Monday, 31 December 2012

Soccer Health Benefits

Soccer Health Benefits

Soccer  Health Benefits
Soccer – or football as it’s also called – is the most popular sport in the world and is played in most countries. It is a team sport, involving 11 players on each side who use their legs, head and torso to pass a ball and score goals. The nature of the game means that players may be sprinting, running fast or slow, and sometimes may be standing around. 

As play during soccer is continuous, soccer is great for fitness and cardiovascular health. People of various ages and skill levels can participate in soccer, with individuals of various sizes being able to do equally well. Soccer can also be a great sport for kids who may not have high levels of athletic ability, but who would like to participate in team sports.

Health benefits
Soccer can be a great workout and lots of fun. The health benefits include:
Increases aerobic capacity and cardiovascular health
Sports Soccer Photos
Lowers body fat and improves muscle tone
Builds strength, flexibility and endurance
Increases muscle and bone strength
Improved health due to shifts between walking, running and sprinting.
Other benefits
There are many other benefits from playing a team sport like soccer. For example it:
Is generally a non-contact sport
Teaches coordination
Promotes teamwork and sharing
Teaches you to think on-the-go
Helps to increase skills in concentration, persistence and self-discipline
Is a great way to meet people and exercise with friends
Can provide an opportunity to increase your confidence and self-esteem, and help to reduce anxiety
Requires very little equipment so can be played in the backyard or park
Is relatively easy to learn, so beginners can easily join in on the fun and play basic soccer for recreation
Is an international sport.
Getting started
Soccer is very popular in Australia and is played both recreationally and competitively. Playing a basic game of soccer doesn’t require a large number of people or a soccer field; it can be as simple as having a kick with friends. 

Playing soccer just for fun can be done in backyards, streets or on beaches. All you need is a ball! You can also play soccer competitively by joining a local club, organised competitions and junior clinics. 

Avoiding injury
To protect yourself from injury and prepare your body to play soccer, make sure you:
Warm up your muscles and joints before starting
Maintain your fitness to play well and avoid injury or fatigue
Ensure you have plenty of fluids on hand and rehydrate regularly
Don’t overdo it – depending on your age and physical condition.
Wear the correct protective equipment.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Women's Soccer Tips: Player Development for Girls’ and Women’s Soccer

