Advanced soccer training sessions typically focus on fitness and tactics, or simulation of in game scenarios. Most players of an advanced level have developed the relevant technical skills, so they do not need to spend time learning specific skills. Coaches will use a combination of drills that develop fitness, stamina and tactical awareness.
The crossbar challenge is a fun exercise to use as a warm up. With the players lined up on the half way, they take turns to shoot, aiming to hit the cross bar. Once each player has taken a shot, they jog to retrieve the ball and sprint back to the starting position.
One Against One
The one on one drill is an effective way for two players to develop the specific skills for their favoured position. Pair up the attacking players and the defending players and have them simulate in game scenarios. The goal of the attacker is to take the ball beyond the defender’s territory, which is set out with markers. The defender simply has to stop this from happening by tackling his opponent or taking the ball away.
Attack Against Defense
Using one half of the pitch, four attacking players take on four defenders and the goalkeeper. The attackers will start with the ball on the half way line and will try to score past the goalkeeper. The defenders simply have to diffuse any attack either by putting the ball out of play, taking posession, or getting the ball safely to the goalkeeper.
Passing has two functions in a soccer game. The first function is to facilitate ball retention and the second is to penetrate the opposition’s defence. In this drill, set up two teams of three inside a grid of three squares. Starting at the left hand side, the attacking players have to pass the ball between themselves while moving play across the grid. The defending team doesn’t tackle, instead it anticipates and cuts out the passes. This drill encourages players to disguise their passes and to move in formation.
Goalkeeping Reaction Drill
Because the goalkeepers have a different set of skills and responsibilities to their teammates, their coaching normally takes place separately from the team. One of the most popular drills is the reaction drill. This drill requires the goalkeeper to kneel down with his back to the coach. The coach stands over the ball ready to shoot and gives the goalkeeper a countdown. Once the count reaches zero the goalkeeper has to be on his feet and facing the right way before the shot is taken. This drill denies the goalkeeper any time to anticipate the direction of the shot and develops his ability to react quickly.
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