Here are the keys to running effective soccer practice sessions. This is based on observing 1,000s of practices combined with the learning from coaching certification programs we attended.[separator top=”10″]
- Maximum number of touches on the ball for each player and constant movement with or without the ball are critical. To really develop soccer skills youth players need about 4,000 touches on the ball per week. I have seen practices where in an hour a player gets 30-40 touches. They stand in line, listen to the coach or are in extended scrimmages and aren’t involved. Our practice plans get between 600 and 800 touches per hour. In a situation where a competitive team practice 5-8 hours a week the 4,000 touches would be achievable.[separator top=”10″]
- Holistic session incorporating skill, tactics, fitness, mental elements all culminating in a game situation scrimmage at the end, and united by a theme (i.e. counterattack, zonal defending, etc.). Players need to know the relevance of each drill to playing the game and running a bunch of random drills doesn’t work.[separator top=”10″]
- Injecting a reasonable amount of humour and fun to give a mental break from the concentration and focus required for each drill.