SOCCER DRILLS

Principles of Play ........................................................................................................................................... 2 Relays With and Without the Ball................................................................................................................. 4 North South East West.................................................................................................................................. 5 Progressing Practices .................................................................................................................................... 6 Relays With and Without the Ball................................................................................................................. 8 Shadow Play .................................................................................................................................................. 9 Soccer Windows..........................................................................................................................................12 Spinning Wheel ........................................................................................................................................... 13 Square Dance ..............................................................................................................................................14 Steve Kindel's Non-Stop 2 vs. 2...................................................................................................................16 Super 8's......................................................................................................................................................17 Sweeper/Man-Marking & Zonal Defending Systems..................................................................................18 The Man Marking Game .............................................................................................................................20 The Zone Game ...........................................................................................................................................21 Through the Cones......................................................................................................................................22 Two's Company, Three's a Team ................................................................................................................23 Don’t be a Cone Head .................................................................................................................................25

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Principles of Play
This month with Steve Spence setting the scene on Principles of Play with his "systems" article and with our previous "Principles" article (Newsletter April 2007 ) our practices will highlight and help develop these very important components of team play. For our younger players 3v3 including a goalkeeper - our Micro Soccer® game - is a great place to start. Just make sure you have an "equal time in goal" rule for all players.

The great advantage of having a goalkeeper, apart from introducing young players to this vital and fun part of soccer, is that the keeper becomes the rear supporting player (Depth and Support in Defence). At the youngest ages the concept of defensive support is a difficult one to grasp. However, when they are ready (8 or 9 years of age) in practice play 3 v 3 without a goalkeeper - with narrower goals.

Now the understanding of the principles becomes more difficult - especially if players are moving around (interchange of positions - Mobility). So 3v3 without a goalkeeper is great for teens and adults. In addition to developing and reinforcing the principles, the 3v3 game if played competitively is a good one for conditioning. The last practice game is 4v4 without a goalkeeper (or with a keeper with younger players). The attacking shape for much of the time is the diamond and it allows for the full attacking principles - including in particular "Width" on both sides of the

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happen in 3v3 play otherwise the "shape" will be wrong The Principles of Play ATTACK Penetration Support Width Mobility Improvisation/Creativity Delay Support DEFENCE Concentration (Compaction) Balance Discipline/Patience Page 3 .field. something that couldn't or at least shouldn't.

Give a point for each success. race to place ball on line. Team scores are what counts. etc. While winning and losing should be downplayed most children enjoy a relay challenge. but it works. There is no limit to the various relays you can come up with. Dream up any number of relays – in and out of cones. in and out of players sitting down. Try to keep numbers per relay group to two or three (maximum) – for greater activity.. Page 4 .Relays With and Without the Ball Players young and old always enjoy the challenge and fun of relays. Make sure you keep the score or get your assistant (or parent) to keep the score. but make sure the “winning” aspect is not overdone at the younger ages. 360 degrees around a cone. For a tie or close to a tie – a point each. touch the next player and they have to retrieve it. It is an old standby.. Use a variety of relays. etc. etc.

At first. try to get past at least one player so as not to be last. Keep ball under close control. Try to be the first through the goal. Once they become comfortable with North and South then introduce East and West. Target: If not near the goal that is designated. depending on numbers. As the children get used to the game. Teaching: Encourage the children to be alert and alive and to react quickly to the shout. If they go through the East goal they must make their way around to re-enter through West goal and vice-versa. Four goals are put in about three paces in width on each line. by pointing South and shouting "North!" or by running towards the East goal and shouting "West!" Or "North & South" or "North & West" to give them options. the coach can fool the kids. A progression on the Square Dance theme.North South East West Objective: Fun warm-up giving direction and urgency to dribbling activity. This practice can be a progression from the Square Dance and that is where you might start. Organization: Mark a square approximately 15 yards by 15 yards. On the shout "North!" every player must dribble through the North goal and then make their way around the outside of the field to come back in through the South goal. Page 5 . only use the North and South goals so as not to confuse the children.

