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

Small Ball Training; 3 Minute Fitness

The Brasilian Futebol - Soccer Training Tool Small Ball Training; 3 Minute Fitness

2 players, 3 futebols;  or 3 players, 4 futebols. (

Object – 2 players attempt to juggle 3 futebols at the same time. This may not be considered juggling in the true sense, but the idea is to keep the futebols in the air and alive. Allowing the ball to bounce is essential.  The excersise turns into a mad scramble and a serious fitness drill with some serious laughs.  Try to do this for 2 to 3 minutes.

Tips –  Pick a target on the pitch or field to play futebols to ( X marks the spot). Allow futebols to bounce, in fact playing for the bounce is the key as it buys time allowing players to chase down stray futebol(s) and return them to the target.  The target give players something to focus on as trying to pass three futebols to each other in the air is impossible. (if you can do it please send us a video!)

Players will be actively and continuously chasing down one futebol, working  to control it with 1 to 2 touches and play it back to the target, then immediately look for another  futebol that has been played to the target by the other player and repeat. Ideally futebols should be passed back to the target with a higher trajectory allowing futebols to bounce several times while limiting the distance that then may bounce away from the target. The gGoal is to keep the futebols moving or alive.

Soccer Fundamentals: passing and support

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 to a good passing game and possesion.  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 into an opportune space and 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 or move.

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)

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

Offensive players without the ball will have to work hard to fill the cones on either side of the ball. When the ball is moving quickly the offenders will be working constantly to fill space (to get to the open cone).

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


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 space/cone (read space instead of cone) to support the ball.

Traps should be made facing the field to afford the player a view of the field, reduce on time and minimize touches with the bal. This will offer the best opportunity to make a pass (meaning the receiver will see or have available two passing lanes or cones). Trapping facing the field is harder than it sounds. If a player is running to a ball that is played to the cone more than likely he is running with his back to the field, certainly not in full view of the field. To trap the ball 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 playing too many one touch passes will make play too fast to fully and properly allow players support the ball. Two touch is ideal with more than an occasional 1 touch mixed in.

No need to force play either, if the defender does not chase then a pause in play is warranted.

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 if the ball is played in the small space 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.

We will talk about the same drill tomorrow with 2 defenders.

Small Ball Training: Accelerating skill development

The Brasilian Futebol offers 2 sizes, the Futebol (#10) and the Bambino (#8). The Futebol is a bit smaller than a size 3 soccerball, 6 inches in diameter, but is well weighted to better approximate the touch and feel of a reg 5 soccer ball. The Bambino is smaller than the Futebol, 5 inches in diameter or about the size of a softball or grapefruit, and has a nice weight to it as well. Both have a lively bounce to them which requires players to develop a soft touch while focusing on and having to deal with a smaller ball.

We like starting with the Futebol for a warm-up, spending 10-20 minutes juggling individually or in small groups or 2 or 3. Then switch to the Bambino for 10 or 15 minutes. While the Bambino is only an inch smaller in diameter there is a world of difference in the challenge to track, control and manipulate this ball effectively. After playing with the Bambino for a while all of the sudden the Futebol seems easy. We sometimes throw in the mini, which is about the size of a handball, and work our way down the ladder and back up. Once you have become comfortable and adept at playing with these smaller balls the Reg 5 game ball seems easy.

Try incorporating the Futebol into practice sessions. Great for technical training, small games (3 v3, 4 v4, 5 v5), juggling etc..

It’s All about Skill!

JugglingThe Brasilian Futebol - Soccer Training ToolGame Play With the Brasilian Futebol

Juggling the Brasilian Futebol

Juggling for advanced players; Timing, Touch & Moves

This one is fun. Taks a few trys to get the timing. Practicing this on a hard, flat surface will increase success and accelerate progress. Turf, tennis court, gym floor, cement driveway or patio are great places to work on juggling.

We like using a Brasilian Futebol because of the bounciness and size.

