The Purpose of a Set Drill

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter. Todays topic is a bit different in that it looks at the purpose of drills instead of at a particular drill.

At some of the coaching courses they teach you to NOT use the word “drill”. Instead, we should use “game”, “exercise” or “activity”. Part of the reason seems to be that “drill” seems to have a Continue reading

How To Play Off a Target Player

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on playing off the target player.

Finding a player up top is an important part of many teams attack. Sometimes it’s done by playing the ball into space for the player to run onto.

drills181a

Other times, it’s a case of playing the ball directly into the target player and having him receive it and either take the Continue reading

How NOT To Screw Up a 2v0 Break-Away

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on 2 v 0 breakaways.

Recently I have seen a few situations where two players broke through on a breakaway (either because of a poorly executed offside trap or the last defender makes a big mistake). In two of these cases the attacking player without the ball ran beyond the ball, into an offside position, which made him unusable. Here is a simple activity that will help prepare players for this type of a situation.

Start with a keeper in goal and two attacking players 40 yards out (one with a ball). Have a defender 10 yards behind them. The purpose of the defender is to force the attackers to go at speed.

drills174a

Play starts with the Continue reading

The Importance of One-Touch Passing

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity works on one touch passing and understanding the importance of accuracy in passing.

Watching various teams of different levels play, one of the big differences between the truly top teams and the others is the ability of the top teams (and top players) to pass the ball not just to the correct person but the correct area almost every time.  Watching a team like Barcelona play it’s amazing the accuracy of their passes and how one pass sets up the next pass (and frequently the next few passes).

As an example, in the diagram below the keeper has a ball at his feet and is going to play the ball out wide to his right back.

drills170a
A pass made slightly behind the back (to his left foot) will result in one of two things.

drills170b
Either the player will have to close his body to the field

drills170c
Or the player will play the ball one touch back to where it came

drills170d
There is a third option where the player can try to turn with the ball but at that point, it’s forcing them to turn in an area that is dangerous because they can’t see what is coming at them and if they lose the ball they are in a very bad situation.

If the keeper plays the ball to the front foot it allows the receiving player to go forward and see the whole field with his first touch

drills170e
The difference between passing the ball to the front foot or to the back foot might only be a foot or two but it’s a HUGE difference in terms of what it allows the receiving player to do. The top teams and top players understand the importance of making this pass correctly every.

One thing I have always found fascinating is even though most tactics become useless without the ability to execute, people want to put such a big emphasis on tactics that they tend to forget the importance of the technical aspect in order to execute the tactics.

One way to show the importance of proper passing and positioning of the body is through one touch shadow training.  Start with 11 players on the field with the ball starting with the keeper.  Set a goal ¾ of the way downfield.

drills170f
The objective is to score a goal while playing one touch soccer.  The players will quickly realize how important it is to position their bodies in a way to easily receive the ball in a way to work the ball forward.

As an example, below you will see the team work the ball down the right side of the field.  With each pass, at least one person has to reposition their body

drills170g
If any of these passes is played to the wrong foot, it doesn’t work.  While this seems like it will be an easy thing to do, since there is no opposition, you might be surprised how difficult it is for a team to work the ball down field and how many bad passes occur.

Once a team is comfortable doing this, add a couple of opponents but again, emphasize that everything has to be one touch.

Have a great day!

Lawrence
By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

2v1 Attacking to Goal

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity is a 2 v 1 game toward goal.

In designing training sessions we frequently create numbers up situations for the attacking team.  This is done to create positive goal scoring opportunities.  The problem with this is that most defenses are designed to always have one additional defender than the other team is attacking with.  Since that is the case, shouldn’t we spend more time in those situations so both the attacking and defending players can be prepared?

Start with an attacking player 25 yards from goal with a ball.  One defender is 5 yards closer to goal and the other one is 5 yards back.  There is a keeper in goal.

drills169b
The attacking player starts with their first touch and as soon as that touch Continue reading

1v1 Drills To Improve Shooting Chances

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity works on 1 v 1 to get a shot hit.

Start with a keeper in goal, a defender on the top of the 18, an attacker on the top of the D and a server, with balls, just outside the D.

drills166a
The server starts by playing the ball to the feet of Continue reading