The "windows" on the outside of the field play with the team in possession. we are moving into more "formal" attacks from the flanks with a neutral crosser or two on each outside channel. Understandably. Rotate goalkeepers on an equal-time basis. 2 strikers vs. "Let's get the ball forward and in the net!" Why would they go the long route to score? If you look at our 4 vs. It is in the interests of the "windows" to help score a goal as they then come on to the field at the expense ofthe team that is scored on.the beginnings of the cross ball. Game is played in area 25 x 35 yards Goals are 4 yards wide and 5 feet high (corner flag height) 3 teams of four players Goalkeeper may use hands only within six-yard area. their perspective of the game is vertical and not lateral. Therefore encourage the "windows" to play low balls from the outside to the central area in front of the goals .and developmentally -appropriate" is often used .and so it should. So the first practice could be used as early as 7 years of age and moderated and progressed through their years. one defender and a goalkeeper produce the classic near and far post runs. Page 6 . The "windows" come on to the field when a goal is scored or at the discretion of the coach . 4 game with goalkeepers and neutral "windows" this will help the process of thinking about playing the ball wide. 7-year olds. We should structure practices that are suitable to the abilities of the players.of no goals are scored.Progressing Practices In the modern game the expression "age. So if we take the great and exciting situation of cross ball circumstances it's pretty obvious we would have difficulty in cultivating the appropriate skills in say. Here is the set up for Fab Fours with Windows. the Medium Mixed Bag. In the next practice.

headed clearances. Page 7 . Finally after developing the Medium Mixed Bag in field size and numbers we could arrive at the "full" Mixed Bag that we've shown in an earlier newsletter. The Mixed Bag practice can be modified and progressed in many ways . great saves. 1 in the channels.This practice would be suitable for players from age 9 or 10 and can once more be progressed in terms of numbers and difficulties from there on in. This is the "stuff" of the game .including the introduction of 2 vs. If players don't enjoy this they shouldn't be playing. get experience in different roles and situations.crossing. shooting. At this age it would be important to rotate the players so that most. if not all.

etc. Try to keep numbers per relay group to two or three (maximum) – for greater activity. but make sure the “winning” aspect is not overdone at the younger ages. etc. For a tie or close to a tie – a point each. in and out of players sitting down. There is no limit to the various relays you can come up with. Team scores are what counts. Page 8 . Dream up any number of relays – in and out of cones.. but it works. touch the next player and they have to retrieve it. Make sure you keep the score or get your assistant (or parent) to keep the score. etc. Use a variety of relays. race to place ball on line. Give a point for each success. While winning and losing should be downplayed most children enjoy a relay challenge. 360 degrees around a cone.Relays With and Without the Ball Players young and old always enjoy the challenge and fun of relays. It is an old standby..

There are a number of ways of doing that. we would highly recommend this methodology for developing your System of Play with certain provisos. Patterns of play are developed on the field so that players can begin to appreciate the types of passes to make. Shadow Play in its purist form is 11 vs. Nevertheless. 11 play. Although opponents are a necessary fact of life in soccer. In this month's practice section for the older players we look at Shadow Play. Until then it was easy. Opponents have a nasty habit of upsetting the game plan. We have a comprehensive section on Shadow Play both in the manual Coaching the Team and on the Byte Size Coaching website (www. The goalkeeper of the 11-a-side team starts with a ball in his hand. and what will not.com ). Page 9 . The coach can direct the goalkeeper to kick or to throw. Let us first look at the illustration below to see how Shadow Play is organized and how it operates. The method is called Shadow Play. the positions to take up and the timing of runs to coincide with the passes (and cross balls) in order to produce a successful attack. 1.bytesizecoaching. The absence of opposition allows the practice to flow and the patterns of play to become understood and established. but for the purposes of this newsletter we will summarize Shadow Play as succinctly as we can. The field players deploy themselves for a kick or throw from the goalkeeper. Shadow Play Former Liverpool coach Ronnie Moran. there is still a good case for practicing patterns of team play without opposition. Great care must be taken to avoid unrealistic play which would break down in an opponent's presence. For practice purposes it is better to throw more often than kick. Starting Organization Two goalkeepers are in opposite goals with a supply of balls in each goal net. with a twinkle in his eye: "They ruined the game of soccer when they introduced opposition. The players ─ and in particular the coach ─ must use their imagination to appreciate what will work in a true game circumstance. The "1" is the opposing goalkeeper. once said." No doubt about it. Bad habits established in practice will be punished later in 11 vs.Shadow Play Shaping the team into a cohesive unit is probably a coach's biggest challenge.

