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Instructional Drills

INSTRUCTIONAL DRILLS

The following is a compendium of the drills contained within the Soccer  Coaching Manual for An Instructional Program – Applicable to Pre‑Kindergarten  (Pre-K) through Under-7 (U7).”

DRIBBLING

Dribbling in a Confined Space

Introduce “Irish Jig” (a.k.a., Mexican Hat Dance, Hat Dance, or Toe Tap).  Balancing using the left leg, players should tap the top of a stationary ball with the sole of their right foot (preferably with the “ball” of the foot or the toes); players should then switch legs. Players should then alternate feet and try to build up speed.

Introduce how to “Make an airplane.” Balancing using the left leg, players should place the sole of the right foot on the ball and stretch out their arms to the sides to maintain balance; players should then switch legs.

(Initially, mark off a space smaller than the grid… Can use parents to define space…)

Everybody “dribble” – no instruction, just use your feet to move the ball around (everybody dribble “to somewhere else within the grid;” “to other green space;” “to a corner of the grid;” “to the middle;” “to your mom or dad”…)

Non-moving ball – put the bottom (sole) of the right foot on top; switch to left foot on top; switch to right – add hop; switch to left – add hop; switch to right – toe tap; switch to left – toe tap; (challenge – alternate feet toe tap – “Irish Jig.”)

“Kangaroo Hop” up to the ball; put sole of one foot on top of ball. (Make an airplane.)

Run up to standing ball, put sole of foot on top of ball. (Make an airplane.)

Dribble/stop… by putting sole of foot on top of ball. Make an airplane.

After instruction – right foot only; left foot only; inside of right foot only; inside of left foot only; outside of right foot only; outside of left foot only.

“Go/freeze” while dribbling; “All-fall-down/get back up fast” while dribbling.

Dribble in a line around the perimeter of the grid (left turns); reverse direction (right turns).

“Dribble Snake” follow the leader in a line anywhere inside grid. (Advanced challenge… Leader breaks off upon request and dribbles to the back of the line – creates the next leader – can be done until everyone leads…)

Dribble – Stop ball (anyway you want with foot) – turn around and dribble back the way you came.

Dribble – stop ball with sole of foot – PULL BALL BACK WITH SOLE of foot – turn around, dribble.

Dribble fast/Dribble slow.

“Make-A-Circle, right (counter-clockwise) then left (clockwise), first just with ball – using inside of foot, then around a disc or cone, then around a parent.

Dribble around obstacles – discs, cones, and/or standing parents. (Challenge – parents move)

Dribble to objectives – corner flags, cones.

Dribble through “gates” (pairs of cones or saucers; or parents’ legs).  (Challenge – count the number of “goals” scored during a given period of time.)

“Circle-and-Go” – “Make-A-Circle” around a cone, dribble to another cone, make-a circle around it; continue…

“Coerver Base Move” (inside of feet, one-touch, foot-to-foot)

Challenge – while slow dribbling, look for and then fast dribble to an open area.

Line-to-Line Dribbling

(Use sole-of-foot stop on the ending line…)

Inside of right only; inside of left only; outside of right only; outside of left only.

Slow/Fast.

GENERAL PASSING

(Movement)

  • Pairs will ball passing back and forth (minimum two-touch; i.e., trap/pass or trap/set-up/pass or trap/dribble/pass), while moving around.
  • Same as above, in groups of three players.
  • Same as triangle demonstration with a parent “defender” who does not take the ball away.
  • Same as above with a player “defender” who does not take the ball away. (Rotate defenders.)
  • Same as above with a player “defender” who is allowed to try to take the ball away. (Rotate defenders.)
  • 4 v 1 “keep-away” in a spacious grid.
  • 4 players in a grid, two-touch passing, calling out the name of the intended receiver before passing the ball.

(Leading)

  • Same as the demonstration, but with players only (static passer).
  • Same as above, but change angles.
  • Same as above with movement on the part of the passer.

