Improve soccer performance, confidence on the ball and increase overall skill

Soccer: Juggling for touch and game play

Juggling for touch.

Three players are required.

Two players set themselves 25 to 30 yards apart. Third players stands between them.

The ball starts with one of the outside players (A) and is played into the middle player (X) who plays it back to (A). (A) plays the ball to the other outside player (B) who toches it to (X). (X) plays it back to (B) and (B) plays the ball to (A). A to X to A < to> B to X to B< to> A etc etc. It is a nice little short-short-long-short-short long…..

Turn this into a semi juggling exercise where the players attempt to play the ball in the air and trap/receive the ball before it bounces or after 1 or 2 bounces. Use one to three touches to control the ball and execute a good pass.

Work on passing the ball with proper pace, good direction (hitting the target chosen) and apply a reasonable trajectory, meaning don’t just kick the ball in the air and hope it gets there.

Eventually players will be able to execute this drill using just 1 touch, two touches when necessary. And eventually it would be ideal to minimize the bounces and possibly eliminate the bounce.

Different twist. A plays to X,  X turns the ball (with 1 to 3 touches) and plays to B.  B plays to X,  X turns the ball and plays to A.

Excellent for touch and developing passing and receiving. Really focuses on the first touch as players must control the ball in their space and use the first touch to set up the second which could be/should be a pass.

Soccer Skills; Passing drills – supporting the ball

Soccer Skills; Passing drills – supporting the ball

Learning the fundamentals of passing and getting open to receive a pass or support your teammate is critical.  Emphasizing good passing disciplines will help develop players and allow then to compete at higher levels.

Developing the passing game in increments is the best way to create good solid fundamentals. Emphasize good technique, well paced and well placed balls that lead a player away from pressure or enable a good trap under pressure.

Receiving, or trapping the ball, is the other side of a good passing game. Without a good trap a good pass means little and without a good trap it is very difficult to find time and space to make the next good pass.

Below is a simple drill that can work on all the basics; passing, trapping moving without the ball and anticipating space.

Set up a square grid;12 yrds x 12 yrds. Place cones at each corner for reference.

3 offensive players and 1 defender – 1 ball.

Offensive players start at the cones, defender is in the middle (if the defender steals the ball or a bad pass is made then there is a switch and the defender replaces the offensive play that made the bad pass or trap)

Offenders play 2 or 3 touch keep-away. The key is to support the ball by having players at either cone adjacent to where the ball is, or building a triangle, leaving the diagonal cone open. Passing to the cones opens up the widest angles available in the given grid thereby making it easier on the passer.

Offensive players without the ball will have to work hard to fill both cones either side of the ball. When the ball gets moving quickly the offenders will be working hard to fill space.

If the offenders can manage to always fill the proper space it will be impossible for the defender to intercept a GOOD pass as there will always be two lanes to cover.

Coaching points:

Move ball quickly but make passes at a pace that can be handled by the receiver.

Passes may have to lead offensive player to the cone as the runner is filling the proper cone (read space instead of cone) to support the ball.

Traps should be made facing the field to afford the reciever/player a view of the field and offer the best opportunity to make a pass (meaning the receiver will see or have available two passing lanes or cones to pass to). Trapping facing the field is harder than it sounds. If a player is running to a ball played to the cone more than likely he is running with his back to the field, certainly not in full view of the field. So to trap facing the field the player will have to trap and turn in the same motion, in a way dancing around the ball.

Playing one touch will have an advantage at times, but will make play too fast to fully and properly support the ball.

If the defender fails to pressure the ball and instead attempts to cut off a passing lane then the player should step on the ball to force the defender to play the ball. In this case the players in support should creep up the line toward the ball (heels on the line ) to create an even wider angle. Of course this closes space but might be necessary to solve the trap. A short pass to the player creeping up the line toward the ball would dictate a one-touch pass to relieve pressure from operating in a tight space.

Great stuff. Good fitness. Lots of touches on the ball under pressure. Good decision making drill.