Indoor soccer coaching brings challenges.
Obviously there’s less room, so some of the soccer games and drills you use outdoors simply won’t work.
On the other hand, there are benefits to be gained from training indoors.
One of them is the surface underfoot. It’s good for soccer skill development to practise on a nice, smooth floor rather a bumpy and sometimes muddy field.
Use these soccer coaching tips to maximise the benefits and minimise the problems associated with indoor coaching.
To get you started, this article suggests some simple games that always work well in a gym.
Warm up with the Wall Game
Place your kids in the centre of the gym. Identify the four walls as North, South, East and West (with very young children you could use colours or place different objects at each wall).
Tell them “I will call out a name of a wall and you have to run to it, touch it and run back”. You could make anyone who runs to the wrong wall perform a penalty, such as press-ups, but please don’t make the last one back perform a penalty – it’s not fair on the slower kids.
- Ask the kids to skip, sideways run, etc (but not run backwards – falling over on a hard floor hurts!)
- Give the walls numbers rather than names.
- Point to wall; call a different one (always works!!)
- Tell them to run to the opposite wall (you call ‘North’, they have to run to the ‘South’ wall).
- Dribble a football to the wall and back.
Shuttle races and relays
Until the age of 13 or 14 you can adequately stretch kids’ muscles with basic soccer drills using shuttle races or relays. If you make sure the drills include elements that involve turning, bending, acceleration and stopping they will also improve aerobic fitness.
A big plus is that kids love the competitive element.
Start without a ball and then get your kids to do the runs with a ball at their feet.
Spiders and bugs
Divide your children into two equal teams. Each team should stand alongside the centre line, about two yards apart and facing towards the ends of the gym. Name one team Spiders and one team Bugs (or anything else).
When you call ‘Spiders’! or ‘Bugs’! that team has to sprint for the end line nearest them. The other team tries to tag them. Anyone who is tagged joins the other team. Continue until there are only a couple of children left who haven’t been tagged. Don’t carry on the soccer drill until they are all exhausted!).
This is great for encouraging support play and communication. Just make sure the kids play to the rules.
When the three make a mistake or get to a certain number of passes, bring in the next set of three players.
Make this soccer drill competitive by seeing how many passes each team can string together.