after an attack . or the ball goes out of play ─ or the opposing goalkeeper secures the ball. Play should be re-started with a throw-in or free kick pass-in. we suggest ways of getting from one end of the field . And we give advice on ways to avoid the practice becoming monotonous. on the website and in the book. you would not want 3 or 4 of the "bench" players standing on the sideline. there are many developments which will add interest and life to this practice method. However. As soon as possible the practice could include the other players so it becomes Semi-Shadow. Sometimes the ball goes over the sidelines through a misplaced pass. We have covered those in detail in the book and on the website.2 Play a lofted ball over the top of the opposition into the attacking space for a second striker making a run from a center field position . This is the basic method of Shadow Play. 11 vs. We know from personal experience just how valuable Shadow Play can be in establishing and further developing a System of Play. as depicted in the illustration above. 11 practice games). the ball can be played backwards or returned to the goalkeeper ─ as it might be in a game if the other options are closed off ─ for the back player or goalkeeper to start again ─ with a pass to the opposite side .5 Play continues in a realistic way until a strike on goal ends with a goal.depending on the way you want your team to play: Play with the ball wide to the flank player . And the so-called bench players could change positions with the starters so that they understood their roles when coming on the field as a substitute or replacing a former starter.3 Play a pass inside to the supporting midfield player ─ who can then set up a pass to either the wide player or the front players .4 On the instruction of the coach.Play has begun with a throw from the goalkeeper to the left side defender. with a squad of 15 or sixteen players.g. it is extremely difficult for a team to get a Page 10 .. For instance. has several options . but we also know that players need to be motivated and enthused to ensure they enjoy the practice in a positive way. Without some form of Shadow Play (other than playing 11 vs.1 Play the ball forward into the feet of the first front striker . 5.to the other with various methods that add interest to the practice. As well. The player with the ball. e.

In the heat of a game .realistic appreciation of team play ─ the combination plays.even a practice game .with the spoiling tactics of the opposition. the quality of the passes and crosses and the distances involved in passing and supporting." Time and experience ─ trial and error over an extended period of time ─ may help establish a team pattern. the strategy you are seeking to implement has less of an opportunity of being "patterned. But how many coaches (and players) can wait 10 years? Page 11 . the different runs.

" In the graphic we are showing a group of 10. Could make it two-touch for outside players.. but opponents outside the square are not allowed to challenge each other. Pass to an outside window counts one.18). The object is to get as many consecutive passes by using the "windows" on the outside. but it could easily be more (as many as 16 . Here are some of the variations using the "windows" principle. 4. 5. Players on the outside can move along the line to make a better supporting angle to receive the ball. In the example we are showing we have a 2 vs. 3. 1.notice in the graphic we have a white-shirted group and a black-shirted group. etc. 2. Page 12 . x 15 yds. 4 vs.Soccer Windows This month we add a variation that can be used in a lot of possession and shooting games with large groups by including "Windows. Can pass to anyone outside the square or can only play to own teammate outside the square . 3. but will need to adjust the size of the field to the ages and abilities of the players. 6. 4. In this example the square is approximately 15 yds. 2 possession game. Pass to teammate inside the square counts double. Possibilities are 3 vs.