Women's Soccer Tips: Player Development for Girls’ and Women’s Soccer

Football Player Pictures
Women’s Soccer Player

Head Coach ’96 Olympic Gold Medallist; ’99 World Champions
In America, we have established through hard work, inspired play and success at the highest level, an expectation of excellence on the female side of the game. During my term as US Women’s National Team coach, our motto was “win forever”. Some may consider such lofty goals as frivolous or unattainable. I prefer, however, to compare it to the Brazilian men, considered, by virtually all the experts, to be the best soccer team on the planet. The citizens of Brazil clearly want and expect their team to win every match and every competition and, therefore, the Brazilian male players must train to live up to those expectations.
The expectations of American soccer fans should also be that the US Women win every game and every competition. To satisfy those goals, female soccer in America has to always be on its cutting edge. Constant evaluation, innovation and individual and collective pursuit of excellence must be a daily objection.
This series of articles is to assist with player development and our ability to win forever. The following will look at our players as well as our soccer culture. I will review our challenges from a technical, tactical, physical and psychological aspect and hopefully encourage players, coaches, administrators and parents to all share and become part of the USA Women’s Soccer win forever vision.
This document is intended to support all the directives from April Heinrichs, Womens National Team Head Coach and Technical Director.
Female soccer in America continues to set the standard worldwide. Our women’s team is ranked #1 in the world. Our professional league, the Womens United Soccer League is the best league in the world. We are attracting more and more young girls into the game. Studies show that from age 15 and up girls and women make up more than 50% of all players.
Much of our success can be directly linked to our youth programs, USYS, AYSO and others and how they have instilled within young players a love for our game as well as provided training and a structure for girls and women to play, fail, succeed and learn and continually evolve. But, we need to do more…not necessarily train more or play more but, specifically, become more of a soccer culture, to add sophistication of play to the strengths already demonstrated by our female players. How do we do that?
First, our players need to see top-level soccer. I define top-level soccer as, for the competitive level player, watching our Women’s National Team or a League match in the WUSA. For recreational level players, you can add in the college game to the other elite choices. Coaches, parents and players need to understand to assist with player development on a personal or team level, seeing the highest level possible will provide a strong and meaningful supplement to a youth player’s training and game routine.
Soccer New Photos
Soccer Pictures
When a young player watches a WUSA game or WNT game live, she sees and experiences, the real speed of the game…the real version of pace, quickness, tenacity. It is not uncommon for a team that attends a game and really watches …is a better team the very next day in practice. Why? Players see the crispness of the tackles and the sharpness of the passes. How top players receive a ball out of air, how clean their first touch is and how they relieve pressure individually with their own flair and collectively by passing out of pressure. Countless player and team qualities can be observed and learned and applied to their own games…all by just coming to a WUSA game.
As an Assistant coach with our U20 Men’s team in 1993, I witnessed this first hand. We were on a trip to England preparing for the U20 World Championship in Australia later that year. We had the top players from the American College system and even a couple that were already professionals. In other words, they could play. We took the team to see QPR play Manchester United in London. The game was awesome. The speed of ball movement was very impressive. The strength of tackles and the quality and speed of runs off the ball was special. The players studied the game and it’s players and the next day in training, our young men were better players and we were a better U20 National Team. Why? It was clear to me then and just as clear now that watching top professional players in person is a wonderful player development opportunity. In my opinion, watching an international or professional game LIVE is a positive substitute or replacement for a team training session or even a match or…two. Watching just one game can make a very noticeable difference.
However, I would wager that most of our competitive level teams within a one hour drive of a professional team or an international game do not see an average of one per year. That same player living in Germany will see many games live and a steady diet of games and replays on TV every week for 11 months of the year. It is no surprise that the European players, playing in the WUSA are considered by the League’s head coaches as being more sophisticated (soccer savvy) than the American counterpart.
To all the youth coaches…it is your responsibility to develop players and part of your developmental scheme must be to make time to have your team see, at least, one live game per year.
Of course, if you cannot see a game live because of travel considerations then watch pro and international games on TV. Although not as impressionable as a live game, watching or taping a game to watch it later provides a learning platform for our players.
I cannot state this strongly enough…If we want to be the best, we need to see the best regularly.
Who do you think was the most sophisticated player on the 1996 USA Olympic Gold Medal team or the 1999 World Cup Championship team? The answer is Brandi Chastain. However, this may be considered remarkable when you realize that she was not on the USA National Team from 1991 – 1996. So, while all the other national team players were playing internationally for 5 years, Brandi was evolving from a soccer savvy standpoint…faster…how? Brandi is a soccer junkie. She watches it on TV, and she goes to professional games whenever possible. When we (Olympic Team) were preparing in Florida in 1996, Brandi would organize a team bus or vans to go from Orlando to Tampa (75 miles) to see the Tampa Bay Mutiny (MLS) play. Brandi is special, but her drive to see the highest level possible should be the norm. Most of our top young soccer prospects that live within driving distance from a WUSA team need to develop that same motivation and our coaches and parents need to help cultivate that hunger within our players.
Simply stated….our players need to become students of the game!
I have initiated with our youth organizations, specifically, USYS and AYSO, a program called Youth Energize the Stadiums (YES). The YES program is an effort to connect the youth teams with WUSA teams so that, attending a game is fun, educational and impacts player development.
The YES program addresses that most teams that do attend a game do so as a team outing…which, of course, is fine. But, let’s also have our teams attend a game with a player analysis mentality. It makes sense that if a young midfielder attends a WUSA game in which the Boston Breakers and Carolina Courage are playing that she studies Kristine Lilly or Hege Riise or both and try to identify 3 things that Kristine or Hege did that she would want to incorporate into her own game….or if the NY Power is competing against the San Jose CyberRays that our young forward watching Tiffeny Milbrett or Katia and stealing some of their attacking and scoring secrets or if the Atlanta Beat are playing for that young goalkeeper to watch Briana Scurry and maybe get a glimpse of how an Olympic Gold Medal and World Cup Champion goalkeeper plays.
The possibilities are endless and this makes so much sense…I’m getting pumped up…but how many ODP coaches take their players to a game with a match and player analysis objective?
Ok, so this is what the YES program and Tony DiCicco suggest. Every coach, if you are coaching the recreational level, you should get your team to a international, professional or even collegiate game. If you are coaching at a competitive or elite level, you need more than college soccer, you need to see the world’s best players playing regularly. Every team needs to set an intention to see a professional game live at least once this year and also, as a team, watch a WUSA professional game or international game at least two times on TV and tape these games to watch on your own.
I guarantee player development and enjoyment of the game will be greatly enhanced. Thanks and Good luck!
In Part II we will look at some of the technical and tactical sides of the game that our players need to be aware of and become better at.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Complete Soccer Guide