GENERAL RECEIVING (TRAPPING)

Parents as “servers:”

  • Parent sends an inside of the foot pass or “bowls” the ball to the player. Player traps with the sole of the foot, taps the ball in front and sends an inside of the foot pass back. Left then right. Same for inside of the foot trap.
  • Parent serves gentle, two-handed, under-hand, low toss directly to the player’s correct thigh. Player traps, taps the ball in front and sends an inside of the foot pass back. Left inside then top.
    Right inside then top.
  • Parent serves gentle, two-handed, under-hand, low toss directly to the player’s chest. Player traps, taps the ball in front and sends an inside of the foot pass back. For older players, this can also be an opportunity to introduce them to correct serving technique. You may have them try performing the drills above.

INSIDE OF THE FOOT (PUSH) PASS AND TRAP

  • Inside of foot pass and trap, left and right, with parent. (Short, then expand distance.)
  • Inside of foot pass and trap, left and right, with teammate. (Short, then expand distance.)
  • Dribble and then inside of foot pass to teammate who traps; re-set and other player goes.
  • Challenge – as above, but from some distance, alternate players back-peddle to reset.
  • In triangle – one ball – players pass and trap ball around.
  • In triangle – one ball – player passes to one player and receives ball back; player passes to other player and receives ball back; rotate.
  • “Personal Pass” – dribble, push pass out in front, sprint, retrieve, dribble. (Line-to-line); dribble at standing parent (with legs spread), push pass through legs, sprint around, retrieve (“nutmeg”).

JUGGLING

Players should be allowed to “free juggle” any way they want and count the number of hits they can achieve before they catch the ball with their hands or lose control.

(It is helpful to start with a balloon, sponge-ball, or play-ball to achieve initial success.)

POSITIONS, ATTACKING AND DEFENDING

  • Physical placement.
  • Speed dribbling line to line.
  • Personal pass around a cone, then a stationary defender.
  • Left-right movement to stay between an opponent and the goal.

SHOOTING AND GOAL SCORING

One player, one ball; everyone scores each time; positive reinforcement for everyone scoring a goal. Cones set up as goals. Set up as many goals and split team as needed to avoid lines.

No goalkeeper; toward the middle of the goal:

  • Dribble through the goal (can also employ “dribble snake”)
  • Dribble to goal, use short inside of the foot pass to score (can alternate feet)
  • Dribble to goal, use short instep drive to score (can alternate feet)

Players to get as close to the inside of a goalpost (the cone) without missing; alternate cones and feet:

  • Dribble through the goal (can also employ “dribble snake”)
  • Dribble to goal, use short inside of the foot pass to score (can alternate feet)
  • Dribble to goal, use short instep drive to score (can alternate feet)

Add discs to represent the presence of a goalkeeper or defender; players to dribble or shoot between the discs and a cone; alternate sides and feet with each turn:

  • Dribble through the goal (can also employ “dribble snake”)
  • Dribble to goal, use short inside of the foot pass to score (can alternate feet)
  • Dribble to goal, use short instep drive to score (can alternate feet)

THE INSTEP DRIVE (KICKING)

  • On hands and knees, players (with the help of parents) point toes straight behind and tap the ground with both insteps.
  • In the position above, add the ball, held by the parent, so that it is struck with the instep, first with one foot and then with the other.
  • Have players sit with arms out and back, hands to the ground for balance, so that one leg and then the other can be brought up freely. Add the ball, held by the parent, so that it can be struck with the instep, first with one foot and then the other.
  • (A simple, low “punt” to the parent may also be tried to get the ball onto the instep, but this is usually too difficult for beginners.)
  • Standing instep drive to the parent, right then left, using proper form and not for power or distance.
  • Same as above with a simple walk up to the ball and kick.
  • Run up to the ball and kick.
  • Run up to the ball and kick for power and distance.
  • Standing instep drive to the parent, right then left, using proper form and not for power or distance.
  • Same as above with a simple walk up to the ball and kick.
  • Run up to the ball and kick.
  • Run up to the ball and kick for power and distance.
  • Dribble and then kick.
  • Standing instep drive to the parent, right then left,  using proper form and not for power or distance.
  • Same as above with a simple walk up to the ball and  kick.
  • Run up to the ball and kick.
  • Run up to the ball and kick for power and distance.
  • Dribble and then kick.

 

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John Harves

CoachingAmericanSoccer.com®

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