Last week was spring break for the schools in Kansas. The spring time here means that we often alternate between 80 degree temps on one day and snow the next. It also tends to be very windy at this time.
I think the wind is one of the most challenging elements to train through. Especially when you’re on turf. It’s not just balls in the air that are affected but just dribbling and passing on the ground accurately becomes difficult.
Each spring we have a lot of players that travel for spring break but there are also many that don’t. Since our club trains all of the teams in the age group at the same time we’re able to combine our small groups of players into larger groups that create more energy and excitement in the training session.
Four Station Agility Without the Ball
- Number 4 Sprint and Shuffle – Right
- Speed Ladder – Start Left
- Number 4 Sprint and Shuffle – Left
- Speed Ladder – Start Right
Four Station Agility With the Ball
- Dribble and turn inside right
- Dribble and turn inside left
- Dribble and turn outside right
- Dribble and turn outside left
Sprint, Turn and Shoot Competition
- First player
- Pass in front for one touch shot
- Other team retrieves balls
- If they run out of soccer balls
- One minute to score
- Switch roles
Power and Finesse
- Two teams
- The coach passes
- One long shot with power
- One shot closer with placement
- If you score one you’re safe
- If you miss both you’re out
- If you score both you can challenge a member of the other team who must make both
- Long Shot with laces
- Focus on ‘Contact’
- Place closer shot with inside of the foot
- Close shot is a header
Shooting from different distances
- Two teams
- One goalkeeper for each team or one for both
- Start 25 yards away
- Move closer by 5 yards each round
- Team retrieving balls has 25 second to set soccer balls for the next round
- Game goes from focusing on driving balls to placing them
4v4 Small-Sided Games Tournament
- Multiple teams together
- Divide the player equally among four teams
- Play three games
- Three points for win
- One for a tie
- Top two teams play again in the final
- Chance for players of different levels to play together
This type of training session is not an ideal situation but there are times when you’ll be missing players for whatever reason and a practice like this will still allow the players who are there to get something useful done while also creating an energetic and competitive environment.
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In Future Episodes
Next week I’m going to describe a session that I’ve used with my players to help them improve their ability to control balls out of the air. I find that this is a topic that isn’t covered very often in most age groups but it’s especially important for young players now that heading the ball is no longer an option for them.