For movie clips and
discussion of common soccer feints - (click
For movie clips and instructional GIF's of Basic Soccer
Tactics and Simple Combo Play- (click
|King's "Backyard" Soccer Basics
- The most important thing is just getting
- It doesn't have to be complicated or take a
long time. Just passing the ball back and forth beats sitting on the couch.
- When in doubt, just play some 1 v 1 with
- Try to turn everything into a little
contest, keep score, and even give out "prizes". (There is a 1st division
English coach who hands out jellybeans to his professional players - when they
do well in practice - .....and they fight for them!) So try giving out special
popscicles, candy, ice cream or promise that new game boy cartridge
(that you were probably going to get anyway....) if they do 15 juggles etc.
Then keep "raising the bar".
- Be creative. For instance, if you
successfully complete 10 "one-touch" passes, then "rip" a shot at the rebounder
net, or garage door. Alternate shooters and keep score. Then "raise the bar" to
15 passes and so forth........
- Check Below for simple "backyard" soccer activities
I.) Juggling practice
and games (click here
for "how to learn juggling")
Play Juggling games.
- Use the driveway when first learning to juggle
and allow bounces between touches until they get profficient.
- Juggle "Horse" - just like the old basketball
version of "horse" where one player calls a shot or skill and the other player
must do it or get a letter. So, player 1 calls "foot-knee-foot-catch" and then
demonstrate it. Player 2 then must also do it or get a letter. I play that you
must catch the ball at the end which prevents the wild last uncontrolled kicks.
Start simple and even use bounces on the driveway, i.e.
- "Toe-knee-chest-nut or Tony Chestnut" - this is
for younger kids or absolute beginners. Have them drop the ball to the toe
(i.e. foot) and kick it back to the hands for a catch. Repeat for knees, chest
and head. Begin to link them together, i.e. "toe-knee-catch". Then "turn Tony
on his head" and go the other way. Do "head -catch" followed by "chest-catch"
then knees and toes etc. Then link them all together and watch out.....all of a
sudden they will whip off a "head-knee-foot-catch" and will have done 3 juggles
and their first "waterfall" - yeah baby!
- Waterfall Shots - The "waterfall" is
successfully doing a head touch - down to a knee touch - and then a foot touch
- and then directly back up to the head again without the ball touching the
ground. The trick is to do many in a row. Set up a penalty kick game where each
player gets shots for the number of waterfalls they can do. For instance, only
one successful waterfall gets 1 PK, but two waterfalls in a row is worth 4 PK
shots, and three waterfalls would be worth 8 etc. Play goalie for each other,
keep score and play for 10 minutes. Give extra shots for "reverse"
II.) Passing Skills(click here for more ideas)
-Hop into each pass and give it a little "zip".
-The best short passes are quick "rollers".
-Follow your leg through the
ball in the direction you want it to travel.
-Brush up and over the top of
the ball to get it rolling smoothly.
-Use the inside part of the foot to
pass for accuracy.
-Learn to pass with the outside of the foot as
- 2 Touch Passing - Pass the ball back and forth
utilizing only "2 touches". The first touch controls the ball and the next is
the pass back to the other player. Try not to "trap" the ball with the first
touch. Instead, "redirect" it to the side and then pass it back. In other
words, keep the ball moving at all times. Challenge yourselves to see how many
you can do before a miss.
- 1 Touch Passing - Same as above but this time
don't even control the ball, just pass it right back. Stay over the top of the
ball with the inside of the foot. Try to keep it from bouncing up and keep it
rolling smoothly. Count how many you can do. If you do ten good ones in a row
try adding a "first-timer" shot at the garage door or rebounder net, just for
- Outside footwork - Do the above exercises but only
use the outside aspect of the feet. The first one to miss, gets a "letter" in
the game of "HORSE"
- Pass and Move - Do either 1 or 2 touch passing
with movement. Place 4 to 6 disks or cones out in the shape of a big square (or
circle) with about 5 to 8 yds. between disks. Each of you stands near a disk to
start. After you pass to the other player, you must run to an empty disk and
get ready to receive the next pass. Try to keep the 2 touch passing going even
while you are moving all around. Count how many you can do or keep track of who
"goofs-up" first and keep score.
here for details)
-Use the instep (shoelace part of the foot) for
- Have your ankle "locked" with the foot extended downwards.
