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Improve your passing, score more goals! (04/14)

A practice session for ages U6–U10, focusing on passing and shooting

This session is designed to help players pass better with the inside of the foot and the instep. After a couple of warmup activities, players start practicing passing and shooting in 2 v. 2 and 3 v. 2 situations. Encourage them to keep constantly trying to move the ball forward, and help the players off the ball find the best ways to get open and show for forward passes.

Staying one step ahead of the defender (04/14)

A practice session for ages U10–U14, focusing on offensive 1 v. 1 tactics

This session is all about 1 v. 1 attacking—specifically, about teaching the ball carrier to get a head start on the defender and keep it. After all, you have to be able to outdribble your opponents if you want to set up shots! Too many good shooting opportunities are thrown away on sloppy shots, so it’s important for attackers to get to the goal fast and finish with confidence.

Training perception in youth soccer (04/14)

Ideas and activities to improve young players’ awareness and focus

Games and exercises to train passing and heading are easy to find. But how do you train a player’s focus? In this article we present nine exercises that can teach your players to identify patterns and respond to stimuli while also training their technique and coordination. By mastering cognitive challenges in training, players learn to accomplish the task at hand, tuning out irrelevant stimuli and focusing in on what really matters.

Making the combinations count (03/14)

A complete practice session for ages U10–U14, focusing on finishing

In our last few bonus articles, we’ve covered ball control, dribbling and 1 v. 1 play. Our next training concept is obvious: finishing. In this session, the shots are always set up by combinations, so players can keep practicing the previous concepts as well. After they’ve warmed up, we start adding opponents, so that shooters are forced to take their shots quickly under pressure.

The element of surprise: Playing creative offense (03/14)

A practice session for U6–U10, focusing on 1 v. 1 and combination play

With winter behind us, creative play becomes an important focus of our spring training sessions. In today’s soccer it’s easier than ever for defenders to predict their opponents’ next move. That’s why it’s so important for attackers to be able to surprise the other team with unexpected plays—a skill even the very youngest players can begin to learn.

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