Soccer Dribbling Guide

soccer dribbling guide

Dribbling allows you to posses the ball and move it up and down the field.
It allows players to sprint into open space (taking the ball with them) and get past defenders.
It’s a vital skill to learn. Here’s the basic technique
Dribbling Technique
Proper dribbling technique is very easy to learn, and will allow you to dribble and control the ball better.
1.  Use Your Arms
Using your arms is a very important part of dribbling.  You can use them to help beat other players, shield, and to keep your balance (a huge part of dribbling).
Read Using Arms in Soccer
2.  Athletic Position
An athletic position will allow for maximum speed while dribbling and allows you to cut better.  Your dribbling position should be relaxed and comfortable.  Do not lean back or forward.
3.  Balls of Your Feet
While dribbling it is VERY IMPORTANT to remain on the balls of your feet.  This allows you to easily shift positions and dribble at maximum speed.  Your place foot and your dribbling foot should both land on the balls of your feet.
The balls of your feet are the front part while the back part is the heel.
4.  Soccer Hop
Whenever you do any touches your place foot should be hopping very slightly.  When you get this right, you will be able to dribble much better.
5.  Raise Up Your Knee
This allows you to jog or sprint naturally with the ball.  You should raise the knee of the dribbling foot with every type of dribbling touch.
The Parts of the Foot
  • Outside
  • Inside
  • Bottom or sole
  • Top or laces
To be an efficient dribbler you need to utilize all the parts of your foot.  Once you master the touch of every part, you will be able to string together moves.
The outside of your foot is used to cut either left or right depending on which foot the ball is at.  The outside of your right foot will allow you to cut left while your outside left foot allows you to cut right.
The inside of your feet is the opposite of the outside.  Right cuts right while left cuts left.
Bottom (Sole):
The bottom of your feet allows you to roll and stop the ball.  Use the sole of your foot to roll the ball in any direction.
To some beginning player’s surprise, the bottom or sole is of great use.  It adds a whole new level to dribbling.
Top (Laces):
The top of your foot is used while dribbling straight.
What happens when you need to turn around?  Walking around or jumping over the ball will allow the defender an easy steal (if he can control his laughter).  Therefore, you need to learn how to turn the ball efficiently.
Here are some basic turning moves:
Pull back:
  1. Put your sole on top of the ball.
  1. Pull the ball backwards across your body. (Important!)
  1. Turn the correct way (If doing a right pull-back turn right)
Beginning Dribbling
When dribbling try to use each part of your foot.  The only way to get comfortable is to do it over and over again with each foot.  For example, dribble back and force in your yard (when you get to the end, perform a turn) using your laces.
Once you get better at that, try using your inside, then your outside, then rolling.  Though dribbling over and over may seem monotonous, it is important for your development as a player.
Once you are fairly confident with the parts of your feet, you can try to combine them.  For instance, dribble using only the inside and outside of your foot.
Also make sure to practice with both feet.  When you get good at both (your weak foot will take longer to master), you can combine your feet to become an even better dribbler.  As you will see, there is good reasons for mastering all the parts of your feet with both feet.
Changing Pace
When you first started dribbling, your probably dribbled slowly.  When you sped up, you probably lost control.
However, you should now be able to jog with the ball.  Practice jogging and soon you will be able to sprint with the ball.  Don’t rush things though, it important that the ball always stays close to you.
Try to practice switching paces.  The better you can do this, the better explosion you have.  Explosion greatly improves your ability to beat or get past defenders.
How Far Away Can Your Ball be?
How close you are to your ball depends on the situation.  When a defender is right in front of you, you obviously don’t want to take a big touch.  However, if there is open space, you can take a bigger touch.
You will learn by experience how much you can get away with.  Though taking a bigger touch allows your to move faster, it also may allow defenders to take the ball.
Also, don’t forget about goalies, many players take a big touch on breakaways, allowing the goalie to take the ball.

