Fun Games for

Soccer Practice

 

By Katie Warlosz - Challenger Club Trainer

For Salem Youth Soccer Association

 

All of the following games are based around learning whilst having fun at soccer practice. Each game can be adapted to suit a wide range of age groups.

 

Contents

1. Unopposed Dribbling - Captain on Deck

2. Opposed Dribbling - Stuck in the Mud

3. Opposed Dribbling - Crabs on the Beach

4. Unopposed Passing - Please and Thank-you

5. Opposed Passing - The Incredible Hulk

6. Small Sided Passing Game - Zone Passing

7. Unopposed Turning - Turnaround

8. Opposed Turning - Monster Turnaround

9. Unopposed Heading - Head for Goal

10. Opposed Heading - World Cup Heading

11. Small Sided Heading Game - Free Headers

12. Unopposed Shooting - Quick Shooting

13. Opposed Shooting - Goals, Goals, Goals

14. Small Sided Shooting Game - Shoot Out

15. Opposed Shielding - Cops and Robbers

16. Opposed Shielding - Daylight Robbery

 

 

 

1. Unopposed Dribbling - Captain on Deck

Area: 15 x 15 yards

Each player has a ball and is allowed to dribble around the grid. The captain (coach) gives instructions for the shipmates (players) to follow:

Bow - cone 1

Stern - cone 2

Port - cone 3

Starboard - cone 4

Scrub the decks - taps on the ball with the inside of the foot

Man the rigging - toe taps on the ball whilst arms climb the ladder

Captain on Deck - stop the ball with bottom of foot, shout "I, I, Captain!"

 

Coaching Points:

 

Development:

A pirate on board the ship tries to kick everyone's soccer ball overboard. Who will be the last shipmate?

 

2. Opposed Dribbling - Stuck in the Mud

Area: 20 x 20 yards

Each player has a ball apart from 2. The players dribble their balls around the grid and try to avoid the 2 defenders (mud monsters) who have to try and touch the other players' soccer balls with their feet. If a player has their ball touched by a mud monster they have to pick it up, put it above their head and stand with their legs apart. They cannot dribble until a teammate sets them free by passing the ball through their legs.

 

Coaching Points:

 

 

 

3. Opposed Dribbling - Crabs on the Beach

Area: 25 x 20 yards

 

The players (surfers) line up next to each other at one end of the grid. Each player has a ball and attempts to dribble past the crab (coach to start) to get to the sea. The players stop when they get to the other side and wait until the coach to says go, before they dribble back across the beach. As the players dribble, the crabs (who are on all fours facing up) try to bite the surfers by kicking their ball over the sides of the grid. Surfers become crabs if they have their ball kicked out. Who will be the last surfer left on the beach?

 

Coaching Points:

 

4. Unopposed Passing - Please and Thank-You

Area: 15 x 20 yards

 

Half of the players stand around the outside of the grid without a ball. The other half of the players in the middle of the grid dribble around looking for free outside players. When they see one they ask them "do you want a pass?" and if the receiver says "yes please", they make the pass and then say "thank-you" when they get the return. Players see how many passes they can make in one minute.

 

Coaching Points:

 

Development:

Receiving players must control the ball with one foot and pass it back with the other.

 

 

 

5. Opposed Passing - The Incredible Hulk

Area: 15 x 20 yards

 

Four players attempt to pass the ball to each other without letting the defender (incredible hulk) get it. To start off with the incredible hulk can only walk between the players. Every time a player makes a pass they have to re-energize themselves by running around one of the marker cones. How many passes can the players make before the incredible hulk intercepts the pass?

 

Coaching Points:

 

Development:

Allow the incredible hulk to jog/run. Add another incredible hulk.

 

6. Small Sided Passing Game - Zone Passing

Area: 30 x 20 yards, grid divided width-ways into 3 zones

 

3 V 3. Both teams of three try to keep possession of the ball. The defending team is passive and can only gain possession by intercepting one of the other teams passes. Teams score a point by making a pass to one of their own players in an end zone, and then for every consecutive pass made in that zone. If the ball gets kicked out, the other team has an unopposed pass into play.

 

Coaching Points:

 

 

 

 

7. Unopposed Turning - Turnaround

Area: 20 x 20 yards

 

Each player has a ball. 16 flat cones mark the area. Players run around with their ball. On command they have to dribble to an outside cone and turn without touching the cone with their ball. They then return to the middle of the grid and then approach another cone. Players score a point every time they can turn without touching a cone. Allow the players thirty seconds to see how many points they can score, then let them try to beat their last score.

