Soccer Drills That Are Practice Games

Chips/Lofted Passes Game ™ (4-stars)

(Lofted Kicks, U10 & up)

"My players love the soccer patches and are always eager to earn a patch. I am seeing amazing results from the patches and Premium soccer drills. Dribble Across a Square, the Defensive Footwork drills and Chips/Lofted Passes drills have helped my players and I see it in games. My U8 team just beat the best team in the league which last season beat us easily." Kevin, MD, U8 and U10, Premium member

See the List of 70 Premium Soccer Practice Games

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See "Just Kickin It" for a DVD about How to Teach Kicking and Shooting

"Mia Hamm Soccer Secrets" also has Good Instruction for Teaching Kicking and Shooting

Also see "Longest Kick Game" for U-6 to U-10

Summary:
An effective way to practice "lofted passes with backspin", which are a fundamental skill. Easy set-up, lots of touches & a game format. This is a SoccerHelp.com practice game that is a drill.
Teaching Chips and Lofted Passes:
Every player should know how to "loft" the ball for shots, for long "over-the-top" passes & as a way to "clear" the ball. The term "lofted ball" refers to any type of pass or shot that goes into the air, including a "chip". The difference between various types of lofted passes and shots has to do with how low the ball is struck, the angle of the kicker's body upon contact (i.e., whether he is leaning forward or backward), the angle at which the ball is approached, and whether the follow thru is long or short. For example, a "chip" is approached straight on, while a lofted "drive" is usually approached at more of an angle (like an American football field goal kick). A "chip" is a type of "lofted ball with backspin", but it isn't a "drive" because it doesn't go very far. The difference in the height of the ball has to do with how close to the ground the ball is struck; if it is struck close to the ground, it will go higher than if it is struck close to the middle. Also, if the kicking motion is more downward, it will cause more backspin and the ball will rise faster than if there is more of a follow-through. A "chip" is struck close to the ground with a downward jabbing motion, which causes the ball to rise quickly and to have a lot of backspin (the motion is similar to a golf chip shot). In communicating with kids on a Rec team it is easier and much less confusing to use the term "chip" than to talk about a "lofted ball with backspin". The key in either case is to kick down, under the ball, and to stand straight up or lean back, instead of leaning over the ball. There will be a few players on your team who can do this naturally. Watch their technique. For this game, let your players approach the ball either straight on or from an angle.
Set-up:
  • You will need an area large enough to practice "Chipping" the ball. I have even practiced this indoors. Start by pairing up your players in "Teams" of 2. Put all the "Teams" in a line shoulder-to-shoulder, with the 2 Partners on each Team facing each other. Then have the teams spread apart so there is about 5 steps separating each team (5 of their steps). Then, have the players on each Team spread apart the distance you are going to practice Chipping the ball. You should start with a shorter distance such as 10 steps and progress to longer distances. REMEMBER, form and accuracy are more important that just "booming" the ball. If you have an odd number of players, the coach or a parent should play. The Diagram below will give you an idea of how to start. 50% ball ratio.

    x = player, 5 = Steps between Teams Shoulders, 10 = Steps between Partners on the same Team who face each other (more steps for older players)

    x    5    x    5    x    5    x    5    x

    10      10        10       10       10

    x    5    x    5    x    5    x    5    x

The Game:
  1. See which team can complete 15 "lofted passes" first. Tell them to yell "Done" when they reach 15. When the game is over, ask each team how many they completed so you can monitor progress.
  2. Switch up "teams" and play a second game to 12.
  3. Before you Start the Game, show the players the proper form. A "chip" is a type of "lofted ball with backspin", but it isn't a "drive" because it doesn't go very far. The difference in the height of the ball has to do with how close to the ground the ball is struck; if it is struck close to the ground, it will go higher than if it is struck close to the middle. Also, if the kicking motion is more downward, it will cause more backspin and the ball will rise faster than if there is more of a follow-through. A "chip" is struck close to the ground with a downward jabbing motion, which causes the ball to rise quickly and to have a lot of backspin (the motion is similar to a golf chip shot). In communicating with kids on a Rec team it is easier and much less confusing to use the term "chip" than to talk about a "lofted ball with backspin". The key in either case is to kick down, under the ball, and to stand straight up or lean back, instead of leaning over the ball. There will be a few players on your team who can do this naturally. Watch their technique. If you aren't able to demonstrate this yourself, get one of your players who can do it to demonstrate. If you want to learn how to properly kick the ball, you can read the reviews of the "Mia Hamm Soccer Secrets" DVD and the "Just Kickin It" DVD. At first, you might just play to 6 so you have lots of time to stop to give instruction. This is a Skill that your players must practice to learn.
Scoring:
  • Each ball that can be caught in the air by the kicker's teammate counts as one point. Receivers may move one step to catch the ball.
Tip:
  • As they improve, move them 15 steps apart.

Comments:

Whether children continue to play soccer will have a lot to do with whether it is fun at early ages. SoccerHelp Practice Games are designed to be fun, to teach important skills and concepts, and to keep players active. We don't use "knock-out" or elimination games which leave kids standing on the sideline and we don't use games such as "Crab Soccer" which are fun but have many kids crawling on the ground instead of learning to play soccer. There are thousands of drills on the Internet, but most are not well thought out, efficient, effective or fun. Most drills and games do not provide enough touches on the ball or the activity level is too low (i.e., there is too much standing around) to meet SoccerHelp standards. SoccerHelp Practice Games are selected from hundreds we have tried and less than 5% of the games we evaluate are selected for SoccerHelp Premium. We believe in positive motivation and don't believe in punishing a child who has tried their best but lost a Practice Game. Thus, we do not recommend punishing the losers or making the losers leave the game.

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