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soccer coaching drill for maintaining a basic team shape

This is one of the very few soccer drills that I use with my older teams.

I've found it a very useful way to practise passing and receiving skills while at the same time maintaining a basic team shape.

Experience: intermediate (U10s) upwards.

Set-up: split your squad into teams of three, four or five. Two teams per 30 yards long by 20 yards wide playing area. The playing area(s) have a goal at each end.

Put one team in each half. Position them so that teams of three are in the shape of a triangle, teams of four are in the shape of a diamond and teams of five are a diamond plus a goalkeeper.

How to play: the objective of this soccer drill is for the players to move forwards, passing the ball between each other while keeping their shape.

Start by having the players pass the ball between themselves while they are stationary. The soccer drill should begin with a pass from a player in a defensive position or the goalkeeper, if you have one.

Progress to walking pace, (the two teams walk through each other), and gradually increase the pace until your players are passing and moving through each other at match speed.

Soccer coaching points:

  • Every move should finish with a shot on goal.
  • All players must touch the ball before a shot is taken.
  • Passes can be made in any order.
  • Encourage wide players to stay wide.
  • Start again if a pass is misplaced and the ball goes out of bounds.
  • Keep it short – this soccer drill should only last for 10 minutes, maximum. Any longer and your players will get bored. 
Variations:

  • Challenge your players to get to the goal in 15 seconds.
  • Give your players numbers and call a number while they are moving. That player must be the one who shoots.
  • Players only have three touches, two touches, then one touch.

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