Hey Coaches! It has been great to hang out with you the first 2 weeks!
I know that last week many of the players showed up in attitudes that made it difficult to coach. If you had this, it was not just your team, but seemed to be common all across the fields. Sometimes that’s just how it goes unfortunately. Players can show up to the field tired and not wanting to listen. The biggest thing to do is always encourage them, and also remember that they are competitive by nature. So if they aren’t wanting to listen to you, adapt the drill to have them compete against each other either by racing (see who is the fastest, or the best defender/attacker, who has the hardest kick, etc...). I encourage you to never send your team for a lap or running lines as punishment (we didn’t have any of this last week which is good, but in future, I recommend no fitness punishments). However, letting your team run around your field to burn off energy is different is is totally acceptable, but I encourage you to do this with them so its not seen as a punishment but as fun. The difference is punishment vs energy burning. Sometimes they they may show up with just too much energy. Our role is to encourage and never discourage. While punishment sometimes is needed, we just need to be creative in how we do it.
If you have problems with your team not listening to being too rowdy, let me know and I will come over and help out! In the end, we want everyone to have fun, including you! :)
This week we are going to be working on controlling the ball. Possession is a huge part of soccer, and that all starts with knowing how to control the ball from the air as well as the ground.
Make 2 lines, Placing cones 10 yards apart from each other
players X ----------------------------------X
10 Yards apart
Have players line up in 2 single-file lines with equal numbers in each.
Have them start at the first cone, and work toward the second cone. Demonstrate and call out the follow: do each 2x, have next player go when player in front is half way through
- Light jog from cone 1 to 2
- High knees
- Heel kicks/ Butt kicks
- Open the gates (talk to me if you don’t know what this is :) )
- Close the gates (talk to me if you don’t know what this is :) )
- Kicks straight out
- Kicks across the body (swing arms and upper body opposite direction of kick)
- Touch the toes (bend down, straight leg, no bending knees and reach as far as you can. Try reaching with left hand to right foot, right hand to left foot)
- Squats (take 2-3 steps between each)
- Full sprint from cone 1 to 2
Watch this youtube clip for an idea of what it should look like, not all are in the video
1. Box work
- We have done this the first 2 weeks, but it is good to teach the players how to warm up properly and to get a good touch on the ball before working on other techniques.
Make your grid (however large you want) and give each player a ball.
- Start with dribbling around the box. Encourage players to change direction and not just go around in a circle
- Remember to take lots of small touches, and not big touches. The ball should never be more than 2 feet away from you at any time
- DO NOT use your toes, use the inside or outside of your foot
- As they get better at this, yell “stop” and have the players stop in place. Each time they are getting the hang of things, or you need to switch it up, do this and demonstrate one of the follow:
- Turn: Place foot on ball and roll it backwards as you turn
- Sit: Sit down on the ball until the coach says “up”
- Cut: With the outside of your foot, wrap your foot around the ball and push it in another direction (if they struggle with this one feel free to skip it)
- Change: Swap balls with another player by running up to them and gently passing the ball
- Outside: leave your ball and run to a cone on the other side of the box and run back to your ball
- Etc… Be creative. This is all about getting the players moving, and as many touches on the ball as we can.
2. Controlling the ball
Have players pair up and stand 1-2 yards in front of each other. We are going to work on controlling the ball in the air using our heads, thighs, and feet. 1 ball between 2 players.
Start with having them simply pass back and forth, start with 2 touch, and then move to 1 touch and pick up the pace.
Next have one player pick up the ball. This play will UNDERHAND toss the ball to their partner, and their partner:
- will kick the ball back to them using the LACES of their cleats. Knee should be at a 90
degree angle, and the ball should go straight back to the partner.
- Play the ball back with inside of the foot. Place weight on opposite foot, and turn hip so that the inside of your foot is showing towards the ball. Knock the ball back to the hands of partner.
- With thighs, throw the ball a little higher, and bring leg up to meet ball (knee at 90 degree angle again) and first knock the ball straight up and try to kick it back as it falls done.
- Second, try and control the ball to the ground by lightly touching it with your thigh (as if you are catching an egg with your leg) and gently slow the ball’s fall down. The ball should not bounce when it hits the ground.
- Heading: Throw the ball up (underhand again) high enough that the partner can jump a little to head the ball back.
- Keep eyes open
- Contact with the ball should be made at the hairline
- Move your head as if you’re a chicken pecking at the ball
- As you get better, try throwing your entire body into it and bend backwards with your back and move forwards to connect with the ball.
Two players play against each other and share a ball. They place two cones anywhere from 2-8 yards apart. They choose! Players pass back and forth to each other. The stand between the cones, but the cones act as a gate they pass through. The rules are that the ball must never stop, must always stay on the ground and must go through the two cones without touching them. Whenever this is violated the other person receives a point. Because of the rule that the ball must never stop, players have to play 1-2 touch. The closer the two cones are the closer the pairs are probably going to be. The farther apart they are, the more they will have to move laterally and look more like the old arcade “pong” game. Play for time and see who can become the PONG Champ!
4. Volley-soccer (Juggling with a partner)
Set-up as many “courts” as you need as shown below. These will be 10 years wide, and 20 yards long, with a “dead space” in the middle to act as the net.
Two players compete against other pairs to keep the ball up in the air using as many touches as needed in 3-minute period. The goal is to play just like volleyball, trying to keep the ball in the air and knock it back over to the other side over the “net.” The ball may touch the ground 1 time on your side.
To start the round, the other team will throw the ball (gently) over the net. As many touches as needed can be taken (make it harder by limiting the touches)
- Move to get behind and in line with ball.
- Always be on your toes
If caught = 1 point – if the ball hits the ground no point - toss it over. Allow 1 bounce.
If you have time at the end, have a scrimmage, but as often as you can grab the ball and throw it up so that they are forced to control it from the air.