‘Numbers’ Game to Improve Anaerobic Power

By Alex Trukan

This exercise is focused on improving Anaerobic Power which is required for acceleration and speed qualities. ‘Numbers’ game is appropriate and fun for almost any age group and ability level. Apart from physical area, it also focuses on 1v1/2v2 or 3v3 attacking and defending scenarios. It can be also used to develop skills needed to deal with underload (1v2/2v3) and overload (2v1, 3v2) situations.

Set up and Directions
Set up a pitch of approximately 20×30 yards. Divide a team into two groups of equal numbers. Organise them on each side of the pitch, next to the goal. Each player should have a number. Place one goalkeeper in each goal. Take coaching position as shown on the diagram. Prepare spare balls.

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The game starts by coach passing the ball into the playing area and calling a

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Passing and Dribbling Square

By Alex Trukan

The passing and dribbling square exercise is focused on improving technical skills along with physical capabilities. The main emphasis is placed on aerobic endurance maintenance which serves as a basis to improvement in anaerobic power and capacity. Apart from that, this practice enables the group to develop two different core skills – passing and dribbling. That can be used to suit the needs of individual players.

Set up and Directions
Organise a square as shown on the diagram below (area size depends on the number and characteristics of players). Divide a team into two groups. One group of 4 players takes positions around the square with one ball per group. Every player from the second group needs one ball each and should take starting position inside the square.

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The outside group passes the ball to each other in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction. Players inside the

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Circle Race

By Alex Trukan

The presented practice can be used across all age groups as a fun game as well as conditioning exercise. The main focus is on developing speed and agility when dribbling with the ball.

Set-Up and Directions

Organise eight cones in a circle and set min. 2 players on each cone. Every player needs a ball. The dimensions of the circle will depend on group characteristics. Each group has to have a designated number.

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On the coach’s signal, a player from the first group called becomes an attacker and a

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Changes of Direction and Anaerobic Power

By Alex Trukan

This exercise is focused on improving speed of acceleration and change of direction in a dribbling scenario. That will help players to produce better quality dribbling and 1v1 duels in the match. Competition between two teams in this practice keeps players engaged and motivated.

Set Up and Directions
Set up four gates and starting positions as shown on the diagram. Divide the players into two groups and organise them on the opposite cones. Every player needs a ball. First two players step forwards and stand in between two cones, facing each other. One of the player is a “leader”, second one follows.

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A “leading” player, starts dribbling and changing direction in between two cones. There should be a

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Reaction Speed and Finishing

By Alex Trukan

The reaction speed and finishing exercise is designed to improve the time needed to accelerate, change direction and win a 1v1 duel. In addition to that, there is an engaging element of finishing and competitiveness, what makes the practice enjoyable and motivating.

Set Up and Directions
Set up two triangles as shown on the diagram. Divide the team into two groups and organise players between the two cones on the edge of the penalty area. Goalkeeper should be ready in the goal, and coach should be on the opposite side, with min. of 5 balls. Players shuffle between two cones and wait for the signal from the coach.

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As the players move between two cones with the back to the goal, a coach plays

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Anaerobic Endurance Circuit

By Alex Trukan

This circuit is focused on improving anaerobic endurance – the ability of a body to produce high quality actions throughout the whole match. The organisation of the practice is rotational. Players are constantly involved and rotate between different exercises in a circuit. All of the exercises should be football specific and if needed, adapted to the needs of the team.

Set up and Directions

Organise four cones and four exercise stations between them as shown in the diagram. In this example, there are following exercises: dribbling square, ladder, shooting, sprinting slalom with one-touch passing. On each of the four cones, there should be a minimum of 2 players. Rotation can be in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction. It is crucial that all exercises are performed with a maximal effort. Between each station, players should jog in a slow tempo.

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On the coach’s signal, one player from each group starts the practice on each station. Following instructions apply to each exercise:

  1. Dribbling square: a player dribbles to each of the four cones and touches them. Player has to return to the middle of the square before dribbling to the next cone.
  2. Ladder: different combinations of quick feet and sprinting work.
  3. Shooting: a player starts on the red cone, runs to one of the balls, shoots and comes back to the red cone before running on to the second ball and shooting on goal.
  4. Sprinting slalom and one touch pass: a player performs a slalom between the flags and then passes the ball back to the coach using one touch.

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