Tips For Success in Life

Monday, 22 October 2012

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Soccer Dribbling Tips

Use your weak foot.

Though using your weak foot is frustrating, it is vital to your dribbling ability.  Using both feet will allow you to easily go in all directions and execute all moves.  Also, switching feet can help make a defender lose balance.
When defenders get more advanced, they defend your strong side more.  If you cannot use your weak foot to beat defenders, you will have a very tough time getting past them.

Use all the surfaces of your foot.

This will allow you to use more soccer moves and dribble in all directions.  Using all the parts of the foot, you can dribble gracefully.


Don’t be afraid to use your body; shielding effectively can really help you keep the ball.  The best dribblers integrate shielding with dribbling.  Learn how to shield.

Don’t stare at the ball.<script>

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You need to be constantly looking up, or you will not be able to pass, shoot, or do anything else.  This takes practice, but it will make you a much better player in every way.

Balance yourself.

You need to be on the balls of your feet, ready to cut in any direction.  Balance is a huge part of dribbling; in fact, the entire point of doing moves is to throw a defender off balance.

Learn soccer moves.

Having a variety of soccer moves will allow you to get past defenders in all kinds of situations.

Put the right amount of touch on the ball.

If there is open space you can touch the ball forward more, and in a tight space, keep the ball close to you.  Make sure you master your touch.

Remember, you can run faster when you don’t have the ball.

While it is important to learn how to run almost as fast as you would without a ball at your feet, you still can’t be as fast as you are without it.  Passing allow you to get rid of the ball, and make runs.

Dribble with a purpose

Dribble when you have open space, are making room for a shot, making room for a pass, or are trying to get in a cross.  Don’t just dribble to dribble.

Move your body.

It’s the little things that fake a defender out.  Maybe leaning left before cutting right will give you the advantage you need to get past a defender.  Move your arms too, defenders are often distracted by arms.

Always keep a ball with you.

If you are wondering how players like Messi have perfect control, this is how.  Wherever Messi went his soccer ball went with him.  This is true for almost all professional soccer players.  Bring a ball wherever you can, and practice your dribbling.

Practice at different paces.

Try starting slow and rapidly changing to a sprint.  You will change speed often in games so this is a useful thing to practice.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Tips and Techniques on Soccer Passing


Tips and Techniques on Soccer Passing

One of the most important things to know is soccer passing. Everyone likes to see great dribbling skills, long range shots and flying headers but all professionals know that in order to make this all happen, you need to
know how to pass the ball. Most players, when they receive the ball, will think about passing to an open team-mate. Good soccer passing requires good technique and involves making the right decision at the right time. 

