Soccer Questions & Answers

  1. Do you need a goal or a lined field to have a good practice? No. I used to think so, but it's really not necessary, you can use cones to make goals. However, a real goal or a backstop is great.
  2. Why not just scrimmage the entire practice? There are 5 reasons why that isn't best for a Rec team:
    1. If you have a lot of players, they won't get enough touches on the ball. This is especially true for the less aggressive and less skilled players. If you split up and play "small sided" on a small field (e.g., 30-50 steps long and 25-40 steps wide, depending on age) it increases the number of touches, but there are still the problems described in 2 & 3 below. If you scrimmage, only do so for 10-15 minutes per practice and scrimmage without a Goalie so your defenders are forced to defend.
    2. You can't practice specific techniques or tactics in a general scrimmage.
    3. The better, aggressive players get most of the touches on the ball and the weaker, less aggressive players get very few.
    4. Players tend to not try new things in a general scrimmage and scrimmaging can reinforce bad habits. They tend to do the same things they have always done, even if they are incorrect (i.e., scrimmaging reinforces bad technique & doesn't present the opportunity to teach correct technique).
    5. Some players are less enthusiastic on game day if they have scrimmaged a lot during the week. This may not be true with all players, but I noticed it with my teams.