NOTE: A key to success is the middle player's ability to turn quickly. but does not count if the ball goes over sidelines. When competition starts . or outside of the foot. Winning team is one with most successful crosses in one minute (stop watch out!) Change middle player with one of the end players and repeat game. Two end 5 yard square boxes and one 10 x 5 yards center box. Condition it for some time. Can be used as a Warm-Up activity. All players must play ball from within their respective boxes. Play starts at one end. who turns with ball and plays it to teammate at other end. turn using inside foot only. Ball is played to middle player.turn any way. Organization: Set up several areas. Page 13 . outside of foot only ─ at the direction of the coach. End player may control ball or play it first time back to middle player. Each playing area is 20 yards long and 5 yards wide and sectioned into three. Teams count each time the ball is played across. or if it is not played from within the respective boxes. having groups of three players as shown.Spinning Wheel Objectives: To develop the techniques of turning with the ball when back is to the goal to improve accuracy and weighting of the pass. who turns and plays it to third player with no more than two touches. Challenge: To be the King (or Queen) Box. Teaching: At first do not make it a competition so they can practice and experiment. turning with inside of the foot.

Teaching Points Encourage players to keep the ball close to their feet. If not." Page 14 . Trade places when coach shouts "Change!" Three instructions are given to the players inside the square: "STOP" Put foot on top of ball quickly and freeze like a statue. Occasionally insist on using left foot only or right foot only. depending on numbers. See how many different ways they can turn with the ball. without a ball. Just see what Andy Donahue has come up with his "Games. Progressions With this basic setup any number of variations and activities/challenges can be introduced. To avoid giving players too much information at once. No contact with other players or with other balls. "TURN" Quickly turn 180 degrees with the ball. moving three or four yards. Games. the remaining half outside the square. Each player should have a ball. use the "Change Soccer" principle: half the players inside the square.Games. Target Stay in the area with the ball. fast. Games! Organization Mark a square approximately 15 yards by 15 yards. Encourage players to keep their heads up while playing. Games. each with a ball.Square Dance Objective To start practice in a lively way with a fun warm-up that introduces and develops the fundamentals of dribbling. Games. introduce instructions one at a time and incorporate practice time between. Later. incorporate your own ideas. "GO" Move right or left with the ball. See the article from Andy Donahue . for three or four yards.

The goalkeepers have their own challenge . nor crash into the post.or." When players are crossing themsleves place a cone or marker disk three yards or so out from the near post and decree that they must play the cross outside the cone not inside (stops simple passes to the far post).depending on the GK position. As the ball is played across the goal. A delay in the shot.one shooting while the other fields. and attempt to "set" just before the shot. to develop goalkeeper understanding and decision making involved in attacks from the sides of the goal. later by the players. Organization Set out the penalty box as shown in the illustration. If the keeper anticipates the cross. The practice starts from one side and is later changed to the other. After forcing the cross by holding position. may allow the keeper to advance a step or two to cut down the angle. or they split . How many can they score from 20 shots. then shots/goals are permitted at goal in the open near post. Praise each keeper for every effort and success (may not be many to start with!). Encourage keepers to position marginally in front of the near post . Coaching Points Goalkeepers must defend the near post first and foremost. Avoid running around the ball with a cross from the left to get onto good (right) foot and vice-versa.to keep the success rate on scoring under 50%. the keeper must move towards the far post fast. more likely. The keeper must start at the near post area. The squad should be split into two teams . Page 15 .Side Kicks Objectives Practice for field players in clinical finishing. Clinical side of the foot finishing to the near and far post . move across the goal to defend the impending shot. It is important that the placement of the cones is such that the cone nearest the goal line for the "side kick" is sufficiently close to the end line to make the cross a "pull-back. Field players have to time their runs or they will get ahead of the ball. The challenge is between the two teams.one with one team and one with the other.so they won't push a high shot into the top of the net. Initially the "side kick" can be served in by the coach. May consider inside hand extended sideways and backwards to touch the post. the keeper can cut out the cross ball .

