Fall marks the beginning of many recreational and high school soccer seasons. These players train hard on and off the field to perform as best they can during matches and tournaments. Coaches employ different soccer training methods and programs in order to condition their players to be the best athletes possible.
Here are some soccer training methods that may be useful to add to your current program:
- Employing agility drills in soccer training programs will increase a player’s reaction speed and ball control. Many soccer camps dedicate entire days to agility drills without using soccer balls. Agility ladders are versatile pieces of equipment that get a player quick on their feet. Side steps, high knees, jumps, and backpedaling through the ladders are all good things to teach your players.
- Endurance training is also important to soccer players. Players can travel on the upwards of ten miles every game, over the course of 90 minutes. While they are not running the entire time, they do need need to be physically fit enough to last on the field for the duration of the game. Increment training can help your players develop their endurance, and get them used to the changes in pace that occur throughout the game. Have them alternate sprinting and jogging for a predetermined distance, and change the distances as they go along. Having your players warm up and cool down with group runs is also a good idea to promote endurance, as well as moving as a team.
- You should always teach proper ball handling skills to your players. They should never let the ball out of their reach when dribbling, so have them practice in small and large distances, and designate someone to attempt to steal the ball from them. The ball should remain close to the dribbler’s feet at all times. Having better ball control will help the players learn soccer moves like rolls, pullbacks, shield turns, as well as more advanced moves like the Beardsley shuffle, scissor kicks, and the Maradona.
- Shooting is obviously what will score your team points during the match, so be sure to have your players practice shots from all angles. Practice without a goalkeeper to improve accuracy, as well as with a keeper for a more game-like experience. Make sure your players practice shooting with assistance as well, because they will receive a pass to shoot more often than dribbling the ball themselves for a clear opportunity.
- Restarts happen throughout the game. Whether it’s a throw-in, drop ball, corner kick, or free kick, players should know which formations they should be in to obtain possession and take the ball to an area with scoring potential. Practice shielding other players and ball handling off of airbound balls.
These soccer training methods are usable for players of all ages and skill levels. Plan your practice sessions with these tips in mind.