|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
|Soccer Tennis - This is a GREAT game for
developing juggling skills and "first-touch". The best thing is that the kids
LOVE IT! We all know how important it is to be able to quickly control bouncing
balls during a game. Soccer tennis will create hundreds of quality touches
while the players are having fun. Without even trying, they will learn to
receive chest balls, thigh controls, instep volleys and head touches. Soon they
will be sliding sideways to get in front of the pass instead of poking out with
----Basically it is a
tennis game with some sort of improvised "net" (or real net), that is played
with the soccer ball and controlled volleys and juggles. You can keep score
like tennis games with "love-15-30-deuce" etc... or just play up to any number.
(Non-tennis playing kids don't get the tennis scoring concept.)
the kids are just learning allow them lots of bounces (on the ground), between
shots over the net. (I let my beginning kids have 3 bounces.) It is more
important to keep the point going allowing for more touches, than it is to
adhere to any strict rules. Later, when they are are pretty good, limit the
number of bounces to only 1 or 2. If players have different skill levels, allow
more bounces to the beginning player and they can still participate.
first we even play that if a player totally "flubs" it into the net and the
ball dies on their side, that player can get one chance to "rescue" the point
by executing a "toe ball-lift" or "heel rainbow-lift" to keep things going.
Make up your own version. Have fun! The key is keeping points going with
lots of quality touches!
----You can make a "net" out of several cones, or
maybe 2 cones with a string hung between them. I use a stepladder that I have
turned on it's side, and added a couple of cones at each end and it's really
fun to use one of the little soccer-tennis nets that you can get from the
----This game is easiest to learn on a hard surface, where
the bounces will be "true" and higher. Later, you can play this game on the
field which will require a little more juggling ability.
We usually bounce the ball and then half-volley it
across for the serve, but some variations we use are - serving the ball off
the ground after a "toe-lift", or just directly "flipping" it over with one's
toe. Sometimes we toss it up in the air and "head" it over to get things
Here is the
Set up a makeshift "net" out of cones, a
ladder or even a row of soccer bags stacked up, or use one of the very cool
soccer tennis nets. Then cone off a small sized "court" to fit the number
of players and the net. If you are playing on the driveway use some chalk or
just the lines in the pavement. Needless to say, if you have a real tennis
court at your disposal, try it..... (as long as you don't get yelled at by the
Divide up teams. You can play 1v1, 2v2, 3v3,
or even 4v4 on a large court. You can play odd numbers like 2v3, etc.
One player serves from deep in their court
across the net to the other team. At first the idea is not to win the point on
the serve, but just get the point started.
Then the defending player controls the
serve, sometimes after a bounce but occasionally out of the air. They will
learn quickly to get their bodies in front of the ball and use their thighs,
chest or head to make contact. Then you start counting bounces on the ground.
Of course in real tennis, the players are only allowed 1 bounce. You will
eventually get this good with soccer tennis, but start with more bounces
to allow for learning. I let my little kids take 3 or 4 bounces but the
older kids are allowed only 1 or 2. (And of course, the coaches are only
Juggling (without the ball bouncing) is
encouraged. It doesn't "count" against the player and they can maneuver the
ball close to the net for a better shot.
Players can and should pass to each
other. They will learn to chip a deep shot up to their team mate who then
can try to put it away. It can be lots of fun while they refine a soft touch
with their juggle touches, volleys and half-volleys. (Just wait till your back
player volleys up a head ball to the net player, who then puts it away with a
"zippy" little header down into the corner............... you will get
|If you have time to
play only one little fun game, play this one!
Set up a soccer-tennis net off
to the side of your small sided scrimmages and drills, then when you have extra
players, or need to rotate some players out, have them stay active playing
soccer tennis. They will stay busy while you complete the drill, and refine
their skills at the same time.
importantly, remember how much more intelligent and organized we appear to the
parents and other coaches, when we have tennis nets set up before
practice, not to mention a few stakes, flags and plyometrics
(I have so much stuff that they must
think I'm a "bloody" genius...... ha ha!)
Over The Net Soccer Training Game
the picture to get the Soccer Tennis set-up from SportsAuthority
The Kwik Goal Over The Net soccer training game is a great tool for camps,
clubs and schools and comes with a size 5 ball, cones, PVC poles, net and guy
ropes with pegs.
-H 2 ft, 4 in; W 10 ft
-Ideal for 1v1 and 2v2 games for all ages
-Ideal for backyard, camps,
clubs and schools
- Includes: Size 5 ball, cones, PVC poles, net and guy
ropes with pegs
-Now only $109.99!!! from
description of "Soccer Tennis including a little animated GIF, click the flag
This is an excellent site with lots of great ideas and a "healthy
Dutch inspired" soccer philosophy.
Better Soccer More Fun
Strongsoccer staff Jim & Beth