Age group: U8 – U12
Warm Up: 5 – 10 minutes. Activity level – increasing. Space: General. 1 – 2 Players per group.
Instep Warm Up
A good warm up for coaching sessions dealing with instep passing and/or shooting. Start with players sitting down and kicking the football out of their hands. Look for good technique – ankle locked, toe pointed, strike ball with laces, plant foot facing target, leaning forward, no spin on ball, head position.
Two insteps in a row
Kick ball, stand up and catch it.
While standing (moving), kick ball and catch it.
Have the ball bounce in between touches, keep ball going.
Two touches without ball hitting ground.
In pairs, players make instep passes back and forth.
Start with ball being kicked after a bounce, dropped from hands..
Ball kicked from the ground.
Restrict player to 2 touches.
Small Game 20 – 25 Minutes. Activity level: Medium progression to high. Space: Defined space “smaller”. 3 – 5 players per group.
Two squares are set up with two players in each square who are teammates. The more skilful the players, the smaller the squares are and the further apart they. are. The game starts when one team kicks the ball into the others’ square. The receiving team must control the ball without it going outside of their square. Each player is allowed to play the ball with one touch. The team has 3 touches to get the ball into their opponents square. The ball may not stop at any time. Play stops when a shot misses the other teams grid or is not controlled. Decide beforehand how high a ball may be played to be considered fair.
“Drive” the ball into the other teams grid to make it difficult to control
Good shooting technique
Encourage an aggressive “shooting mentality”
To receive the ball, get in the line of flight, using your first touch to “kill the ball” for your partner.
Prepare the surface that will receive the ball early
Keep the body balanced, weight on toes.
Team Game 30 Minutes plus. Activity level: High. Space: Defined for the game = larger space. 7 – 11 players per team.
Steal The Bacon
Two teams, each player is designated a number. The coach calls out the numbers of the players. These players then run out from the endline to play the game. The coach serves balls from the sideline if the ball goes out of bounds or into a goal. Each group should play for a minute and a half of continuous action. Players waiting to come on should return loose balls to the coach, or act as “support” players, returning passes back to the team who made them. The number of players playing at one time depends on the coach’s objectives. This game is best played 2 v. 2 or 3 v. 3.
Seeking and taking shots
Attacking and defending principles of play
Bread & Butter
Three teams of 4 (A, B, C) and two keepers (X, Y). Team A attacks against keeper Y. If they score, they then quickly try to attack keeper X. At this time, team B leaves the field and takes the place of team C who were the supporting players on the endlines, supporting both teams. The supporting players support for both teams and can move along the end line. The are limited to one touch one the ball. Have an ample a supply of balls ready in each net.
After scoring a goal, attacking players look to play quickly before the other team has a chance to come on and get organized.
Try to play the ball to target players.
Attacking and defending principles of play.
Start with two teams of equal number. Each team has 3 goals to defend and attack. Each team has one keeper who must defend all 3 goals. Play regular soccer rules.
Attacking team should try to change the point of attack away from the keeper, then proceed to get a quick shot off.
Defending team must try to force the attackers in one direction so their keeper knows which goal to defend.
Central Goal Shooting
Player 1 starts in goal. Player A dribbles at speed to cone, stops the ball and shoots with the next step. After the shot, player A runs to become the new keeper waiting for player 2 to shoot. Player 1 gets ball and goes back to his side.
Watch for players backing up or moving to the side before they shoot. There should be no extra steps.
Set up several fields and have contests.
Teams should not wait to advance ball to cone and shoot immediately after the opponent shoots.
The drill makes players follow their shot, and the group will coach and remind the players. If they do not get to the goal, the opposition will have an open goal to shoot at.
Teams can keep score themselves. A goal counts if only below the height of the keeper and in between the markers. First to 5 wins or 3 minutes. Players should get quality repetition in short periods of time.
Coach can vary repetition by the number of players in each line.
Vary distance to goal and size of goal so players have success, then make it harder by increasing the distance and making goal smaller.
Encourage players to hit hard.
Same game as before but the shooter must strike the ball before the cone and on the move.
Watch for the plant foot being too far behind the ball, this will send the ball over the keeper’s head.
Make sure starting position to cone distance is great enough to allow other player time to get to goal.
Progress further, allow players to dribble around the cone and then shoot.
Hips and plant foot should be facing goal when shooting.
Players should strike the ball with a smooth swing. Don’t allow swing to be a sickle motion.
Players should look at ball when making contact.
Follow through on kicking foot and get to goal.
Player A now dribbles directly between cone markers simulating a defender (cones about one step apart). Player chops ball to either side and shoots ball back to far post.
Kicking foot and hips should be pointing toward far post.
Follow through onto kicking foot.
Eyes on ball during shot.
Get to goal after shot.