Category Archives for Drills & Exercises

Speed Dribble

By Steven Smith

Setup:
This activity is designed to encourage dribble penetration through the field when space is given. Teams who recognize space for speed dribbling will force defenses to make decisions based on the attacking team. It will be more likely that advances into more dangerous spaces on the field will occur.

Execution:
Two grids are set up in 25 yard squares approximately 20 yards apart. Two color groups are set up so that each grid has 5 vs. 3 occurring in each grid. Each grid plays keep away with the group of 5 retaining the ball. When the defense group of three gets the ball they attempt to retain as long as possible. On the coach’s whistle an attacking player from grid A speed dribbles to grid B and continues to play keep away in the new grid. A player from the sideline joins grid A and the same activity continues. On the same coach’s whistle that initiated the grid switch a player from grid B speed dribbles out of that grid and takes a shot on the goal and then joins the line for grid A.

Variations:
Keep both color groups the same for two separate timed games where score is kept for each successful goal scored after exiting the grid.

By Steve Smith
Steve Smith has been a men’s college coach that holds an NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and a Doctorate in Physical Education.

Double Goal

By Steven Smith

Setup:
This activity is designed to convert possession to shooting in a quick sequence. The teams must focus on proper and skillful possession of the ball in a tight space and then quickly convert that to a shooting opportunity and apply good finishing skills.

Execution:
Two grids are set up in 18 yard squares approximately 20 yards apart. Two color groups are set up so that each grid has 4 vs. 4 plus 1 in each grid. Each grid plays keep away with the extra color player in red always on the attacking team side (team in possession of ball at any given time). The coach predetermines the number of passes that must be completed consecutively and uninterrupted by anyone on the opposing team before the final player leaves the grid and takes a shot on goal. A player from the sideline joins each grid after a player leaves to shoot. The shooting player rejoins the sideline of the next grid over and the same activity continues.

Variations:
1. All players who take shots return to their same grid they left and score is kept between the two teams in that grid. Winners advance to play winners of the other grid.

2. Both teams shoot at the same time on opposite goals by the coach blowing a whistle during the possession. The team that scores first on each whistle gets the goal and the second shooter does not get a point even if he or she successfully scores their shot.

By Steve Smith
Steve Smith has been a men’s college coach that holds an NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and a Doctorate in Physical Education.

Defending from different angles

By George Kee

1v1 defending occurs numerous times throughout a match. This exercise teaches players to defend from different angles. Players gain experience defending when approaching from the front, side, and behind.

Area Size: Attacking 3rd
# Of Players: 10-15
Time: 30 minutes

Set up: Four cones placed in a square at the top of the penalty area. 4 numbered defenders are placed at each cone. A line of attackers start 10 yards out.

Execution: The attacker begins dribbling into the square, at some point the coach will call out a number and that defender will close down on the ball and attempt to block the shot as the players play 1v1 to goal. The coach can call the number at varied times in order to change the angle of approach from the defender.

Coaching Points:
Defenders approaching from the front should close down at an angle; body position should be side on with knees bent.

Defenders approaching from behind or the side should look to create contact with a shoulder challenge to disrupt the dribbler. From here the defender can get between the dribbler and the ball to win possession or get in front to delay.

Exercise Two: 

 

Setup and execution: 3 colored goals set up 20 yards away from line of attackers. A line of defenders starts on the side halfway between the goals and the attacker. The attacker will begin dribbling and at the same time the defender will come off the cone and close down. At some point the coach will call out a color which will indicate which goal the players will attack and defend.

Defenders should first look to get in the ball line between the attacker and the goal. Once the ball line has been cut out the defender should begin to close down. This exercise can also be used to stress the importance of putting in the extra work to block shots.

Coaching Points
• Good defensive body position, side on, knees bent, balance on toes
• Using the shoulder when tackling from the side
• Getting in the ball line between the ball and the goal

Originally from San Antonio, Texas, George moved to northern California in 2014 to take over as the head soccer coach at Lassen College. In his brief time with the program George has won an undefeated conference title, coached four players of the year, and won three Coach of the Year Awards.