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Soccer drills, youth soccer drills and soccer practice games. Soccer drills should be fun, maximize activity and minimize lines. Soccer drills that involve competition produce better results. Soccer drills are not as effective as SoccerHelp Practice Games. Soccer drills allow players to practice at a slow speed. SoccerHelp Practice Games teach players to play fast and under pressure, and they learn more at each practice. Soccer Practice Plans
- Read a Soccer Journal article about why SoccerHelp Practice Games are better than drills.
- Soccer Practice - Tips For a Good Soccer Practice
- Soccer Practice - Things You Need For A Good Soccer Practice
SoccerHelp Premium contains over 70 "Third Generation" Soccer Drills that are Practice Games, including 29 soccer drills for U4 and U6 (age 3, 4 and 5), 45 soccer drills for U8 (age 6 and 7), 52 soccer drills for U10 (age 8 and 9) and 50 soccer drills for U12 (age 10 and 11). Basic versions of nine of those practice games are found below. SoccerHelp Practice Games are superior to soccer drills in 15 ways, as listed below. Our Practice Games are fun and really work. Your team will learn by simply playing the games and you will achieve more in less time. Practice attendance will improve, players will have more enthusiasm and your team will play better and win more games. Our games have been tested by thousands of coaches, including Rec coaches, select and tournament team coaches, adult team coaches, beginning coaches, very experienced coaches, coaches who never played soccer and coaches who played college and professional soccer. In simple terms, we have invented a better "mousetrap". It is a unique, innovative program that quickly achieves results. Our Premium members get more enjoyment from coaching and their players learn more and have more fun. If you have any doubts, read the Testimonials or Coaches Comments. With a money back guarantee, there is no risk to trying it. If you aren't completely satisfied, just send us an e-mail during the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund with no questions asked. Premium now contains over 500 pages, 1,500 internal links, and a fantastic Search feature that allows you to easily search the entire Premium site to find what you are looking for. It is much easier to use than a book. Over 2,000 coaches have subscribed to Premium.
Many of our games are original. Many of our practice games are original and exclusive to SoccerHelp. They were developed by us, have been tested by thousands of coaches and are available only on SoccerHelp and SoccerHelp Premium. Our games are carefully designed to teach youth how to play soccer and to achieve more in less time. They are "self-teaching" and players learn by simply playing the games. We believe in positive motivation and don't use "knock-out" or elimination games. Our games are designed to meet the 15 standards listed below.
How SoccerHelp Practice Games are developed or adapted from soccer drills. There are thousands of soccer drills on the Internet, but most are not well thought out, efficient, effective or fun. About half of the SoccerHelp Practice Games have been adapted from hundreds of soccer drills and games that we have tested. Less than 5% are selected and those that are selected are then adapted to meet the 15 criteria listed below.
Why SoccerHelp Practice Games are better (the standards we use when developing games):
- They are fun. They keep players more interested, practice attendance is better and players have more enthusiasm. (The challenge is to develop games that are fun but still teach how to play soccer. We don't recommend silly games such as Crab Soccer that are fun but of limited benefit).
- They are designed for Recreational conditions (e.g., limited practice time, players of various skill and stamina, small areas without real goals, varying numbers of players, one coach, etc).
- They maximize activity and minimize lines. More is achieved in less time, players get a better workout and there is less horseplay. We don't use "knock-out" or elimination games that often leave the players who need the most practice standing on the sideline.
- They teach important skills, teamwork and how to play soccer.
- They are "self teaching" and players learn by simply playing the games (the games are truly the teacher).
- They involve competition and pressure (which drills don't) and better prepare players to perform under pressure in "match" conditions and at "game speed". It is one thing to perform an activity without pressure, but it is very different to perform the same activity at "game speed" and under pressure. Players improve more quickly and become better players when they practice at game-speed in match-related conditions. The best way to achieve this is by playing games that are match-related and involve competition and pressure. Our Practice Games also teach players to hustle, win the ball, play aggressively, they get a good work-out and have more fun.
- Set-up is quick and easy.
- They work for almost any number of players and even or odd numbers (e.g., if only 5, 6 or 7 show up they will still work).
- They are written so even beginning coaches can understand them They have worked for beginning coaches and for very experienced coaches; for Rec coaches, travel team coaches and adult team coaches; for coaches who never played soccer and for coaches who played college and professional soccer.
- One coach can manage the game, assistants aren't required.