-Keep your head down and over the ball as you follow through.
softly, just tring to make solid contact with the instep.
-Later go for
speed and power and don't worry if it doesn't go very high at first. That will
- Do not try and "cheat" the ball up into the air by leaning back or
lifting your toes.
-Buy a lightweight ball like a volley ball or "cheapie"
plastic soccer ball and start off kicking it to build confidence. Believe me,
it will zoom all over the place.
-Use a little orange marker disk as a
"tee" to prop the ball up off the ground while trying to master the mechanics.
- START EACH PRACTICE WITH THE WEAKER FOOT, and then later work the
- "PK's" - Nothing is more fun than penalty kicks.
Use your garage door or your rebounder net as the "goal". Take big kicks at the
goal and keep score. Keep moving the shooter further and further back.
- Garage Punts - Find the side of you garage roof
that slopes towards you (hopefully there are no windows nearby). Practice
"goalie type" punts up to the roof. Make good contact with the instep (shoelace
part) and follow through. The ball will conveniently bounce back to you as you
build strength. If you are really "into it", you can try to "trap" the ball as
it bounces back to you (chest trap, thigh trap etc.) and then try to flip the
ball up to your hands with a little pull-back lift. Now you have worked on
kicking power, trapping skills and some juggling and the shingles are still up
- Soccer Golf - Go the the nearby park or schoolyard
or common ground area. Each player brings a soccer ball. Then make up a "golf"
hole. For instance, I might say "We kick it to the right of that big oak tree,
then around the back-stop, then hit the brown dumpster..... and it will be a
'par 6'" So now the players put their balls down and try to do that hole in 6
shots or less. Make the holes reasonably long to work on big kicks. The players
take turns in making up holes. Keep track of who wins the hole. (Smaller
players get handicap strokes so they may have to do the hole in 8 kicks not 6
kicks etc...) And yes, you can "blow" putts in this game too! (click here for more ideas)
- Use the "rebounder" - Don't underestimate the
value of banging the ball against a wall or rebounder net. It is an excellent
way to rehearse volleys, half volleys, rollers, bad bounces, side volleys,
chest traps to volley kicks etc. In fact I would go so far as to say that kids
that do not work with a rebounder will be at a disadvantage as they get older.
Check out these possible rebounders. (Click
IV.) Play Soccer Tennis! 2 or more people needed. (click here for
-Try to always get in a game of soccer tennis!
-It is the best way to work on touch and control while having fun. Kids love
|Please help support this site by purchasing your soccer
supplies, (and other related fun stuff), through my affiliate links below.
You will get the same low price as any shopper, but this
project will get a tiny commission to help defray the huge bandwidth usage
expense necessary to provide the large AVI and GIF files. These stores have a
vast inventory of all soccer related gear from GK equipment to rebounders, from
balls to coaching accessories. There is tons of cool stuff in the clothing and
gift links, as well. ( I refuse to run annoying "pop-up" ads and hope that some
of you soccer "loonies" will like this stuff as much as I do.)
consider giving them a try.
||Here is my
personal favorite, the Vogelsinger "Dribbling and Feinting Video". This
is a must for coaches and interested parents. His Kicking, Heading, and Ball
Control tapes are excellent as well.They all start with elementary motions
but quickly progress to the complex. Go to their selection of "Books/CD
||Sports Authority has a nice
selection of training videos including the
Vogelsinger Tapes. The site also offers an
awesome amount of soccer equipment, including goals, rebounders, jerseys,
pinnies, bags and accessories. My personal favorites are the
"numbered" practice vests,
(they're just plain cool!...) (Kid's love 'em & I want Beckham's old number
7....) Go to their section on "Scrimmage Vests".
