There are many avenues to look at when looking for and choosing drills for practice. There seems to be endless websites that have drills lined out for all ages. Many are free and some have small fees that give you access to 1,000’s of drills with illustrations, videos and coaching points. Coaches must remember that these drills pass on their strategies, game situation tactics, and philosophies to encourage players to better themselves.
Speed drills play a huge part in practice and on the soccer field. The development of speed is not only conditioning, as kids must run to build speed, but is more mental. We want players that can mentally move as fast as their feet can move. A coach wants to work on drills that makes kids think what to do in game speed situations, thus building on their mental speed. When kids can think as fast as they can move, you are going to have a dangerous team on your hands, and the only way to build on that mental speed is to practice it.
Beginner soccer drills are important to start with, especially as there are going to be a wide variety of talent in youth soccer, but also because coaches might be able to see some technique issues that might have otherwise not been noticed by even more advanced players. Every year teams need to start off with the “basics” to ensure technique and understanding of drills is a lateral understanding across the board with all players.
Pass and go drill is a drill that works on passing accuracy as well as conditioning, moving without the ball and teamwork. The pass and go drill takes two lines, the coach can have up to six or move it down to three for more touches and more conditioning, separated 8-10 yards apart by cones and kids pass the ball to the other line and run around the cone to get in the other line. The drill works on passing, receiving the pass, moving without the ball to the other line, conditioning by running to the other line and teamwork because if one kid is falling behind the drill gets slowed down.
Ball control and one touch play is another crucial element in soccer drills. After the initial touch, too many youth soccer players have a hard time or are unaware of the need to keep the ball close to their body. There initial touch or during the dribble players allow the ball to drift farther and farther from their body causing too much room for error, in terms of less control and losing possession. Once players can or have the understanding of keeping the ball close to their body when needed, it is time to introduce one touch play. Teams who can use one touch play are the most dangerous, especially in youth soccer. These drills really speed up the play of the team, utilize more field, and helps open up the vision of the players. One touch drills can be the beginning of an advance level of play by your team that will help win a lot of games.
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