"How to set a up soccer practice that is fun and engaging for the
players"



The coach should start the soccer practice and get it flowing, so the players are having fun and enjoying the practice.

Coaching tip: The soccer coach should set the standard for the players as the soccer coach is the teacher, mentor and disciplinarian.

  • Shirt tucked in.
  • Soccer balls pumped up.
  • Soccer shin guards on.

The coach can keep a soccer pump handy in case a soccer ball needs to be pumped up! I tell the kids to come and find me before soccer practice if they need the ball pumped up.

If I find flat balls in the session the players get the ball punted and have to go get it! NO FLAT SOCCER BALLS!

Now obviously, if you are dealing with 5 year old's go a little easier and don't punt the ball fifty yards or yell at them for not having a shirt tucked in.

When you are dealing with ten year old's that are Academy players, they should know better if you have let them know what the rules to follow.

You can only hold the players accountable if you have taught them something or you have informed them of the rules...this is communication!!!


How to prepare soccer practice plans


Prepare for coaching...

  • The coach should invest in the following coaching equipment scrimmage vests, cones, watch, pump and a bag.
  • The coach might even invest in pop up goals if there are no goals to use during practice.
  • Have in mind what you want to do...and be prepared to adjust. An example might be, the coach only has half the team show up for practice, but the practice has been prepared for an entire team.

When the coach gets to the soccer field...

  • Try to get to the fields early and get your practice set up. When the coach is prepared and looks organized it goes along way with parents and players.
  • Try and avoid sharing boundaries with other coaches. This will stop balls bouncing into your practice and distracting your players.
  • Avoid laps, lines and lectures, ala USYSA!
  • Get the kids into the session and having fun.

Check out examples of soccer practice plans to get the kids off to a flying start.





Fun games and skills


If the coach is working with players that have not played soccer for very long I suggest the coach starts out with fun soccer drills.

Start a practice with fun...

  • Tag games without the soccer ball, 15 by 15 yard grid, 2-3 taggers all holding a practice vest in their hands. The rest of the players in the grid.
  • Coach can name the taggers - shark, pac men, doras, etc,etc...relate to the kids you are coaching.
  • The taggers run out and tag a player. If they are successful they hand the practice vest to the taggee.
  • At the end of the game if the players have a scrimmage vest in their hands they do a funky exercises etc, etc. Game should last a minute.

Variation:

Add a ball to the game...now all the players must dribble the soccer ball. If the players get tagged they take the practice vest and try to tag a player.


How to coach advanced groups


The session might start with a fun tag game and move into the technique. The coaches might be working on more specific dribbling moves like a step over or a Cruyff turn Once we have covered the techniques see if the players can perform them under pressure.

Example:

  • The players have one minute...how many step over moves can you do in one minute.
  • The coach then puts the players into 1v1 situations and see if they can use the move.

A very good friend of mine likes to reward the kids if they use the move in soccer practice or a game.


What is soccer communication?


Here is some basic soccer communication that coaches can use. It really helps if players understand what you are saying during soccer practice.

  • Man on - pressure is coming.
  • Time - no pressure.
  • Turn - means no pressure the player can turn and go forward with the ball.
  • Take a touch - trap the ball you have time.
  • Face the ball - don't turn your back on the soccer ball.
  • No bounce - don't let the soccer ball hit the ground.

These are just a few terms that are effective in getting the message across to your young soccer players. The coach will have to change the wording for really young soccer players.








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Coaches soccer equipment.

Teach young players how
to play attacking soccer.
Why first touch is so important?
Turning the soccer ball.

Coaches, do you want to make soccer fun and motivate your players? Soccer patches are a great motivational tool that can be used for goals, assists, good defending or skills competitions. The kids love patches!!


SBI!