Soccer Practice Drills
A basic component of any soccer practice is
the soccer practice drill. A drill can be used multiple times
by coaches, usually over a few practices to help athletes
solidify their knowledge of a specific skill. Drills are designed
to let athletes practice skills and develop competency before
performing something in competition.
A soccer practice drill should
take no more than 20 minutes to perform. Drills longer than
20 minutes for young athletes tend to lose their effectiveness
because athletes cannot focus for long periods of time without
breaks or interruption. Coaches should seek out drills that
will move athletes through quickly, allowing everyone a chance
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A soccer practice drill that athletes can do
on their own as well is juggling. Each athlete has a ball
and starts by tossing the ball in the air. The athlete must
catch the ball on one foot and bounce it lightly in the air
again, catching it with the other foot. This routine goes
on until the coach blows the whistle.
The juggling drill works an athlete’s
balance, leg strength, and ball handling skills. Coaches should
watch that athletes do not let the ball sit too long on one
foot before bouncing it in the air again. It encourages precise
footwork, soft ball handling, and patience as athletes get
the hang of the drill. This drill can be repeated over several
practice sessions, or coaches can assign it as homework.
In the square pass drill, four athletes stand
in a wide square with a fifth player in the middle. The first
player passes to the player in the middle of the square, who
immediately passes back. The player then passes straight to
another corner of the square. That player passes to the middle,
receives from the middle, and passes to the next corner of
soccer drill continues until all four players in the square
have passed to the player in the middle, received the ball
from the middle, and passed to a player in the square. If
a player misses the pass, such as having to break the square
or the middle player leaving the middle, that player receives
one point. Three points and the player becomes the middle
player, allowing the middle player to join the square.
Coaches can make this practice drill more difficult
by lengthening the distance between players or shortening
the time between passes. With some tweaking, this drill can
be used for players of many different ages and skill levels.
A soccer practice drill is meant to help athletes
improve their technical skills and bond with teammates. The
drills presented here work on specific skills several times
over, allowing athletes to cement the feeling of a move in
their head so they can perform well in competition. With the
suggestions here, coaches can take these base soccer practice
drills and make them relevant for many different ages.
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