6 Tips to Improve Soccer Practice

How to Teach Receiving
How to Teach Soccer Moves
Prepare Players for Real Games
Train to Play Fast, Not Slow
Advice from Coach Doug

Note From David. Coach Doug and I recently watched a short video on You Tube that was about Soccer Drills that teach soccer skills. Below are Coach Doug's comments and a list of 6 questions that will help you self-evaluate your soccer practices.

Coach Doug and I recently watched a short video on You Tube that was about Soccer Drills that teach soccer skills. Below are Coach Doug's comments and a list of 6 questions that will help you self-evaluate your soccer practices.

6 questions that will help you self-evaluate your soccer practices:

  1. Do your receivers wait for the ball to come to their feet instead of moving to the ball?

  2. If a pass goes by them, do they stand there and say "It was a bad pass?"

  3. Do they practice at Game Speed while under pressure, like they must be able to play in a real game?

  4. Are you saying "Keep your head up?"

  5. Are you saying "Move faster?"

  6. Do you teach "moves" that will work in real games?

Comments by Coach Doug in response to a video we watched about Soccer Drills to teach soccer skills:

The Problem of Practicing Passing to Feet and Waiting for the Ball to Come to the Player: In the video, the passing to feet while standing across from each other is pretty bad. Obviously these two girls have practiced those moves over and over again, so a Rec coach that tries all that stuff will just create frustration since he won't have 11 girls like those two great athletes in the video. And those girls won't do that sort of stuff in a game, or they'll get hammered. It's better to pass the ball to space in a way that players must run to the ball to even get to it, not run someplace, then stop and wait to get it. The girls in the video are very accustomed to waiting for a ball to come to them, you can see it. Their Coach doesn't see it, but we do.

Your Dribble Around Cone & Pass Race naturally has bad passes, so the receiver doesn't know which way he has to run to receive the ball.

I have a girl on my team who has learned this bad habit of waiting for a ball to come to her by all the slow static soccer drills she has done, but I am starting to break her by making things a race, and she sees that she loses when she waits for the ball to come to her.

This coach's soccer training would be better if he had the players compete in a race to win against another group. First to ten passes, first to do twenty steps over's, etc.

How to Teach Soccer Moves that Really Work: You can do technical type training, and it's good as long as it is fun, and under pressure and in traffic. That's what they don't get. The coach wants them to learn these beautiful pure eloquent looking moves, and those can only be practiced in controlled conditions. It's better to learn moves under pressure, at Game Speed and in a competitive practice, they may not look as pretty, but they are learned under pressure, traffic and chaos, and they will work in a game, because a girl will fight to move the ball even when the moves are not done in a textbook way, and someone is in the way.

Here are 2 ideas of how coaches can self evaluate what they are doing:

  1. If a coach finds himself calling out "keep your head up" all the time, then there is a FLAW in whatever he is doing. A proper Practice Game will FORCE everyone's heads up WITHOUT the coach saying a word, like many of our games do. Just yesterday, I set up my five year olds with two piles of balls and two groups to race, we raced twice, side by side, then I set it up as crossing so that each group had to cross the other to score. This five year old kid looked up at me and said: "but we might run into each other". I said, well, I guess you better look around so that you don't!

  2. It is the same thing if a coach has to constantly call out for player's to move faster, that is an instant clue that the activity naturally is teaching player's to play slow. The activity should naturally force them to go faster through some sort of competition, without the Coach saying anything other than "go". Like when the coach in the video does the Foundation ("Tick Tock") he urges them to go faster. All he needs to do it have them compete first to twenty touches, and then yell "done" at twenty, then praise the kid that wins.

  3. Coach Doug

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