A player in possession of the ball should have a a range of passing options open to him. He has to assess all options and decide which is the right pass to make. Depending on how fast the defenders close you down, you may have alot of time to decide, but sometimes you have no time at all.
The game is all about getting the ball into advanced positions. If a forward pass is on, that should be the preferred option. However, if a sideways pass or a backwards pass means that you won't lose the ball then these can be valuable too.
Great soccer players have great awareness of what is going on around them, even before they receive the ball. That way they can make decisions quicker giving them the edge.
Timing a pass perfectly is crucial. Even if a pass is executed perfectly, it can go wrong if it is made too soon or too late. Timing is a responsibility shared by both receiver and passer. The receiver must make himself available to receive a pass and the player with the ball must time the pass precisely. 

Side Foot Pass

The side foot pass is the most common and easiest pass to perform. It is highly effective and very accurate.
The non-striking foot should be level with the ball. Strike the ball with the inside of your other foot. Adjust weight and direction of pass depending on how far and where your team mate is.
Try to hit the ball through the center and try not to get any lift on the ball. Short passes are suppose to be accurate and along the floor. This is usually quite hard to do when hitting the ball with pace so don't worry about it too much if the bal gets a little bit of air.
Kepping the ball on the deck improves accuracy greatly and is easier for team-mates to control the ball.
A ball travelling through the air takes longer to control then one that is rolling along the ground.
Make sure to hit the ball with the large area at the side of your foot in the intended direction.
Always looks up for support and know where your team-mates are before making a pass.
The head should be steady with eyes on the ball at all times. Always keep your calm and never panic.
The moment you see a team-mate open and wanting the ball, do not hesitate to play him a short, simple pass. 

The Lofted Pass

The lofted Pass or long pass is when a player knocks the ball into the air over their opponents heads and to their team-mate. Long passes usually cover greater distances than the side-footed pass. It is ideal for counter attacking, catching the defence off gaurd and switching sides of play.
To perform a long pass, try to strike the ball with the top of your foot with the instep. Strike from the bottom of the ball upwards, this will send the ball flying through the air.
Hit the ball lower and get your foot right under the ball and remember to follow through as this is where you will generate most of the power for the long pass.
Keep in mind that long passes are easier to intercept then a short, sharp passes along ground. But when done correctly, can create a golden opportunity on goal.
Try not to over hit the pass as the ball might just sail out for a throw-in or goal kick. It would be a waste of possession.
Long pass take longer to pull off then short passes so make sure there is enough room for you to get the height. Defenders will most like close you down quickly when they see you attempting this kind of pass so creating room for yourself before making the pass is always a good start.
As always, be calm, confident and watch for runs from team-mates. Keep an eye on the oposing teams defenders as well. If they are not ready to intercept the long pass, it makes it that much easier to complete the pass.

The One Two Pass

The one two pass, also known as the give-and go, is used a lot in modern day soccer games. Its quick, decisive and very effective for beating defenders and creating space for yourself. Like any other skii or technique, it takes practice to master this type of pass. Once you have practiced it, you will be able to use it effectively on the pitch in a real game sutuation.
This pass is very simple to perform. When you are in possession of the ball, and a defender is standing right in front of you, getting ready to tackle you, you have a few choices. You can either try to dribble past him or play a pass. Taking on a defender is a much riskier tactic and a much safer route would be to play a pass. Look up and find a team-mate who is relatively close and play a short simple pass to feet.
Once the ball has left your feet, make a darting run forward into open space. Naturally, the defenders will look at the ball so the focus will not be on you whilst you make the run into open space.
Your team-mate which you passed the ball too, should be able to return you the ball safely with a one touch pass. If the pass is successful, you will most likely have gotten past the defender and created some space for yourself.
The give and go is about team work and understanding each other well. You both have to be thinking on the same wave length for this to work properly and be able to execute it effectively. This takes practice and communication. Talk to each other and don't be afraid to to use your 

