"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
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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.
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.
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
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.
As they improve, move them 15 steps apart.
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.