|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
|The days are
gone that most soccer playing kids can find pick-up games just down the street.
Our spread out life-styles in widely separated subdivisions and the concern
about our children's safety, has all but killed most neighborhood games.
BUT we have to figure out a way to
incorporate some soccer skills learning at home!
We all know the basketball kids who are
shooting baskets day and night. We have seen the Dads shagging baseballs with
their kids in the street, every evening. The 10 year old tennis players are
often banging the balls against their garages, and the young competitive
swimmers are going to 4 hours of practice each and every summer day! Don't
forget the 9 year old hockey kids who strap on rollerblades and practice their
slapshot till long after dark, with icetime at 5:00AM the next morning.
players have to join this club!
There simply is not enough time in two short
weekly practices to teach, rehearse and refine the vital soccer skills, and
then begin to address tactics, combo play, and team concepts. It boils down to
|If soccer is your child's primary sport, and they intend
to compete at an elite level, then they simply have to learn, and refine
and polish their skills at home, between practices!
It shouldn't be
|Fortunately, motivation is not usually the problem. (If
it is, then that may be a sign that playing soccer at this more competitive
level may not be what they really want.....which, of course, is completely all
Lots of skills can be practiced right in your
driveway, a small backyard, and even your basement or family room. And yes,
sometimes it does take just a little push in the right direction, as well as
convincing parents to make time. It's a great way to spend some quality time
with your kids before those difficult teenage years!! Even if you have
never played the game, there is lots that you can do to help, by tossing and
passing balls or reading flashcards etc. (When you can't help, consider
"bribing" an older sibling with extra "car" time or fewer chores, if they help
out for awhile.)
OK, we don't have to go crazy about this and
practice these skills until the leather comes off the ball. I think about 20-30
minutes twice a week would work wonders! And if you ever get a chance to help
organize a neighborhood game, by all means do it. (I'm always inviting the
local kids over for a backyard match complete with gatorade, popsicles and
I strongly recommend
building a rebounding wall, or getting a kit, or perhaps sacrificing
the old garage door. (Just think how good that new one will look when you get
it in a couple of years......) A good rebounding device can provide a lone
player thousands of touches, chest balls, thigh traps, head flicks, half
volleys, full volleys and wicked shots. In fact, I would venture to say that in
this era of limited neighborhood games, the players without rebounders will lag
behind in learning their touch. Furthermore, when practicing penalty shots it
will keep more balls out of your neighbors petunias.
Please check out the rebounders available
from my affiliate sites.
Here are some soccer activities that
are easy and fun to do around the house:
-Penalty Kick Shootouts.
-Old MLS style Shootouts with 5 seconds
-Set up targets and knock them down with passes and
-Flash Card Feints. Make a flash card deck of a dozen or more
fakes, call them out and time how long it takes to get through the deck doing
moves with each foot. Shuffle the deck and go again. You can do this in the
basement on rainy or cold days. Throw toys or pillows around as obstacles to
-Goalie Wars. Set up 2 goals and go at it 1 vs 1 (with 2
players), or even 1 vs. 1 vs. 1 (with 3 players etc.). The twist is that
everyone is a goalie when they are within a few feet of their own
-Throw In Golf. Make up imaginary golf holes around the
yard and count the number of throw-ins it takes to get to the target. For
example, "throw down to the car, go left around the rake, go left again at the
trash can and hit the dog....(just kidding)
-Soccer Golf. The same as
Throw-in Golf but players use their feet.
||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
This document maintained by James King
Material Copyright © 2002 - 2004