The Through ball

A through ball is a pass made into space in which a team-mate runs onto the ball.
For this type of pass to work, the player needs to make the run into open space whilst the passer has to be able to execute the pass into space.
Once you get this right you will have no problem in using this technique. This type of pass is used quite a lot in soccer because it is great for breaking past the defensive line to create openings.
A Through pass can be used at any time down the wings, through the centre and on counter attacks. Most teams like to use the through ball on the counter attack as it allows players to break quicker rather then passing to feet.
To execute this pass properly, plant your non kicking foot next to the ball like a pass, look up to see where your team mate is.
Sometimes your team-mate will signal you, telling you exactly where he wants the ball played.
Once you have decided on your pass, with your kicking foot, knock the ball into open space in front of your team-mate. The pass does not have to be played ball too feet.
Using a through pass is great for beating the last line of defence as it allows attackers to run past defenders to create more space for themselves.
You should only use this type of pass when your team-mates have space to run into. It is not really recommended to use in tight areas such as the midfield as this can just give away possession.

Chip Ball

The chip through pass is similar to the through ball but instead of passing the ball along the ground, you chip it over your opponents.
This is harder to do and requires you to be more skilful and have a more of a understanding with your team mates.
To execute a chip ball, plant your non-kicking foot next to the ball.
Look up to spot your team-mates and then, with the instep of your foot, kick the bottom of the ball to elevate it off the ground.
As soon as you chip the ball, your team mate will have to run at the exact same time into space. Timing is important as it could be the difference between being onside or offside. . 

6 Tips to keep your mobile safe, secure and happy

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Ball Control: Shielding

Coaching Soccer Shielding Technique
Shielding the ball is one of football’s most fundamental skills and one that makes an exceptional contribution to your player’s confidence.
When a young soccer player learns that they can hold onto the ball, even under intense pressure from opponents, they will ask for it more in games.
A team of players who are always asking for the ball and are comfortable in possession is a dream to coach because everything becomes easier: the more players that are offering to receive, the easier finding a pass is; the more successful passes a player completes, the more confident they become; the more confident players are, the more enthusiastic they feel about the sport!
Shielding is a particularly useful skill for strikers, who have to be able to receive a ball from midfield and hold it until supporting teammates get forward. Strong forwards can create goal-scoring chances out of the shielding position – by either rolling their defender and getting goal-side or by laying off balls to teammates as they break into the opposition penalty area.


  • Get in front of the defender and turn your body so you are slightly side-on to the defender. This creates a barrier between the defender and the football.
  • If you are right-footed try to turn so that your left-foot is closest to the defender, leaving your right free to control the ball. However, if this will mean your back is to the majority of the field (if you are near to the right-hand sideline, for example) then it is better to control with your weaker foot but be able to see the movement of teammates and opponents.
  • Control the ball with the outside of your foot. Use the large surface on the outside arch of your foot and cushion the ball as it impacts – transferring the energy out of the ball and into your foot.
  • Press your arm against the defender to create the largest possible distance between them and the ball – however be careful not to push the defender as this is a foul.
  • Keep your head up, surveying the field and manipulate the ball with the outside and sole of your foot, adjusting to the defender’s position so that they cannot move around one side and pick up the ball. Look for opportunities to turn the defender and get goalside of them, or to pass to an open teammate.

Goalkeepers Warm Up

Warm Up Your Goalkeepers the Right Way

I find the pre-game warm up is the single most important way to get the goalkeeper ready for a match.
Many coaches believe in visualization and pre-game speeches to inspire their players. While any preparation is good, the opening minutes of the game is the key to goalkeeping success. I also feel it important to do as much as possible to get the backup ready as well--you never know what is going to happen.
Here is how I warm up the goalkeepers for the USA Women's National Team. The first five stints involve both keepers:
  • