David's Best Soccer Coaching Tips
Soccer Drills, Formations, Practice & Motivation
For Coaches of U4, U6, U8, U10, U12, U14 Soccer

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Hi, This is David at SoccerHelp. A lot of leagues are underway across the country and soccer coaches are wanting to know what they can do that will make the most difference for their teams. Below are some ideas.

A. For Soccer Coaches of All Ages

1. Make Your Soccer Practices 3 Times More Productive. Everyone is limited by time and the coaches who achieve the most in practice will see the fastest improvement. So, use your time effectively. If you can achieve twice as much at soccer practice, then one practice is like 2 practices, 2 are like 4, 4 are like 8, etc. That is one of the reasons why teams that play the SoccerHelp Practice Games instead of normal soccer drills improve so much faster. Instead of players standing in line waiting their turn, the players are active and dribbling or kicking a ball. Our practice games are 300% more productive than normal soccer drills.

2. No Lines and a Ball for Every Player. As mentioned above, if you are still using soccer drills where players stand in line, you should change to Practice Games. The Practice Games are MUCH, MUCH better. Do you want your team to improve faster, have more fun and play better? Then change. Try it and you will see the difference.

3. How to Teach Soccer Players to Play Fast While Under Pressure. Our Practice Games keep score and that creates competition, and competition causes players to practice at their fastest speed while under pressure. If you practice slow, you will learn to play slow. If you want to learn to play fast, you must practice fast while under pressure.

4. Keep it Fun. Now, I don't mean Stupid Fun like Crab Soccer � those old games were fun but didn't teach legitimate soccer skills AND don't use elimination games like a lot of the old games are. Our soccer Practice Games teach real soccer skills and we don't use any elimination games where the kids who need to practice the most are the first eliminated. Be encouraging and if you can, use the Guided Discovery approach � how to do that is described in Premium in an article titled �Guided Discovery Method of Coaching� and also at the Premium Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race game.

5. Check out the Soccer Patches at http://www.soccerhelp.com/shshop/index.php/cPath/22_54 .

B. For Coaches of U4 & U6 Soccer Players

1. Have Fun.

2. Watch the Coach Doug Video Clips for U4 and U6 Soccer Coaches at http://www.soccerhelp.com/Soccer_Video_Clips_Coach_Doug_DVD.shtml

3. Play the Practice Games

4. Read the Testimonials for our Soccer Patches at http://www.soccerhelp.com/shshop/testimonials.php?classId=2 The soccer patches make it a lot more fun. You will never have more fun than coaching U4 and U6. Make it the most fun possible so everyone has the best memories. If you don't you will look back and wish you had.

C. Eight Things on SoccerHelp Premium that Will Really Help Soccer Coaches of U7 and Older.

1. Choose the Formation and Style of Play that gives your team the best chance of success. Let me ask a silly question � Are your players professional athletes? Obviously not, and it doesn't make any sense to have them play a Style of Play or a Formation because you have seen a pro team play it. Kids have to learn how to play and if it isn't fun they will quit, and when they quit everyone loses. There is over 300 pages on SoccerHelp Premium about Formations, Positions and Styles of Play. Premium will explain how to evaluate your team to select the best Formation and Style of Play, whether to Push Up on Attack, use a Stopper, a Sweeper, etc.

2. Check out the Motivational Soccer Patches at http://www.soccerhelp.com/shshop/index.php/cPath/22_54 . Motivation is critical. If you can get your players to come to practice, hustle, do their best and listen to the coaches, it will make a huge difference and it will be more fun too. The patches really work and you can read over 300 Testimonials for our Soccer Patches at http://www.soccerhelp.com/shshop/testimonials.php?classId=2

3. Coaching "Rules" No. 1-3 are "rules" you can easily teach your players that will quickly improve your team's play. Coaching Rule No. 3 (how to properly defend throw-ins, goal kicks, punts and free kicks), is worth a goal or two per game and can change the flow of a game. This is a useful way to teach young players, since most have been taught to "follow the rules". There are 25 "Coaching Rules" you can teach your players about what to do and not do.

Below are some of the comments I have received from coaches about these "rules":

"Coaching Rule No. 1 (Don't get thrown over) really is worth a couple goals a game. When we marked up properly, we easily won the ball 90% of the time. Super easy to teach, and super easy to coach from the sidelines." Coach Bob, U10

"I taught my players Coaching Rule No. 3 from Premium and the results were immediately phenomenal!" Coach Charlie

"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

4. Shoulder Tackle & Strength on the Ball soccer drill that is a practice game - This game can make a difference in one practice. 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.

"We did this first thing after warm-ups until I was satisfied the girls weren't going to be afraid of contact." Coach Corey, U-12 Girls (they won the tournament)

"This Game made an immediate improvement on my boys on how to fight for a ball." Coach Chuck, U-10 Boys

"I LOVE the "Shoulder Tackle & Strength on the Ball" drill - it has HUGE benefits. It paid off this past weekend when we played a team from another league. Their girls were very aggressive until we got on their shoulders and then they generally went to pieces and we took away the ball." Coach Tony, U16G

"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

5. Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race soccer drill that is a practice game to teach Aggressive Receiving, how to kick the ball while running and One-Touch play. I recommend playing this a lot - it will make a huge difference in speed of play and in aggressive receiving.

"We do the "Dribble Around a Cone & Pass Relay Race" every practice and it's a huge help in teaching awareness that both the passer and receiver have a responsibility on a pass." Coach Nick, U-14 Coach and Premium Member

6. Dribble Across a Square soccer drill that is a practice game will teach composure in traffic, peripheral vision, instinctive reactions, how to turn with the ball and to dribble with head up. Make the square larger (15 steps wide) to teach recognition of Open Space and acceleration into Open Space, which teaches how to Breakaway. I recommend playing this at the start of every practice as a warm-up. If you use this drill for 2 practices you will see improvement. Coaches are starting to post videos on You Tube of young players who practiced with Dribble across a Square dribbling through entire teams.

"We played Dribble Across a Square and Dribble Around the Cone and Pass Relay Race at every practice, and the results were phenomenal." Coach Greg, U-9 Coach and Premium Member

7. Win the 50/50 Ball or Be the First Defender 1v1 Attacking and Defending soccer drill that is a practice game. The team that wins the most 50/50 balls often wins. If the player on your team who is closest to a 50/50 ball can't win it, he or she must become the First Defender to slow down the attack so teammates have time to recover to defensive positions.

"You know you are doing the right thing when you say practice is over after 90 minutes in 93 degree heat and 7 year old girls still want to play the "Win the 50/50 Ball or be the First Defender 1v1 Attacking and Defending" soccer practice game." Coach Troy, Premium Member, MD

8. 4-Step Plan for Successfully Motivating Players, Teams, Athletes and Students is at http://www.soccerhelp.com/Motivational-Plan-Players-Students.shtml . It is 5 pages long and is based on the premise that success results from doing the right things with the right attitude. It discusses:

- Why Every Coach, Parent, Teacher and Manager Needs a Motivational Plan

- How to Develop a 4-Step Plan for Successfully Motivating Players, Students and Anyone - List, Incentivize, Praise, Reward (LIPR)

- Tips for Developing Your Motivational Plan (Do's, Don'ts and Ideas)

- How to Give Effective Positive Encouragement and Praise That Gets the Results You Want

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