Hey Coaches! I can’t believe that we are already past the halfway mark of the season! Remember, our goal is to help teach our players all while having fun. The more fun that they are having the more they will learn (whether they realize it or not!).
One way to help motivate your team is to always be vocal. What I mean by this is to always be encouraging them (celebrate every good pass or kick or goal). Talk to your team, get down on their level (get down on your knees while you talk). Have fun. Kids love it when we act ridiculous and crazy. Enthusiasm goes a long way. If you’re not having fun, the kids won’t either.
Today we are working on using the width of the field. We have touched on this a couple of times, but will focus more on it this week. In watching your games I have seen moments of teams using the entire field, but also many times that we have bunched up and played what I call “mob soccer.” The soccer field is large, and there is always tons of space. We need to teach our teams how to utilize that space.
Start off with your normal warm-up. Make sure they get moving, get lots of the touches on the ball, and stretch (both dynamic and static stretching)
1. Extra wide two goal game
Set up a field that is 30-40 yards wide and ~20 yards long. Make four small goals, using cones, in each corner. Make two teams and tell them they score goals by scoring into the two goals opposite them and defend the two at their end. Remind them that if they go towards one goal and find the other team all drawn to defending it they can switch play across the field and attack the other goal.
Change it up by saying that instead of shooting into the net, you can only score by dribbling the ball through the net and stopping it on (or near) the goal line. This will force them to really use the width.
Change it again by making the players pass the ball through the net to another play (one player must run ahead and get on the other side of the net to receive a pass in order to score).
2. Switching Play
Using the same playing field as the first game (Ignoring the nets in the corners), put 2 players on the outside of the grid (see below), and the remaining in the middle. Depending on the number of players, try and have a 3 vs. 2 or 2 vs 1 or something similar (one team with an extra player).
The goal of the team with more players is to pass the ball to the players on the outside, recieve it back from them, and then switch the play across to the other side and pass to that player who is on the outside. Each time they get the ball successfully to BOTH outside players, they get a point.
Players on outside can move up and down the line. Encourage as much movement as possible, and to play the ball quickly. Catch the defenders off guard.
Switch attackers/defenders/outside players.
3. Channel Game
Use same playing field as before, but add in channels on the sides (about 5 yards wide)(see below).
On each end, make a net with cones, use the nets on the field, or put a ball on top of a cone to act as the “goal”
Split team into 2 teams, 1 with pinnies.
Before a team can score, they must have one player receive a pass while in the channel and pass it back out of the channel. There are no defenders in the channels. This is to help the team use the width of the field rather than just stay in the middle of the field. Extra points if they score off of a direct cross that results in the goal.
- Change things up by making them pass into and out of each channel, or make every player have to touch the ball before the team can score.