Attacking drills

Warmup shooting drill
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This is a good drill to start off a shooting practice. The finisher gives a pass to a stationary player who serves the ball for a shot. The ball must be shot outside of the penalty box. Initially, the player taking the shot is allowed to control the ball before shooting. When the players get comfortable enough, make it a requirement to finish with a single touch.

3v2 counter
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The attackers start at three different points: near the sideline, 20 yards in and the middle of the pitch. Two defenders are initially located at the arc and the corner of the penalty box. The ball is served from the¬†attacker in the center. He gives it to one of the defenders who immediately plays it to the outside attacker. From that point, play starts with the attackers trying to score using no more than three consecutive touches per player. The defenders’ task is to clear the ball to the opposite half of the pitch.

5v4 Attack
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The keeper punts the ball at a group of 5 attackers gathered near the center circle. The attackers are allowed to break up only after the punted ball has landed. At that point, four defenders (waiting in twos by the corner flags) enter the pitch trying to gain possession and complete 7-10 passes. Inversely, the attackers are required to score or shoot before making 7-10 passes.

Passing and possession drills

Passing into space

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This is a warmup drill that is practiced in groups of three. Two players, each one with a ball, are standing 10-15 meters (30-40 feet) apart.  Between them is a target player who checks from one side to the other. The target player is served a pass that he must return with a single touch. This goes on for a given amount of time until the players switch roles. To make the drill more challenging, encourage the players to serve the ball in random direction.

Control and pass

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Two players face each other at designated cones. The player without the ball checks to his partner who throws it at him with his hands. The ball must be directed at a specific body part like the chest, head, thighs or the feet. The receiving player traps the ball and passes it back to the server. He then runs back around the cone from which he started. After a given number of repetitions, the players switch roles.

Dribbling into space
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A number of players each with a ball, are confined in a grid. They have to keep dribbling for a given amount of time. Encourage the players to constantly look for and dribble to open space.

Passing triangle
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Setup three cones in a triangle with lines of players waiting behind each cone. The player in the front of each line passes the ball over to the next line. As he completes the pass, he runs over to the back of the line in the opposite direction. Players often tend to stand after making a pass, so make sure to encourage your players to run immediately after making the pass.

Combination passing
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Three players in a line advance the ball forward through dribbling and passing. There are many variations of this drill. As shown in this particular diagram, the ball is always dribbled to the middle and passed to the outside. Make sure the attackers preserve width and are not too close to each other.

Keep away
Two teams of players try to maintain possession of the ball in a confined area. This drill is used to teach passing. Encourage from your players to spread out when they have the ball. Restrictions could be added for increased difficulty. For example, prohibit the players from making return passes or limit on the number of allowed touches per player.

Defending drills

Man in the middle
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Five attackers arranged in a circle, must keep the ball away from two defenders inside the circle. If an attacker gives up the ball or kicks it out of bounds he becomes a defender. The defender who caused him to lose possession takes his role.

Turnovers
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Four defenders and a goalkeeper are challenged by three attackers. The attackers start with the ball and are trying to score on the keeper in the big goal. The defenders on the other hand are trying to regain possession and finish in either one of the two smaller goals by the sidelines. The goalkeeper works in conjunction with the defense. If he catches the ball, he must quickly initiate a counter attack towards one of the smaller goals.

Conditioning drills

Sprinting chain
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Two lines of players are jogging together around the pitch. The last pair of players sprints to the front of the line. As soon as they reach the front, a signal is given for the next pair of players to take off. Notice that the entire pack is continuously jogging during the sprints.

Pass and run
Two teams (of 7 players or fewer) are playing against each other on small-sized goals without goalkeepers. Every time a player makes a successful pass, he must sprint back to his own goal line. The player is allowed to get back into play only after completing his sprint.

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