Category Archives: Coaching

High Tempo 4v1 Conditioning Game

By Daniel Severn

Today we have a simple variation of a popular and efficient exercise. By putting in this one twist, we add in movement, timing, speed of play and lots of conditioning. Again, there are many variations and ways to change or adapt this depending on the age and ability of your players – I’ll show you some of my favorite variations at the end of this article.

Set Up and Directions

The exercise is set up as shown below. We have four small cones marking out a 15×15 yard area. We also have four tall cones positioned centrally outside each side of the area, approximately 5 yards away.

High Tempo 4v1 1
The players will play a ‘regular’ 4v1 keep-away within the area marked by the small cones. The twist is this simple, after making a pass, the player must Continue reading High Tempo 4v1 Conditioning Game

Dribbling Challenge With Endurance

By Jebreel Bubtana

This dribbling challenge is a great way to have your players work on different dribbling techniques, whilst working on their endurance. The objective is to complete the challenge with 5 soccer balls as quickly as possible. Set up your field as shown below (figure 1).

Dribbling Challenge - 1

There are 4 stations that your player/players must complete before getting the next ball and going again.

Station 1 – Dribble in and out of the cones using the inside and outside of both right and left foot. It is important that the player Continue reading Dribbling Challenge With Endurance

Possession in a Compact Space with a Surrounding Circuit

By Daniel Severn

This weeks’ focus is on keeping possession of the ball when working with limited space. To make this even more challenging, I have added a conditioning circuit around the outside of the ‘possession area’. This practice will help develop concentration in possession when tiring, whilst developing a better endurance.

We will have three teams, each with four players, working here. Two teams will compete in a 4v4 possession game with conditions. The third team will perform techniques around the circuit.

Set Up and Directions

Possession in Tight Areas wCircuit

The possession game takes place within the 20x20yd area.

Two teams compete to keep possession of the ball. Depending on the Continue reading Possession in a Compact Space with a Surrounding Circuit

Defending the Counter Attack – Continuous

By Daniel Severn

This exercise will help your players to develop an understanding of key defensive positioning, delaying an opponent and help to develop their decision making. It can be broken down into a more tactical practice, but I like to play this game with a continuous aspect to increase the intensity. It is also a great way to teach players how to keep focus when tiring in the game.

Set Up
You will need a minimum of 9 players to run this exercise as continuous (you can play this with just 6, but for the best intensity, 12 players is ideal). You begin with 1 Goalkeeper and 2 Defenders placed just inside the penalty area. You now have 3 lines of attackers set up as if they are playing the roles of a striker and the two wingers/wide midfielders. The Striker starts with the ball.

Set up is shown below in Fig 1.

Defending the Counter Attack 1

– 2 minutes on the clock
– The defenders begin with 10 points
– Each goal they concede, they lost 1 point
– Winning pair are the ones with the most points remaining at the end

The striker begins with the ball centrally. As soon as the striker takes Continue reading Defending the Counter Attack – Continuous

Developing Great Foot-work with the use of Foot-Speed and Coordination Exercises – Part 2

By Justin Cresser Author of Total Soccer Conditioning: A Ball Orientated Approach

In last week’s article we spoke about the importance of developing foot speed and coordination in our players. We highlighted the need for these qualities by wing backs for example, who need to be able to jockey and defend fast wingers in 1 v 1 situations. Fast and coordinated footwork are also necessary for attacking players trying to dribble their way past one or two defenders, or for goalkeepers that constantly have to move across the face of the goal as the ball is passed around inside their penalty box.

Last week we presented a basic footwork exercise that can be used earlier in the season or by younger players that are being introduced to this type of training for the first time. However, as your players advance into the season or become comfortable with the basic exercises, it is important that you progress to more complex footwork exercises to continuously challenge and develop your players. The following is a more advanced footwork exercise that you can use:

Set-up and Directions: Divide your players into pairs. For each group, set up four small cones so that they make a diamond shape. The length of each side of the diamond must be 1.5 yards. Have a player stand on one leg in the centre of the diamond facing their partner who is standing 2 yards away from the top cone. The player on the outside should have a ball in their hands (Figure 1).

When ready, instruct the player standing on one leg to hop to the top cone and then Continue reading Developing Great Foot-work with the use of Foot-Speed and Coordination Exercises – Part 2

Small Group Defending to Improve Anaerobic Capacity

By Justin Cresser

Today’s activity focuses on a number parameters, including individual and small group defending; 1 v 1 attacking; speed of reaction; and anaerobic endurance. It is an exercise I like to use during the competitive or in-season as it allows me to ‘kill many birds with one stone’.

Set-Up and Directions:

Divide your players into groups of 4 (or 8) and set up the following station for each group: Create a grid 20 yards wide and 20 yards long. Place a small goal (1.5 yards wide) on each side of the grid so that the goals are in line with the centre of the area. Have one player stand beside each goal with a ball at their feet. Give each player a different number between 1 and 4 (Figure 1).

When ready, the coach will call two numbers. The first number called will be Continue reading Small Group Defending to Improve Anaerobic Capacity