 

Coaching Points:

 

8. Opposed Turning - Monster Turnaround

Area: 20 x 20 yards

 

Each player has a ball apart from 2 monsters that are passive. Players dribble their ball towards a monster and execute a turn they previously learned. Players are awarded a point every time they successfully turn away from a monster while keeping control of their ball.

 

Coaching Points:

 

Development:

Allow the monsters to kick the players' balls away if they get too close. Add more monsters to the game. Decrease the size of the area so that the players have to maintain close ball control when turning.

 

 

 

 

 

9. Unopposed Heading - Head for Goal

Area: 10 x 8 yards per pair

 

The two 8 yard lines are goals. Players stand on a goal line facing a partner. The ball is either thrown in by self or thrown by partner (depending on player confidence at this stage). The player going first tries to head the ball into their partner's goal. Partner tries to block the header without using his/her hands. A point is scored for accuracy, i.e. hitting the target or corners of the goal.

 

Coaching Points:

 

Development:

A point is only scored if the ball crosses the goal line. Encourage players to jump and header the ball.

 

10. Opposed Heading - World Cup Heading

Area: 10 x 10 yards

 

2 v 2. Place a player on all four sides of the square, facing someone from the opposing pair. All sidelines become goal lines. A partner throws the ball a teammate who redirects the ball at the opponent's goal. The opponent attempts to block the ball without using his/her hands. The other team then repeats this. All players can move anywhere inside the area. A team scores a point every time they hit the target with a header or score a goal.

 

Coaching Points:

 

Development:

Try starting on knees to introduce diving headers. Introduce a ladder tournament to make it more exciting.

11. Small Sided Heading Game - Free Headers

Area: 20 x 30 yards

 

4 v 4. Place a goal at each end of the grid and mark a 7 yard zone in front of each goal. Players pass the ball up the field in an attempt to make a pass to a teammate who has made a run into an end zone. Once the ball is in the end zone the team qualifies for a free header at goal. The player that received the pass can pick the ball up and throw it to a teammate who has moved into the end zone for a header. A point is awarded for every header during the game.

 

Coaching Points:

 

12. Unopposed Shooting - Quick Shooting

Area: 30 x 15 yards

 

3 v 3. Set up a large goal along both 15 yard lines, and divide it into three parts. One team starts with a ball each. They dribble forward and try to score in their opponent's goal. To start with, defenders are not allowed to block shots. Teams take turns to shoot across the grid and into the goal. Goals scored in the middle of the goal are worth one point. Goals scored in the corners of the goal are worth 2 points.

 

Coaching Points:

 

Development:

Allow the opposing team to block shots. Ask the players to score as many goals/points as they can in one minute.

 

 

 

 

13. Opposed Shooting - Goals, Goals, Goals

Area 30 x 15 yards

 

3 v 3. Set up three small goals along both 15 yard lines. Players are only allowed in their own half of the grid. Players can pass to set up a teammate or shoot from anywhere in their own half. Emphasis is on individual technique. Opponents may not use their hands but can block shots on any of the three goals. 1 point is awarded for a shot on target and 2 points are awarded for goals scored. Teams see how many points/goals they can score in one minute.

 

Coaching Points:

 

Development:

One player from each team is allowed to go into the opponents half of the grid.

 

14. Small Sided Shooting Game - Shoot Out

Area: 20 x 30 yards

 

3 v 3. Set up 3 small goals along both 15 yard lines. One player is a goalkeeper and can save shots. Another player may leave his/her half. The team in possession can pass to set up a teammate or can shoot from anywhere on the field. Hitting the target scores one goal, and the ball crossing the goal line scores two goals. Play for 2 minutes. Rotate the teams.

 

Coaching points:

 

Development:

Allow all players to go anywhere on the field of play.

 

 

 

15. Opposed Shielding - Cops and Robbers

Area: 15 x 15 yards

 

3 players (robbers) dribble around with the grid with a ball each. 1 defender (copper) challenges any player with the ball for 3 seconds (counted by the player in possession). If the copper does not get the ball he/she then moves on to another robber and challenges for 3 more seconds. Rotate the robber after 1 minute.

 

Coaching Points:

 

Development:

Increase the time to 5 seconds.

 

16. Opposed Shielding - Daylight Robbery

Area: 20 x 25 yards

 

Half of the group has a ball each. They are matched up with one of their opponents who are lined up at one end of the grid. The opponents run on and can only challenge their matched up player. When they get the ball they attempt to dribble it back to their end, where they can rest until the whole team is done.

 

Coaching Points: