SOCCER PRACTICE GAMES


"Dribble, Turn & Shoot Race"
* * * *

(Dribbling, turning, shooting while running, U-6 to U-14)

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It is difficult to explain soccer skills in print. For demonstrations that you and your players can watch to learn the skills, and that show how to teach the skills, we recommend the following DVD's. You can read detailed reviews by clicking the links: Mia Hamm Soccer Secrets, Coerver Play Great Soccer2-DVD Set, England Skills Uncovered (19 skills are demonstrated by professional players), Soccer Success One On One Coaching, Gol! (Brazilian Foot Skills and Ball Control Training Program), Super Soccer Skills and Just Kickin' It

Summary:
Players race around a cone to a goal and shoot. One point for each goal. The first team to 10 wins. Play 3 or 4 games. If appropriate, re-balance the teams after each game. Each player has a ball.
Set-up:
  1. Divide the players into teams of 3, 4 or 5 players each (depending on how many players are at practice). It's okay if one or two of the teams has an extra player. Try to balance the teams so they have equal ability.
  2. Every player has a ball.
  3. Use cones to make one goal per team (make each goal 2 steps wide), and put a "Turning Cone" out 8-10 steps from each goal, as shown below:
  4. Dribble, Turn & Shoot Race Diagram

  5. Line each team up beside their goal (i.e., beside the goal they will be shooting on), starting on the right side, so all the teams are turning in the same direction.
  6. After each game, have the players start beside the other side of the goal, so one game they turn to the left and the next game to the right.
The Game:
  1. On "Go", the first player in each line dribbles to the "Turning Cone", turns around it and dribbles back to the Goal and shoots. The player may shoot as soon as he thinks he can make the shot.
  2. The next player in each line can go as soon as the prior player takes a shot. Or, for U-6, the Coach can have the players wait until she says "Go".
  3. The player who shoots must run to pick up her ball and go to the back of her team's line so she is ready when it is her turn to go again.
  4. One point for each goal.
  5. The first team to reach 10 (or 12 for older players) wins.
  6. Play 3 games and, if necessary, re-balance the teams after each game.
Tip:
Show U-8 & older how they can use the outside of one foot to make the turn (as an alternative to using the inside of the other foot).

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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