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

Small Ball Training: Accelerating skill development

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 soccer ball, 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.

Start with the Futebol for a warm-up, spending 10-20 minutes juggling individually or in small groups or 2 or 3. http://www.brasilianfutebol.com/juggling-program. Then switch to the Bambino for 10 or 15 minutes. While the Bambino is only an inch smaller in diameter it requires considerably more focus and effort (mechanics, technique, dexterity) to track, control and manipulate this ball effectively. After playing with the Bambino switch back to the futebol and train with it for another 15-20 minutes. The Futebol will seem 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 effortless.

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

Alternative Juggling

Juggling with Soul

Here is one to add to your repertoire. Juggling with the bottom of your shoe, or reverse juggling, tap dancing, toe tapping,, not sure what to call this. Using the bottom of your foot, the soul of your shoe, instead of keeping the futebol in the air trying dribbling it like basketball players dribbles a basketball, use the soul of your shoe to bounce it off the ground. This is best executed on a hard, flat surface with a bouncy ball. We like using the Brasilian Futebol because it is small and lively.

Begin by letting the ball bounce about 8 to 12 inches high, slightly in from t of you, but in a tight space. As the futebol is bouncing get your foot over the ball as it touches the ground and is beginning to rise. As it is rising use the bottom of your foot to slap it or push it back down to the ground much like a basketball player dribbles a ball. It is easiest to use the ball of your foot to start. You will need to let it bounce twice after forcing it or slapping it to the ground before you can attempt the next touch. It is best to alternate feet for timing sake and rhythm.

It will take time to find the timing and rhythm of this exercise, but it is a wonderful way to develop timing, touch, rhythm, quick feet and maybe a new move or two.

Once you have it down try using your heal and the outside of your foot. If you let the ball bounce behind you try  using your laces to propel the ball to the ground (like you are kicking it into the ground). A teammate of mine used to do this as a move to get past defenders; he would slap the ball hard into the ground as it was slightly behind him and bounce it over his shoulder while running past the defender….

Being comfortable on the ball is what enables players to deal with the many and various situations that occur  in games. This is a different and unique way to develop skill, touch and ball awareness. Besides that, it’s fun.

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Small Ball Training: On the Run

Juggling on the Run

Simple, challenging and effective

Ideally you are already a proficient juggler, perhaps able to juggle 20 times or more without out a miss and more or less under control. Not absolutely necessary though.

This exercise will help with tracking, timing and pushing the ball into useful spaces in a game-like situation.

Start on one side of the field and run to the other side of the field while juggling the ball. Start slowly, a jogging-like pace to get a feel for it, and pick up the pace as you getting the hang of juggling on te run. Keep the ball moving in the direction you want to go using various and all body parts, but mainly your feet. Allowing the ball to bounce is encouraged and playing the bounce cleverly will bring greater success. Keeping the ball alive and moving in the right direction is the minimum goal. Juggling the full width of the field, 70-80 yards, at a good pace while only allowing the ball to bounce several times is the bigger goal. Try not to stray more that 10 yards off the straight line. Use laces, outside of the foot, thighs, head, shoulders and chest to control the ball and keep it moving forward within your path.

Great for fitness and tracking. We feel it parallels game-like situations in that it is similar to tracking down a loose ball, controlling it and trying to do something useful, or receiving a long pass on a sprint, surviving a scramble or a series of 50/50 balls etc. Nothing is static in a real game. We are always on the run and often vying for loose balls in an effort to wrestle for possession.

You will find yourself sprinting, skipping, jogging, changing directing constantly in this drill. The change of pace and rhythm is an essential part of the game to find the flow of the game and become unpredictable to opponents.

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Soccer Skills; Passing drills – supporting the ball; 3 v 2 drill

Soccer Skills; Passing drills – supporting the ball; 3 v 2 drill

 

Soccer Skills; Passing drills – supporting the ball; 3 v 2 drill

Learning the fundamentals of passing and getting open to receive a pass or support your teammate is critical to a good passing game and possession. Emphasizing good passing and recieving 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 passes 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. This builds on the 4 cone drill published yesterday.

Set up a square grid;15 yrds x 20 yrds.

3 offensive players and 2 defenders – 1 ball.

