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Basic Soccer Drills: Important Practice Tips

Embarking on the journey of soccer coaching involves mastering the art of crafting practice sessions that are not only engaging but also conducive to skill development. In this guide, we’ll delve into the fundamentals of basic soccer drills, offering valuable insights and practical tips for both novice and seasoned coaches.

Options in Soccer Practice

When it comes to soccer practice, coaches find themselves standing at a crucial crossroads, faced with the decision to either craft their practice plans or rely on pre-existing, meticulously designed ones. The choice ultimately hinges on personal preferences and the coach’s level of experience.

Opting to develop individualized plans provides an avenue for creativity and personalization, enabling coaches to tailor activities to the specific needs and dynamics of their team. This approach demands more upfront effort but offers substantial rewards in terms of flexibility and customization.

On the flip side, coaches can choose to utilize ready-made plans, providing a structured starting point especially beneficial for those new to coaching or seeking well-organized guidance. These pre-crafted plans serve as a valuable resource, offering a foundation upon which coaches can build.

Whether it’s fostering creativity or establishing a structured framework, the decision between developing one’s plans or using existing ones shapes the trajectory of soccer practice sessions and plays a pivotal role in the overall coaching experience.

Personalized Practice Plans

As a coach, developing your own practice plans provides an opportunity for creativity and personalization. While it requires more upfront work, the rewards are substantial. It allows you to tailor activities to your team’s specific needs and dynamics. The flexibility to adjust plans on the fly is a valuable skill for any coach. To get started, consider some important practice tips:

  1. Minimize Talking: Keep instructions concise, aiming for less than 30 seconds per drill. This ensures that players spend more time in active engagement.
  2. Avoid Drills with Lines: Long lines can lead to idle time for players. Choose basic soccer drills that keep everyone involved and moving.
  3. Continuous Movement: Actively involve all players, giving each as many ball touches as possible. This enhances skill development and keeps players engaged.
  4. Transform Drills into Games: Introduce an element of competition or scoring to make basic soccer drills more enjoyable and game-like.
  5. Play Soccer: While basic soccer drills are crucial, remember that the ultimate goal is to play soccer. Ensure that practice sessions incorporate game scenarios and encourage players to apply their skills in real-time situations.

Using Someone Else’s Plans

For those starting out or seeking structured guidance, utilizing pre-made practice plans is an excellent option. Various free resources provide comprehensive practice plans for different age groups, complete with diagrams, coaching points, and age-appropriate activities.

Developing Your Own Plans: Step-by-Step Guide

The Soccer-Coach-L website serves as an excellent resource for coaches looking to create their practice plans. The “Nuts & Bolts of Holding Practices” section provides essential insights for planning effective sessions. Here are some crucial steps to consider when developing your soccer practice plans:

  1. Warm-up (5 min): Incorporate the soccer ball into warm-up exercises to engage players. Include activities like ball-fetch, rolling the ball with feet, or dribbling in a box using “Simon Says.”
  2. Individual Activities (5-10 min): Focus on individual skills such as dribbling, turns, and fakes. Avoid basic soccer drills with lines and keep everyone moving.
  3. Small Group Activities (5-10 min): Transition from individual to small group activities. Emphasize teamwork and support weaker players by teaming them up effectively.
  4. Scrimmage (20 min): Allow players to play soccer in small-sided teams. Rotate players between offense and defense to ensure everyone gets involved.
  5. Cool-down (5 min): Stretch with the ball and provide a brief overview of the practice. Assign small homework tasks for players to practice specific skills.

Additional Resources and Guidance

For specific age groups, the New Hampshire Soccer Association offers coaching manuals with valuable advice:

  • Coaching U-6 Players
  • Coaching U-8 Players
  • Coaching U-10 Players
  • Coaching U-12 Players

Final Words

If you have a favorite soccer game or drill that has worked wonders with your team, this is your chance to share it with fellow coaches. Submit your innovative soccer games or basic soccer drills, and let the coaching community benefit from your experience. Together, we can enhance the soccer coaching journey for everyone involved.


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