Soccer Practice - How to Decide What to Do
The Most Important Soccer Skill
Most Important Things to Teach

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When planning a practice, start by asking yourself "What do I need to teach at practice?" The answer will depend on the age and skill of your players and what you’ve learned at that point in the season. Keep in mind the following:

  1. The most important skill is dribbling. At early ages or for beginners, the most important thing to practice is dribbling. Many SoccerHelp Practice Games teach dribbling. They are self teaching and players learn by playing the games.

  2. If your team is U4 or U6, you will greatly benefit from Coach Doug's ideas. You can watch video clips of how Coach Doug coaches and the "Hit the Coach" Practice Game at Coach Doug Video Clips. At U4 and U6, Coach Doug and I recommend you focus on dribbling, defense and movement off the ball but NOT passing. Passing is too confusing for U4 and U6 players and teaching it will hold back their development of other skills such as dribbling and movement off the ball.

  3. If your team is U8 or older, you will want to teach control dribbling, speed dribbling into open space, how to "chip" the ball, how to make a Throw-in, and passing and receiving. The best way to teach dribbling, passing and receiving is by playing the SoccerHelp Practice Games that involve pressure and competition. The reason is because they prepare players to perform those skills in games, at "Game Speed" and while under pressure.

  4. If you aren't sure what to teach, read Most Important Things to Teach.

  5. Keep in mind that it is NOT better to play different Practice Games at every practice. Play the 2 or 3 Practice Games that are most effective and use the additional time to play games that teach skills you need to work on (such as "Chipping the Ball" or Throw-Ins) or to teach defense or positions. You should only play about 4 Practice Games at each practice.

David at SoccerHelp

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