- They are rated by age group and quality.
- They don't require large fields, lined fields or goals.
- Most of our games can be played indoors.
- For Rec players, we believe in positive motivation and don't believe in punishing a child who has tried their best but lost a practice game. Our games don't make the losers leave the game or run laps.
- For each hour of practice, the objective is 45-50 minutes of effective learning experience versus the 15-30 minutes that is typical for most Rec practices.
Links To Related Topics:
- Tips For Good Practices
- Things You Need For A Good Practice
- How To Teach Soccer Dribbling
- A List Of Over 70 SoccerHelp Premium Practice Games
- Most Important Things To Teach
- Fun and Effective Soccer Practices
- How To Coach Ages 5 & 6 and 7 & 8
- SoccerHelp Home Page
- Table of Contents
Soccer Drills and Practice Games:
- "Dribble Across A Square" (U-8 & up) * * * * (Definitely try this) This game is the best way to teach dribbling and is an excellent warm-up. Playing this in a small square teaches "Control Dribbling", and making the square larger will teach players how to "Breakaway" (how to look for Open Space, accelerate into it, and Speed Dribble). I recommend playing it as a warm-up to start every practice. It will quickly improve your player's dribbling, shielding, turning, recognition of open space, acceleration and ability to stop and confidence with the ball. They will learn to dribble while looking up and will learn "naturally" how to dribble with both feet (you won't have to use artificial ways to try to teach them). It also helps children's brains learn to process a lot of activity, to use peripheral vision, and to make correct, instinctive decisions and maintain composure when under pressure and in heavy traffic. It is self-teaching and the coach can help the players by giving them "tips" that allow them to improve. You will see definite results within 3 practices, the set-up is easy and it is 100% onball. IMPORTANT: Tell your players that this game is part of their "Warming Up" -- otherwise they may resist it at first (because at first it isn't easy for some players) and they might later get tired of it. BUT, there is no substitute for this game. You are doing your players a favor by having them play it. It will improve their instinctive reactions and dribbling skills in a way no other game can. There is no way dribbling thru cones can teach what this game teaches. Once your players see that it is causing them to improve, they won't complain about it and they will consider it part of "Warming Up". Be sure to have the players keep score so it is "Game-Realistic" and you can monitor progress, and give "tips" at the end of each Game about how they can improve. "We played the Dribble Across a Square and Dribble Around the Cone and Pass Relay Race Practice Games at every practice, and the results were phenomenal." Coach Greg, U9 Coach and Premium Member See "Warm Up Practice Games"
- "Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race" (U-8 and older) * * * * (Definitely try this) This is my favorite game for players U8 and older - it will teach your players to play faster, which is HUGELY important. It teaches Aggressive Receiving, passing while running and under pressure, speed dribbling, turning, the importance of first-touch, one-touch control, and teaches receivers to move to the ball and how to receive the ball at game speed and while under pressure. This game is self-teaching and the coach can help the players by giving them "tips" that allow them to improve. Perhaps the most important thing this game can teach is "Aggressive Receiving". You can read about the benefits of "Aggressive Receiving" on the bottom of the instructions for this game on SoccerHelp. You will see fast results, the set-up is easy and every player is either a dribbler/passer or a receiver.
- "Strength on the Ball, Aggressive Play & Bravery Game" * * * * This is a simple, easy, and fast way to teach players to be strong on the ball (so they don't get pushed around and can retain possession) and ALSO how to legally use their shoulder to push opponents off the ball to steal it. This really works and quickly makes a difference. It teaches bravery and aggressive play, that soccer is a physical game and to not be afraid of contact or being bumped or pushed, strength on the ball to maintain possession while dribbling, shielding the ball to maintain possession when challenged, a legal Shoulder Tackle, challenging for the ball to slow the attack and how to legally push a player off the ball. It is for U6 to Adult. You can read Testimonials on the game by coaches of U10, U12, U14 and U16. Here are 3 -- "The Shoulder Tackling game is working beyond belief. Some of my timid girls are now amongst the toughest on the team." Mark, U1OG, and "The other team was bigger and trying to play very aggressively against us, but we have been playing the Strength on the Ball game since the beginning of the season, and, although they really tried, the other team could not push my boys around." Coach Stephanie, U10 Boys, and "I LOVE the "Shoulder Tackle & Strength on the Ball" drill - it has HUGE benefits." Coach Tony, U16G
- "Driving School" (U-6 to U-10) * * * * This game teaches control dribbling, using the bottom of foot to stop the ball, pullbacks, and using outside of right foot and left foot. Easy set-up and 100% onball.