Page 16 .1. Players not in the square spread around the outside. The player with the ball outside the field dribbles to the edge of the field and plays the ball into the square to one of his/her teammates. 2 Objective A fast-paced game teaching cooperative attacking and defending. 2 vs. 3. Teaching Points 2 vs. 2 encourages good cooperative attacking and defending. but make area larger. Players inside the square must find space to receive the ball from outside the area or deny space to the attackers when on the defence. Players outside the field must read the game to put them in the best positions to be first to the ball when a goal is scored or played outside the playing field. When a goal is scored or the ball goes out of play. One team defending one goal and the other team the opposite goal. Player outside the field with the ball must make a good pass into the open player(s).Steve Kindel's Non-Stop 2 vs. Progression Build into 3 vs. 6 6 Reds. "Change!" every minute or so and the next two opposing pairs outside (given their order . Coach shouts. 2 in the square. Game never stops."Red Ball!" and that player cannot be challenged by the opposing players outside the field. 6 Blues split into 3 pair of Blues. Organization Ideal number is 6 vs. 2 3) immediately go into the game with the others coming out. one of the players off the field gets to the ball first (Coach is referee and shouts whose ball it is . 3 pair of Reds.

to produce a fast-changing game with most of the critical decision-making ingredients of 11-a-side play. 2-3-2 (if 3-4-3). If setting a system. If available use two people ─ assistant coaches. Super 8's Objectives With a squad of 14 . parents ─ to act as linesmen. Encourage awareness. over 70-yards. attacking support. with 14 players play Super 7's. Coaching Points Encourage goalkeepers and rear defenders to "utilize" offside to keep opponents away from goal. Consider narrowing field by 5 to 10 yards on each side if field is very wide. e.Target For one team to score more than the other.g. Mark in two 25-yard lines with coaching disks ─ if available use corner flags to emphasize 25-yard lines. stationed on opposite sides of field to coach at the 25-yard lines (with flag or handkerchief). Page 17 . You have the alternative of free play (no set positions) or a system of play (will depend on your objectives). Organization Set up a line and regulation-sized goal 18 yards beyond center line. Encourage goalkeepers to help "organize" the team. e.g. including off-side. 3-2-2 (if 4-3-3). except that each team can only be offside beyond attacking 25-yard line.18 players.. Normal rules of soccer. Challenge To outscore the opposition.. Juggle the numbers according to the number of players you have. width and defensive cover. with 18 it could be Super 9's. replicate your 11-a-side system 3-3-1 (if 4-4-2).

Practices for Younger Players: Micro Soccer® Rotating.Pressure.permanent rear defender . but also the best defensive team . No need to stop them and coach. Brazil showed themselves to be not only the best attacking them in the competition.no goalkeeper Absence of a goalkeeper . 3 game means that the triangle of attack and Page 18 .using a zonal system. equal time goalkeepers give the small team "Balance" and helps the 6.Sweeper/Man-Marking & Zonal Defending Systems At Bloomsburg University last week. George Perry. as part of the NSCAA Advanced National Course. So our two practices are ones that will help young players and teenagers learn about "zonal" play . Cover and Balance considerations when defending. The only thing we would say is that every good team uses Pressure. Strict man-marking would not be an advantage here. Balance . Out of over 50 coaches only 3 hands went up. 3 . 10 years ago it would have been a majority (of American coaches).by just playing. 3 vs. Cover.in the above 3 vs.and 7-year olds understand the "zonal" roles. We are not saying there is any "best" system. one of our senior instructors. Things really began to change after the success of Brazil in the 1994 World Cup Finals held in the United States when in winning it all. I asked the candidates how many use a Sweeper/Man-Marking system. and I did an on-field presentation of the Sweeper/Man-Marking system and the Zonal Defending system.

& 7. but good for 8-year olds and above. 6 attackers vs. Page 19 . 6 Defenders plus a goalkeeper.particularly for the players "away from the ball.g. e. or 7 Attackers vs. Fab Fours . Practice for Teenagers Phase of Play (Attack vs. 6 Defenders and a goalkeeper.4 vs. 4 without a goalkeeper As numbers increase so do the difficulties ." but these are the correct progressions..year olds.defence will be more difficult and confusing for 6. Defence) In the Phase of Play-type practice with counter goals (or spaces) play the defending team with even numbers or with one player less than the attackers to force them to defend zonally. 4 including a rotating goalkeeper 4 vs.

