Practice Plans

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Questions? Please contact our Co-Directors of Coaching here.


Goalkeepers


U7/U8

Goals for Practice

  1. Fun for the players
  2. Lots of touches on the ball
  3. Practice keeping the ball on the ground
  4. Build relationships with the players, coaches and families

Recommendations

  • Mix and match from among the station drills outlined below, and include a scrimmage at the end of practice.
  • Rotate stations approximately every 10 minutes to keep players engaged.
  • If a planned exercise at a given station isn’t working for your group, then improvise!
  • Remind your players that this practice is about control, not power, and keeping the ball on the ground is a good thing.

Station 1: Small-Sided Funiño

Place two Puggs on each goal line. Team 1 attacks the two goals on one end line and Team 2 attacks the two goals on the other end line. Play 3v3 or 4v4, and keep an eye on these younger players for safety's sake. Coaches should help gather balls and provide short bits of advice when necessary (and lots of positive feedback). Check out this video for examples.


U9/U10

Goals for Practice

  1. Fun for the players
  2. Lots of touches on the ball
  3. Practice keeping the ball on the ground
  4. Build relationships with the players, coaches and families

Recommendations

  • Mix and match from among the station drills outlined below, and include a scrimmage at the end of practice.
  • Rotate stations approximately every 10 minutes to keep players engaged.
  • If a planned exercise at a given station isn’t working for your group, then improvise!
  • Remind your players that this practice is about control, not power, and keeping the ball on the ground is a good thing.

Station 1: Two-Goal Game

Place one Pugg on each goal line. Split into two teams, play a “regular” game.


Progressions for Two-Goal Game

Every player must touch the ball before scoring; player must do a trick move before scoring; player can only score with the left foot (or right foot).


Station 2: Four-Goal Game

Teams can score in any goal. In order to win, a team must score in each of the 4 goals. Coach restarts the drill when the ball goes out of play and after goals are scored. Click here for more details: 4 Goal Game Drill


Station 3: End-Zone Game

Team scores by controlling the ball in the opponent’s end zone.


Progressions for End-Zone Game

Team can only score by receiving and controlling a pass into the end zone; or by dribbling into the end zone; or after passing the ball back into its own end zone.


Station 4: Rondos and 1v1

Using cones, set up two small goals on one of the end lines. Two players at a time play 1v1 and rotate every few minutes. The rest of the players play a keep-away game. Start with one defender in the middle and add defenders to make it more difficult to keep the ball away from them.


Progressions for Rondos and 1v1

Players use one-touch passes.


Station 5: Ball Skills

Practice ball touches; passing and/or receiving; and shooting.


U11/U12

Goals for Practice

  1. Fun for the players
  2. Lots of touches on the ball
  3. Practice keeping the ball on the ground
  4. Build relationships with the players, coaches and families

Recommendations

  • Mix and match from among the station drills outlined below, and include a scrimmage at the end of practice.
  • Rotate stations approximately every 10 minutes to keep players engaged.
  • If a planned exercise at a given station isn’t working for your group, then improvise!
  • Remind your players that this practice is about control, not power, and keeping the ball on the ground is a good thing.

Station 1: Funiño

Place two Puggs on each goal line. Team 1 attacks the two goals on one end line and Team 2 attacks the two goals on the other end line. Check out this video for examples.


Progressions for Funiño

Every player must touch the ball before scoring; player must do a trick move before scoring; can only score with their left foot (or right foot).


Station 2: On-Target Game

Same field setup as Funiño. Each team has a target player who stands in between the goals they are attacking. The aim of this game is to pass forward to the target player and then run to receive a return pass in order to score in the opponent’s goals. Click here for more details: On-Target Drill


Station 3: 1v1, 2v1 and 2v2

Set up four or five sets of cones for goals for tight-space 1v1, 2v1 and 2v2 games. Play games to 3 and have players rotate opponents.


Progressions for 1v1, 2v1 and 2v2

Player must do a trick move before scoring; can only score with their left foot (or right foot); “make it/take it” to increase pace.


Station 4: Ball Skills

Practice ball touches; passing and/or receiving; and shooting.


Station 5: 4 Goal Game

Teams can score in any goal. In order to win, a team must score in each of the 4 goals. Coach restarts the drill when the ball goes out of play and after goals are scored. Click here for more details: 4 Goal Game Drill


Alternative 4 Goal Game

Split into 4 teams. Use 2 balls. One pair of teams plays against each other, scoring on the North and South goals. The other pair of teams plays against each other, scoring on the East and West goals. This teaches awareness of surroundings, communication, tight touches and playing with the head up.


U13/U14

Goals for Practice

  1. Fun for the players
  2. Lots of touches on the ball
  3. Practice keeping the ball on the ground
  4. Build relationships with the players, coaches and families

Recommendations

  • Divide the practice time into two parts: @75% for time at @three stations, and @25% for a scrimmage.
  • Divide players so that there are two teams at each station at any given time.
  • Rotate among stations so that each group gets equal time at each station.
  • If a planned exercise at a given station isn’t working for your group, then improvise!
  • Remind your players that this practice is about control, not power, and keeping the ball on the ground is a good thing.

Station 1: 4 Goal Game

Teams can score in any goal. In order to win, a team must score in each of the 4 goals. Coach restarts the drill when the ball goes out of play and after goals are scored. Click here for more details: 4 Goal Game Drill


Alternative 4 Goal Game

Split into 4 teams. Use 2 balls. One pair of teams plays against each other, scoring on the North and South goals. The other pair of teams plays against each other, scoring on the East and West goals. This teaches awareness of surroundings, communication, tight touches and playing with the head up.


Station 2: Double Hot Box

Mark a "goal box" with cones a few yards off each end line. Teams score by controlling the ball in the goal box. Starting in one box, a team can only score in the other box, but once crossing midfield, they can score in either box. This drill encourages playing with the head up and making quick decisions.


Progressions for Double Hot Box

Only score by completing a pass into the box (dribbling in does not count); at least N players must touch the ball before scoring.


Station 3: Ball Skills & Wambach Heading Technique

  • Practice ball touches; passing and/or receiving; and shooting.
  • Use the drills shown in this video with Abby Wambach demonstrating her heading technique.