- "Tick Tock" (aka "The Foundation") (All ages) * * * * This is a very simple game that practices fast feet and ball control using inside-of-feet. Very easy set-up and 100% onball.
- "Small Sided Scrimmage Without A Goalie" (U-8 & Up)* * * * This is a better way for most teams to scrimmage. Rec teams should only scrimmage for about 10 minutes of each hour they practice. This game is a good way to evaluate players - you will be able to quickly tell a lot about a player's skills, natural abilities, and where they prefer to play. This game is better than a regular scrimmage in 2 ways: (1). All players learn to defend and play tough defense and block shots, and not rely on the Goalie, and (2). To score, they must work the ball close to the goal and not take long shots, so control, dribbling, passing, and movement off the ball in the Attacking Third are encouraged. This game has the disadvantage of a low ball per player ratio.
- "Chips/Lofted Passes Game" (U-10 & up) * * * * An effective way to practice "lofted passes with backspin". Every player should know how to "loft" the ball for shots, for long "over-the-top" passes & as a way to "clear" the ball. Easy set-up, lots of touches and a game format. 50% onball.
- "Hit The Coach" (U-4 and U-6) * * * * (Definitely try this) My favorite soccer drill that is a game for U-4 and U-6 players. It's easy, fun and the kids love it. 100% onball. This games teaches tremendous skills - dribbling, kicking the ball while running, looking up while dribbling and kicking the ball, getting used to contact (a very important thing for young players - because they will all be chasing the coach, they will be close together and bumping each other and it will be chaotic, which gets them used to the mental stimulus of games). This game is self-teaching and they learn by playing the game. Dribbling and kicking the ball in a crowd while looking up isn't easy and this is a fun way to learn those skills. Watch a Video of the "Hit the Coach" Practice Game.
- "Throw-Ins Teaching Game" (U-8 & up) * * * (Try this) This is a quick and effective way to teach or practice throw-ins. If you are a beginning coach, review "How to Teach Throw-Ins" at "Skills" on SoccerHelp.com. This isn't great fun, but it is quick and effective. 50% onball.
- "Kick A Crossed Ball Game" (U-8 & up) * * * * A "crossed ball" is a ball coming from the side. This game is an effective, efficient way to practice timing the run and how to kick a crossed ball, which is not an easy thing to do. It will teach the player to take a short backswing, to keep his head down, eyes on the ball, and to start out by blocking the ball using the inside of the foot.
- "Monster Invasion" (Dribbling & concept of a field, U-4 and U-6) * * * * (Definitely try this) This is a simple, always fun game for U-4 and U-6. Every player has a ball and everyone, including the coach, has fun. 100% onball.
Coaching Tips Worth 2 Goals Per Game (Definitely try this) Click the link to read Testimonials from coaches and to see tips. Here are a few Testimonials -- "Coaching Rule No. 1 really is worth a couple goals a game. Super easy to teach, and super easy to coach from the sidelines." Coach Bob, U10 and "For about 2 weeks, we worked on nothing other than soccer Coaching Rules 1 - 3. We won our next 5 games scoring 20 goals and giving up none, we won 6 - 0, 3 - 0, 4 - 0, 3 - 0 and 4 - 0." Coach Tony, U16 and "I taught my players Coaching Rule No. 3 from Premium and the results were immediately phenomenal!" Coach Charlie, U10
Soccer Practice Tips (go to www.soccerhelp.com/Soccer-Practice-Tips.shtml for Soccer Practice Tips)
Soccer Practice Needs (go to www.soccerhelp.com/Soccer-Practice-Needs.shtml for Soccer Practice Tips)
How We Rate Practice Games:
The games on SoccerHelp and SoccerHelp Premium were selected from hundreds we have tested. They are the best and all are recommended. However, some are better than others. Those that are especially good for teaching critical skills are given 2, 3 or 4 star ratings & are "Highly Recommended". Four star games either teach a vital skill or concept in a fun & effective way or do an effective job of teaching multiple skills.
Remember: Games, not drillsTM & "Keep it simple, keep them active, keep it fun & at least 100 touches per player per practice."
Copyright 1999-2013, David and Kay Huddleston
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