Practice drills for sports teams—including, yes, soccer teams—are usually a pain. This is one of those instances when the adage “No pain, no gain” isn’t going to work. Players lose interest, get tired easily, or, worse, injure themselves. A good soccer coaching program recognizes these obstacles and does something to remedy them (other than providing excellent soccer jerseys, that is).
With that said, here are some passing drills that players are sure to enjoy:
- Pass through Gates
Two cones serve as “gates” in this play that takes place in a 30×20 yard grid. The players pair up, and a ball is given to each pair. Upon your signal, players make their way through the space and, through the gates, pass the ball to their partner. For every gate, only one pass is allowed per row.
Young soccer teams can do this activity for one minute. While soccer coaching the players, have them their practice soccer jerseys during the drill. So later on if you want to make the drill harder you can add a defender who won’t be wearing a jersey or will be wearing a different color jersey.
- Road Kill
With a long narrow grid in place, have two players stand at the grid’s short ends. The other players pair up and stand across from each other along the grid’s long end. On your command, the two players at the short end pass the ball to and from each other along the grid’s length. The other players try to intercept the ball. When one of them connects with the ball, they switch places with one of the players on the grid’s short ends.
This drill is a favorite among soccer teams. This soccer-coaching exercise emphasizes timing during passes and how to weigh passes properly. Players can don their soccer jerseys for a more competitive streak.
- Passing Speed
This drill takes place in an open field. Soccer teams are divided into groups with 3 to 4 players per group. Each group must have the same number of people in it. Get the ball into the field, calling out a group’s name while doing so. Players retrieve the ball, passing it to all four players. The fourth player hands the ball back to you.
Time the plays by counting until the ball is in your hands and the players are back in line. Whoever has the least amount of ball-passing time wins.
Just like soccer jerseys, soccer coaching need not be boring and serious all the time. They can be fun and engaging too. What’s your favorite coaching drill? Tell us about it!