Category Archives for General Coaching

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 aContinue 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.

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

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Play starts with theContinue 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.

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

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

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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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The attacking player starts with their first touch and as soon as that touchContinue 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.

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The server starts by playing the ball to the feet ofContinue reading

Training Overlaps For Attacking

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity works on overlapping runs, decision making, defending and getting to goal.

Start with a keeper in goal, a line of players near the center of the field with balls, a line of attacking players on one sideline and a defender in the middle of the field (with other defenders off to the side ready to take the defenders place.


The activity starts with a pass from the center player to theContinue reading

Taking Players On 1v1

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity works on the first touch and taking a player on 1 v 1.

Start with an attacking player 30 yards from goal between two cones..  A defender is 5 yards back.  A server starts with balls, from 20 yards away.  There is a keeper in goal.

 

The server plays a ball to the attacking players feet (the ball should be hit with pace).  The defender isContinue reading

Coaching the Back Four

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity works on the back 4 supporting each other.

Start with a keeper in goal and 4 players across the back (if your team plays with 3 across the back you can do that instead).  Two forwards from the opposing team are just in front of them and a midfielder with a ball is 20 yards away


The two forwards move along the line in front of theContinue reading

A Killer Overlap Drill

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter. Today’s featured activity is a two person overlapping drill.  It combines passing, receiving, dribbling and fitness.

Start with a player on the corner of the end line and the 18 and the second player is on the sideline around 25 yards out.


The player with the ball passes out wide to the front foot of theContinue reading

Playing and Receiving Long Passes

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Todays featured activity works on playing a long ball, receiving long balls, attacking from width and defensive shape

Start with  a player with a ball near the center circle.  There are 2 attacking players  out wide on each side between 18-25 yards out.  There are three defenders inside the 18 a keeper in goal.


The player with the ball starts by playing a long ball to either of the mostContinue reading

The Benefits of Staying Compact Defensively

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity works on staying compact defensively.

This is a 5 v 3 game to goal with a keeper in the goal.  The 3 are defending the goal.  The 5 attacking players start at midfield with a ball


The attacking team gets a point by scoring a goal OR any time the defendingContinue reading

Midfielders and Forwards Attacking Combinations

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity works on midfielders and forwards combining to get to goal.

Start with a midfielder in possession of the ball around midfield.  Two other central midfielders out a bit wider and 10 yards in front and a forward just outside the top of the D.  A keeper is in the goal they are attacking.


Player 1 finds the forward with a pass.  He then startsContinue reading

How To Improve Decision Making With Your Team

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter. Today’s featured activity is a game that involves decision making, spacing, movement and much more.

Start with a 40 x 40 grid with a 10 x 10 area in the middle. There is a 4 yard wide goal in each corner.

This is a 6 v 6 game (the numbers can vary) with a neutral player in the middle. Each team isContinue reading

Finding Players in the Attacking Fourth of the Field

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter. Today’s game works on possession while looking to find a player in the attacking fourth of the field.

Start with a 40 x 30 grid with two 10 yard end zones. The attacking team has all of their players in the grid and the defending team has 4 players in the grid and the other 3 in the end zone.

The attacking team must make 3 passes in the grid and thenContinue reading

Possession to Penetrate

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity works on possession while looking to penetrate the defense.

Start with a circle with a 20 yard diameter and then have a circle inside with a 10 yard diameter.


This is a 5 v 2 possession game where no players are allowedContinue reading

A Passing and Overlap Exercise

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter. Today’s featured activity is a passing and overlap exercise.

Start with 4 players in a square approximately 20 x 20. One player starts with the ball.

The player in the opposite corner checks to and the pass is made toContinue reading

3v1 Possession Small-Sided Game

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Todays featured activity is a 3v1 possession game with rotating defenders.

Start with a 10 x 10 grid and 3 players on offense inside the grid.  Three defenders are just outside of one corner with balls.


The first player in the corner passes the ball out to anContinue reading

Midfield/Forward Combination Play

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity works on a midfielder playing into a target player and then a quick combination.

A line of players with balls starts around 40 yards from goal.  A target player started 25 yards from goal between two cones.  A keeper is in goal.


The first player with the ball plays it into theContinue reading

A 5v4 Defending Small-Sided Games

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured article works on 5 v 4 defending.

We are using a 40 x 30 grid with a small goal on each end line.  There are two teams of 4’s on the field and an extra player behind each goal.


Whichever team has the ball their extra player join in.  So if yellowContinue reading

How To Find “The Hole” to Pass In To

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity works on midfielders finding holes to pass into.

This activity uses half a field and has a full sized goal with a keeper in it.  There are 3 midfielders on attack and 3 midfielders defending.  They are restricted to an area from the midfield line to another line 25 yards closer to goal.  There is one attacking forward between the top of the 18 and the midfielders restricting line


The attacking midfielders pass the ball between them while lookingContinue reading

3v3 Small-Sided Game to Goal

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity is a 3 v 3 game to one goal.

Start with a 40 x 30 grid with a goal in the middle made up on cones or flags.  A keeper is in the goal and a server is off the field with some balls.  There are 3 players for each team

Each team is assigned an attacking side of field and that is theContinue reading

Attacking Transition With Numbers Up

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity works on numbers up attacking, numbers down defending and offensive transition.

Start with a 40 x 30 grid with two full sized goals and a keeper in each goal.


Two attacking players and one defending player starts on the field and additional players from each team start on the side.


Using this example the black team attacks the top goal and when they lose possession (by scoring, by shooting and it going over the goal or wide, or by the other player or keeper winning the ball) the two attacking players leave the field and are replaced by one defending player and a second attacking player adds on and the attack goes in the other direction



This becomes a very fast moving, free flowing game of soccer and the quicker the transitions from defense to offense the more effective the attacks.

You can do this same thing with 3 v 2, 4 v 3 or even 5 v 4.  The key is to emphasize the fast transition and the importance of getting to goal quickly

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Switching the Point of Attack

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity works on switching the point of attack and getting to goal.

Start with a team attacking with a 3-3-2 and a team defending the goal with a keeper and playing a 2-2-1


This is an unrestricted scrimmage except the teams are put into these formations.  If the attacking team plays quickly and is willing to use the width of the field and change the point of attack they should be able to get to goal easily


If the defending team wins the ball they try to work the ball out past midfield.  If they are successful they leave the ball and defend again.

By controlling the numbers and the formation you can really emphasize the switching of the point of attack.

Have a great day!

Lawrence