. Coaching Points Show players how to challenge their opponent without "diving in" and being left trailing.The Man Marking Game Objectives To establish both the individual and team discipline required for successful defending. 6 vs. to outscore the opposition. Goals/poles are set up (4 yards wide). Don't go for much more than 12-15 minutes with this activity. Even if your team uses Zonal Marking. to practice reading the game (Sweeper Role). Each player can only mark and challenge his assigned opponent. "Sweepers" are restricted to their own half of the field. The sweeper can challenge anyone." Encourage players to get forward to score. 6). Make each player aware of "opponent" at all times. Page 20 . Position "sweeper" to block an attack or to be available for a back pass from own team. Encourage player caught "wrong side" to get back if a teammate loses the ball ─ but don't criticize them if they are caught out when trying to make a positive forward run. to establish good 1 vs. Squad is split up evenly (e. Carefully select the "match-ups" ─ two "lazy" players may come to an "agreement. Challenge To outsmart your individual marking opponent both in attack and defence. No one can challenge the sweeper. Interceptions (not challenges/tackles) are permitted by anyone. Every player is assigned "Partner Opponent" from opposing team. 1 defending habits. and are limited to "two touches" maximum on each ball contact. man-marking will be needed in certain situations. When the attack breaks down have former "attacker" react immediately by attempting to recover to defending position "goal-side" of opponent. to encourage attackers to "elude" tight marking. as a team. Organization Field size according to numbers and ages (approximately 65 x 45 yards) with halfway line. One "pair" split to become the sweepers ─ "sweepers" are changed every three minutes.g. No one is allowed to handle the ball.

Teaching: The only way to score is by dribbling or passing into end zone .but the only way to score is by "touch down" of ball with foot in end zone. Players attempting to score should screen ball from opponent as he or she "touches down" . only zonal defending will save the day . Defending team must work collectively to stop "dribbler. Zone Game Objective: To develop combined offensive and defensive play in a 4 vs. Encourage defenders to be come very aware of all attackers and their changing positions. good passing. Balance). with additional five-yard zones at each end. decision-making. defending team re-starts game with "goal kick" or "dribble-in" from end line. Condition game to disallow any slide tackling. As a progression put player(s) outside of each side-line as "windows" who can be used as another outlet for the attacking team.The Zone Game This simple small-sided game is anything but. Attacking player "off-the-ball" should try to steal into an attacking space on the "blindside" of the defence. In defence. If ball goes out over side line (not including end zone) play is re-started by "pass-in" (or throw-in if coach prefers). With the players having to attack a zone rather than a goal. Normal 4 vs.both methods should be encouraged. 4 . Page 21 .to protect both ball and player. Cover. To encourage attacking players to get on the "blindside" of the defense to receive a pass. This game is most suitable for players 12-18 years old. If ball goes out of play over end zone line or at side of end zone. Organization: Area 35 x 25 yards." and at same time avoid being "blindsided" by pass. Defending team needs to "Zone" (Pressure. dribbling and postional play are all required. Target: To outscore opposition. 4 game.

Short distances for younger players. smaller for older players. pass with left. Touch with right.Through the Cones Similar to knock the cones down. right foot only for lefties.alternate each time. The Challenge With young players how many can we score between us with 20 passes? Then can we beat the record? With older players. pass with right. Touch with left. but this challenge requires a more measured and not so heavily weighted pass Variations/Progressions Wider cones for younger players. Left foot only (for righties). all out war! Who can be the first to score 10 (etc. longer for older players.two touch . Moving ball .)? Page 22 .

