Fitness, passing skills and teamwork

A football (soccer) coaching session designed to improve aerobic fitness, passing skills and teamwork

  • Age group: U8 to adult
  • Number of players: 8 – 20

Warm up – passing skills

Set up: create groups of 4/5 players. Find a space that will allow each pass to be between 5-10 yards. No grid lines or cones. One ball between two.

The objective: to ping the ball from player to player in a one touch passing sequence.

Procedure: it’s important to stress that players do not stand still after passing the ball, so ensure the players sprint after their pass for a few yards.

Players can use their first touch to control the ball then pass with their second but they should try to pass one touch wherever possible.

Make it a game by seeing how many passes the group can complete in 45 seconds or a minute. Only completed one touch passes count.

When performed well, this exercise is attractive and satisfying, both to the players and the coach.

Team Escort Run – improves aerobic fitness

from catch them being good! by Tony DiCicco and Colleen Hacker

Note: there are two types of fitness – anaerobic and aerobic. Aerobic fitness can be sustained over long periods of time while anaerobic fitness is the ability to perform at maximum intensity for short period (up to about 12 seconds)

Objective: to improve aerobic fitness

Set up: create groups of 4. Each group stands behind a cone with a second cone about 20 metres away. The group decides in what order they are going to run (1-4).

Procedure: Runner 1 runs 20 metres to cone and back. On their return they are joined by runner 2 who accompanies runner 1 back to the cone while dribbling a ball. They return to the start with runner 2 leaving the ball for runner 3 who accompanies runner 1 . When they return, runner 4 takes runner 1 out and back. Then it’s runner 2s turn to be escorted out an back with her teammates.

Make it a competition between the groups to see who can complete the exercise the quickest.

This is a fun way to get fit that also serves as a team building exercise.

The pressing game – improves closing down, fitness and teamwork

from Paul Coopers SSG handbook

This game can have a big effect on how your team performs and is about encouraging the players to defend from the front. It is quite a high tempo game.

It is also good for conditioning and developing a physical and mental toughness.

Age Group – U8s to adults

Pitch Size 30/40 x 20 – or at the discretion of the coach, but basically a standard 4 v 4 pitch, with a half way line marking. (you can use two traffic cones at each side of the pitch)

Number of teams – 2

Team sizes – 4-6 players

Bibs optional

Goals –5 a side or mini soccer goals

The game is played as a standard small sided game with one condition. If a team wins the ball in the oppositions half and then goes on to score before the ball has left that half, they are awarded two goals.

A goal scored any other way counts as just one goal.

Very popular with the players and evokes good team spirit.

The attacking team need to work as a unit and both press and close down defenders.

Tip: try a short wide pitch so it’s easy to score goals

Finish with another SSG.

I like the 1-0 game for older children. The younger ones should just be allowed to play with no conditions.