Soccer is all about keeping the ball moving…and the athlete. Yet how often are our drills and practices revolved around standing around and listening or watching.
A team that can pass without having to stop and control the ball is going to win most of the games. The players are going to be more successful. And if you can get the players to be faster and have greater endurance you have the recipe for success.
When kids are learning to pass, trap and control the ball they have to be stationary. Especially if they are younger players.
But at the end of any skill workout, add movement to the drill. And then have the kids see if they can keep the ball moving.
Here is what I mean.
Let’s say you have a U6 team. They are learning to the instep pass. They stand five yards away from each other and perform ten passes with a partner.
Then they switch partners. Soon they move a little further away.
The next progression would be to have them pass the ball and then run five meters around a cone. The player who received the ball would wait till the first player returned and then pass.
After doing this a few times, the next step is to pass the ball while running side by side using the instep pass. Here they always move and they pass without the trap.
Encourage the players to keep the ball moving at all times.
While the ball is moving, so are the players.
Older players can add more aerobic conditioning to this type of workout. And they should be able to move quickly and keep the ball moving and under control for at least ten minutes without a problem.
To make it even more challenging, after the ball control work, add some sprints at high speed to get them fatigued…and then back to ball control and steady state running.
This type of practice will get them in great soccer condition and hone in on the ball skills that are needed at the end of the game.
Your players will have the ability to dominate the other teams. While the competition gets tired and loses their ability to control the ball, your team will be fresher and have greater skills.
So keep the ball and the players moving