3 without a keeper.. Or to make a 3rd Man Run. 3.Two's Company. or should it be 4 vs. My strong recommendation is to start with 3 vs. 3 vs. 4 vs. "Three Goals In" was one of our games as a kid. 3 game. A goalkeeper? I've been to 82 countries in this world . Page 23 . Micro Soccer® Objective To give each player plenty of opportunities to kick the ball in a 3 vs. and to gain a fundamental understanding of the game of soccer. One has to wonder why it has taken so long for people to accept that. Whenever I see kids playing soccer on their own (without the interference of adults) I have yet to witness a 3-a-side. I played street soccer as a kid every opportunity I got. 3 with a goalkeeper.with most player eagerly awaiting their turn in goal. I'll come to the goalkeeper bit in a moment. 4 gives the opportunity of exploiting the diamond of soccer. 5-a-side game without goalkeepers .Yes! Any of the above.a Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious. suffice to say that 3-a-side or 4-a-side soccer with or without a goalkeeper is great Team Play for our younger players. 4 vs.the basic support unit of the game. You what? Or to re-adjust the diamond and its four potential soccer triangles? Hey! Some pros don't get all of that. It is several steps up.courtesy of soccer. 4 with or without a goalkeeper? The answer is. Three players can (and should) form the soccer triangle .. But try telling a 6-year old that he should go away from the ball to create space for others. 4 is not just one step up. 4-aside. So should it be 3 vs. Score three goals and you earned the right to go in goal! Anyway. Three's a Team Making the game Kid Sized is a BGO .

Opponents must retreat a minimum of 5 yards (same with a kickin). Coaching Points Encourage at least one player to go fully wide on goal kicks or when goalkeeper has ball in hands. After a goal.Organization Field size 20 x 30 yards. Page 24 . Center line marked by cones/lines. add the "Bobby Howe Rule" that stipulates that a goal for the attacking team only counts if their goalkeeper is in advance of the 6 yard goal box . encourage non-throwing attacker to look for a forward shooting chance .throw-in (or kick-in) End line . 3 game. Encourage players to pass. When comfortable with the game. dribble and communicate with each other.and not to go too close to thrower. Challenge To outscore opposition. or if less than 12. 3. have separate practice operating and rotate players in and out of the 3 vs. In practice with numbers greater than six." marked by cones or lines. Each player takes a turn in goal for three minutes maximum. re-start goal kick from 6 yard line. Encourage goalkeeper to move off line to support attacks or to intercept through balls.thus giving rear support. either have two 3 vs.goal kick or corner kick. within which each designated goalkeeper may handle. game is restarted by: Sideline . Six-yard "boxes. depending on which player last touched ball. When ball goes out of play. On throw-ins.

every so often we will put in a "game" that young players can play on their own or with a friend or two. That in itself should provide a little motivation for players to do some "homework. Coaches are welcome to print out these practices and pass them on to their players with the encouragement to get some practice in. Maybe a coach can organize the individual and pairs practices suggested at a team practice to "test" them in order to see their improvement.touched to one side with the right and passed with the left and vice versa. as the game has become "mainstream. Then it must be a moving ball . Page 25 . During the next year or so. On you own." Don't be a Cone Head Organization: Place a cone or water bottle on a marked center spot and then each player moves away the same distance marked by a disk or some kind of line. So a 6-year old might start 3." you can see more and more kids playing pick up soccer or simply having soccer fun with a ball. If there are three of you. but the cone stays up (1 point). It means that soccer has gone up a notch or two as the team practice on its own will never be enough. Later. a 16year old might want to move 15-yards away and low drive (kicking with the laces) their pass/shot as they would when shooting for goal. The idea is to knock the cone down (2 points) or it if touches the cones.Don’t be a Cone Head In our practice section this month we are going to make a little change of direction. Here in the United States and Canada.or something to avoid having to chase after the ball too much. First to 10 points is the winner. Move further away to increase the difficulty. Have a "weak'" foot only competition (left foot most often).or 4-yards from the cone. How many points from 10 passes? Variation and Progressions: Start with a static ball. take it in turns after each 10 point win and keep going with equal time opportunities (turns) until one player scores 30. while a 16-year old could be 10-yards away. Set you own target. but have a back stop of a wall . do the same thing. Instead of a practice for the team we will look at players practicing on their own away from the team practice.

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