a touch limitation
Street Soccer Skill
Add defensive penalties, if players are being split by passes
Play The Plan & Adjust Your Play (pg. 13)
the team has to defend another round.
If it’s too easy, make the grid smaller (make the walls out of
bounds on mini-pitch).

Set Up
Consider your teams technical ability when playing this
game, more skilled groups can work in smaller spaces. This
game works well on a mini-pitch.
Coaching Points & Skill Development Indicators
Create three equal teams of no more than 5 players per Communication is critical in this game, as it can be confusing
team. initially to know which team is on defense / offense.
How To Play Due to this game’s fluid or dynamic nature, teammates have
This is a possession game, two teams are offensive and one to support each other by moving off the ball and maximizing
team defensive. (May be helpful to have teams wear bibs) the field space.
When one of the offensive teams loses possession of the ball
(stolen or intercepted pass) that team switches to defense.
The team that won the ball now works in tandem with the
other offensive team.
If an offensive team kicks the ball out of bounds, this team
switches to defense.

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