Begin juggling, keeping the ball in your sweet and knocking it chest to head height consistently. When ready, let the ball bounce and as it is bouncing (literally as it touches the ground) step over the ball as you would step over the ball to execute a scissor move and resume juggling. The key is to execute the move over the ball just as it is hitting the ground so you have maximum clearance. Mix it up by executing a step over (if a scissor is a move opening your legs and passing your foot over the ball, then a step over is a move stepping over the ball in the other direction crossing one leg across the other or across your body). Add your own creativity like a double scissor, a feint one way to go the other..etc

This exercise will improve timing, increase confidence with the ball and improve touch & dexterity. This is another way to work on simple moves as well as touch and timing and will prepare you for  situations that often happens in a game. The Brasilian Futebol - Soccer Training ToolBrasilian Futebol

Brasilian Futebol: Soccer Training Ball

Brazilians w Futebols

Small Ball Training to enhance ball skills

Brazilians w Futebols

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Small Ball Training

Brazilians w FutebolsDribbling Lessons With the Brasilian FutebolSoccer Training Ball SizeJuggl;ing Practice With the Brasilian FutebolBrasilian Futebol

Soccer Training: Advanced Team Warm-Up

Advanced Team Warm-up

Build a grid with cones that has 9 squares or boxes (3 boxes x 3 boxes). Each square should be 5 yds x 5 yds or up to 8 yds x 8 yds.
          ^          ^          ^          ^
          ^          ^          ^          ^
          ^          ^          ^          ^
          ^          ^          ^          ^
As a warm-up give each player a brasilian futebol and ask them to juggle in the grid.
Restrict them to 2 touches and one bounce in each square. Or 3 touches or 4 or no bounces. Whatever fits your team. Remember we are trying to make this success oriented while testing the envelope.
They cannot go back to the square they just came from or ask them to hit all nine squares in an allotted time. What ever it takes to accomplish movement with the ball.
The goal is to move with the ball, and/or make the ball do what it is they want or need the ball to do. They need to avoid other players in the box, move from grid to grid, keep the ball alive  hopefully while juggling under control.
Ask for some artistry and creativity.
Execute a “sombrero” to change directions. A sombrero can be flipping, kicking or knocking a ball over your own head to change directions and go the other way, or it can be touching it over another players head, usually a defender, as they run by or at you, or as you run by them.
Maybe they could skip a square, chase the ball down, control it and move on.
Reciting poetry while juggling was always one of my favorites.
They can also work in pairs. One futebol per pair. 2 touches, one bounce per square. Cannot receive ball in the same grid twice.

Small Games; Switching Fields

Switching play (moving the ball from one side of the pitch to the other) will allow teams to create significantly more space on a soccer pitch creating greater opportunity for possession and can lead to better goalscoring situations.

Changing the point of attack requires team coordination, reasonable passing ability and timing, but get it right and it’s a potent weapon for your team.

How to set it up:

  • Set up a 60 yd wide  x 60 yd long playing area.
  • On both end lines create two goals, five yards wide using flags or cones. Place goals 10 yards inside the sideline. Each team defends the two goals on it’s endline while attacking the two goals on the opposite endline.
  • Teams of 5 v5 or 6 v6 works well.

Getting started:

  • Teams maintain possession while trying to score in either goal on the opposing end line.

Tactics and coaching points:

  • Tactically if one goal gets crowded the offensive team should switch play and attack the more open goal. Use quick switching of  play to find space – with both short and long passes to score in either goal.
  • Transitions from D to O should offer counter attacks in the opposite field.
  • A team with the ability to possess should be able to draw the defense to one side/goal and switch play quickly to attack openings on the opposite field finding 2 v 1′s, or slashing runs of teammates making runs from one goal to the other.
  • Swing ball around the back to maintain possession and create attacking opportunities as the defense shifts to protect obvious goal opportunities.
  • Encourage horizontal or diagonal runs by attackers similar to runs to a flag or across a defensive front to stay onsides until the ball is played. diagonal runs are great for seeking space as well as creating space behind the runner.
  • Encourage short passes when teams have numerical advantage while looking to switch play with a long ball to attack.
  • Attacking from the sidelines gives the passer an option to play a through ball toward the near goal or a long cross to the far goal.
  • Attacking from the middle of the field gives players the opportunity to force defenders to commit which could create wall passes, third man options, solo runs etc…


Why this works:

The session encourages possession and patience and teaches players not to force play when the part of the side of the field they are attacking becomes crowded. Learning to switch the field of play is essential to keeping possession of the ball and it stretches defenses which will create space in which players can have more time to make a decision and allow them to take better risk when warranted. Teams that can hold onto the ball and make use of the space will create lots of scoring chances.

Defensively this session will help players work on rotating to the ball to close down passing lanes and shooting lanes. Communication is key to make sure the most dangerous player is marked on transition and when field of play is switched successfully by the opponent.

U.S. Men’s National Team: 26 players called to camp in Brazil

Wondo wc 2014

Wondo wc 2014