"How to turn a soccer game day warm up into
an extra practice"

The soccer warm up can be used as another soccer practice session. The players will get another 300-500 touches just going through the little exercises.These added touches will really help the players develop over the coarse of a soccer season.

The soccer coach should have the players there 30 minutes prior to the start of the game so they can not only prepare for the game, but improve the their soccer skills by going through all the skills exercises.

The players also need to have fun, which is probably the most important factor in youth soccer training.

Soccer warm ups made easy

I like to start with a little dynamic stretching routine if the kids are U10 or above. If the kids are U9 and below you can probably go straight to soccer skills or a fun game.

Warm up down channels:

  • An easy way to set this  exercise up is with two 10 yard grids marked out with disc cones.
  • The kids start on one end line in groups of three and run down the channels to the other side, performing dynamic exercises like skips, but kicks, high knees, side to side, open the gates, close the gates, sprints, etc, etc.

Skills work:

  • The coach transitions to skill work with the kids using the cones that make up the 10 yard boxes. Groups of three players line up on each cone facing each other.
  • If the coach has more than six players he or she can throw down more cones to facilitate more groups.
  • The coach should try and keep the numbers small, no more than 3-4 in a group. Players need to touch the ball to become more successful.
  • The first player in group "A" dribbles his or her ball to group "B" and leaves the ball for the player in the front of group "B" and runs to the end of the line.
  • The player with the ball repeats the exercise.

This will get the kids tons of touches before the game.

Dribbling exercises for warm ups

Dribble and drop.

  • The player dribbles the ball - laces, and drops at the opposite line.
  • The player can go faster when using the laces to dribble.

Foundation touches

  • The player plays the ball between the inside of their feet while moving to the opposite line.

Coaching tip:

    Proper technique here is to keep the knees bent and the ball between the feet.

Inside - outside foot touches.

  • The player dribbles the ball alternating the inside then the outside of the foot to get to the opposite line.
  • The ball should change direction each time the player uses a different surface.

Coaching tip:

    The player should keep the knees bent and make sure he or she does not put the foot down between touches.

Toe taps and drop.

  • The player toe taps to the opposite line and drops the ball.
  • The player alternates feet and touches the ball with the soles of each foot, moving the ball to the opposite line.

Dribble roll and drop.

  • The player roles the ball with the side of the foot and drops the ball at the opposite line.

Coaching Tip:

    The player should keep plant foot pointing forward otherwise the player veers off line.

Three touch passing warm up.

  • The players takes one touch to trap the ball - inside of the foot, one touch to move the ball off line - outside of the foot and then passes the ball with the inside of the foot to the next player in line. The player then sprints to the opposite line.
  • The player go's wide with the second touch so it is off line. This way, under the pressure of the game, the player gets it out of the defenders path.
  • The mantra for correct passing technique is "toe up, heel down and ankle locked" when receiving and passing the ball.

Coaching tip:

    If the player receives the ball with a good first touch the second touch with the outside of the foot will be easier to execute.

Two touch passing.

  • The player traps the ball and then passes the to the next line.
  • The player prepares the foot in advance when taking the first touch, so the ankle is locked, toe is up and the heel is down when the ball gets there. Otherwise, the player will take a bad touch.

Coaching tip:

    The coach should make sure the players are moving to meet the passes and not standing there waiting.

One touch passing.

  • The players play one touch passes and sprint to the opposite line.
  • The coach can have a competition, say first team to hit 10 one touch passes in a row wins the game. The coach can make it a mini tournament, best out of three games.

Coaching tip:

When playing one touch the players must prepare the foot for passing as the ball arrives not when it gets there, otherwise no telling where the ball is going.

Once the players have gone the coach can either play small possession games or have the players working on through all the dribbling exercises on goal. The little ones like striking the soccer ball!!

Another option for the coach is to split them up with one group shooting the soccer ball and the other group playing a fun soccer game.

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