Numbered Practice Vests
|Check here for competitive
prices on a variety of soccer coaching supplies.
If you do not have a rebounder for your team or backyard, now
is the time to get one! SportsAuthority will have it at your door in about 5
days. Choose from several different sizes and styles.
|Please browse these
-Instructional Videos and
||Visit Todofut for a
incredible selection of "everything soccer".
Where else can you get a
River Plate home jersey and a Brazil National team watch? Or how about a Real
Madrid scarf and a Team Mexico leather jacket?
increible! Y no muy caro!
If you ever need a gift for a soccer
playing nut, here is the place!
Now somebody tell my family before
||Check out CSoccer
This is a site devoted to the soccer enthusiast with an enjoyable
selection of gifts and a pretty decent selection of soccer training DVDs and
Own Goals and
Watch this absolutely hilarious collection of
goof-ups by the best in the world. Show your kids that even the pros make
Once again, this place is an awesome site to get that
gift for someone who is tough to buy for..... including yourself! It's not
soccer oriented but they have a tremendous selection of clothes and school
||Check out Soccer.com
Here is an up and coming web store for soccer related
equipment and fun stuff. I like their MLS jerseys and they are well stocked
with clothing and equipment from around the world. Browse their huge inventory
including a wide selection of instructional tapes,DVD's and books.
Chicago Fire Jersey
SOCCER.COM is the Center of the Soccer Universe
is the classic book on tactics by Allen Wade, Principles of Team
Play. This instructional manual walks you through dozens of vital concepts
on a variety of tactics, including penetrating runs and passes, overlaps,
mobility, improvisation. The book addresses the corresponding defensive
principles, as well.
This is not just a "historical" item! It's concepts
are as valid today as they were at publication.
To buy Wade's
Principles of Team Play
Hereand enter Product # RV246 in the search engine space.
consider his book on Systems of Play. Another masterpiece that addresses
the strengths and weaknesses of the common formations used today.
Wade's Systems of PlayClick
Hereand enter Product # RV247 in the search engine
Product # RV246 &
SOCCER.COM is the Center of the Soccer Universe
|This is "flat-out" the
best DVD for practical drills on improving ball movement, receiving on the
half-turn, defense, layoff passing and more advanced shooting concepts. If you
want to own just ONE DVD for combo play and small sided games - THIS IS
Believe me, I have seen dozens of DVD's,
tapes and books and this one makes sense. The drills work through sensible
progressions from simple concepts to the more complex. The grids are easy to
lay out and the games are fun. I guarantee that you can incorporate these
progressions into your next practice.
Coach Terry Westley from England's
Charlton Athletic Club leads you through these time proven drills that they use
with the Charlton Youth teams.
Here Go to the section on videos/DVD's or enter Product # RV7682 in the
Charlton Athletic Small Sided Games and Team
Product # - RV7682
|And here is the companion DVD to the Charlton
Athletic Small Sided Games and Drills! This DVD starts with all the basics that
lead up to the more involved drills. It is a FABULOUS approach to teaching and
reviewing skills. Once again, the progressions are well designed to reinforce
the vital concepts pertaining to passing, moving after the pass, receiveing on
the turn, weighting the pass, dribbling, dribbling tricks, long and short
passing, up/back& thru passing, heading and defense.
Trust me on this one. There may be some better DVD's for
coaching out there, but I haven't found them. I plan to write up a list of the
drills from both the DVD's with short descriptions so that I can take a printed
copy out to the field to remind me of the different options. (I'll publish a
link to it when I'm done, so you can use it, as well.)
There is easily a
season's worth of decent drills here that you can adapt to your own training
sessions for the technical training and match-related training. Add in your own
match-conditions drill and you will have a superb practice session!!!!
Here Go to the section on videos/DVD's or enter Product # RV7681 in the
Product # - RV7681
Strongsoccer staff Jim & Beth
King lament the future of
Leeds Utd. in the corner pub.
This document maintained by James King
Material Copyright © 2002 - 2004