Offense  plays 2 or 3 touch keep-away in the grid. This drill builds off of yesterday’s drill where players supported the ball by getting to the cones at the corners of the grid. However, freelancing is required by the offensive players to find space and support the ball, using the same concept of; spacing, leading runners to space  and finding good, wide angles to support the ball. Facing two defenders the offensive players will be forced to make quicker decisions and anticipate passes.   The key is to form triangles, two players in support of the player with the ball, forcing the defenders to try to clog the direct passing lanes. If the defense does commit to the direct passing lanes then the passer should be able to split the defenders with a pass leading one of the support players into open space (support players must anticipate this pass and be ready to run). If the defense staggers and clogs the middle lane then one of the support players will be free and the game of 2 v 1 is in play.

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

Coaching points:

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

Look for passes that lead the support player to open space as the ideal play is to split the defense with a through pass. But do not force this pass.

Ideally traps should be made facing the field of play to afford the player a view of the field, reduce on time  on the ball and minimize touches with the ball. This will offer the best opportunity to make a pass. Trapping the ball facing the field is harder than it sounds. If a player is chasing a ball that is played to a sideline more than likely he is running with his back to the field of play where he wants to make a pass, certainly not in full view of the field. In this particular drill it will happen often and therefore this drill is excellent for teaching players how to ‘dance around’ the ball or trap and turn at the same time in order to minimize time, touches and space when receiving a pass. Trapping the ball facing the way you want to play is a crucial skill.

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.

While we will often place restriction on touches, 2 or 3 touch, sometimes we place a 3 second rule on the ball which allows player creativity while still speeding up play.

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

If the defenders fails to pressure the ball and instead attempts to cut off a passing lanes, then the player with the ball should hold the ball to force a defender to play the ball. In this case the players in support should mover closer to the ball, still using the entire grid (heals on the side line or touch line) to create the best passing angle and open up a passing lane between the defenders.

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

Make sure to switch out the defenders often as this drill is exhausting and don’t hesitate to run this for just 2 to 3 minutes at a time as this drill is exhausting. Plug in coaching points often to rest players as well.

Soccer Fundamentals: passing and support

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 ball. 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 unless he has already reached the cone and is waiting for 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 to force the defender to commit.

If the defender fails to pressure the ball and instead attempts to cut off a passing lane then the player should hold 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.

Increasing Skills through juggling

Becoming a proficient juggler with a soccer ball can help improve soccer performance. Juggling with a soccer ball using feet, thighs and all parts legal in the game of soccer is a fun way to practice and develop  skills through repetition. Juggling consistently and with the intent to master the ball will improve focus, concentration, balance, agility and ultimately eye/foot coordination and touch.

Using a practice ball like the brasilian futebol will help accelerate the improvement and will refine all the qualities mentioned above, thereby developing a higher level of skill and confifidence with the ball.

Check out the juggling program at http://brasilianfutebol.com/applications/juggling.asp.

It has some good ideas for beginners as well as top level players.

Brasilian Futebol

Soccer Fitness while having fun.

Fun Fitness; Soccer Marbles.

2 players. Each with a ball. The game can be played on the entire soccer field and multiple pairs can play at the same time. The game is 1v1.

Objective of the game is to hit your opponent’s ball with your own ball. Each time you hit your opponent’s ball you earn a point. First player to 10 wins. Must win by 2.

Each time a players ball goes out of bounds that player must do 2 pushups before play resumes. Secondary objective is to knock your opponent’s ball out of bounds while scoring a point (and keeping your ball inbounds if possible).

Play starts from anywhere on the field. Player A rolls ball 10 yards and Player B tries to hit it with his/her ball with a well paced pass. A & B alternate turns trying to hit each other’s ball. Players must wait until the opponent’s ball passes their own, has clearly missed or stops before attempting a shot.

Strategy: Players should follow their shot in order to get into position to shoot again once the opponents ball is in play.  It therefore becomes a running game.

If a players ball goes out of bounds play is resumed by rolling the ball back onto the field 10 yards from opponents ball or 10 yards from where it went out.

Upon scoring balls may be very close together. That life. It is doubtful the next point scored will leave the balls close together.

Marbles is a great game for working on passing. Players must often lead the target with a well paced thoughtful pass, just like leading a runner into space.

Advanced Game. Players can only score by hitting a moving ball. This will force players to sprint after their pass to get into position to score. If a ball stops before a player has a chance to shoot then gentleman/gentlewoman’s conduct requires the player to roll their ball 10 to 15 yrds to offer an opportunity.

Small Ball

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Soccer Fundamentals: Dribbling practice for the lil one’s

http://www.brasilianfutebol.com/soccer-videos/dribbling-lessons.php

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Small Ball Training

http://www.brasilianfutebol.com/juggling-program

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http://www.brasilianfutebol.com/futebol-tennis

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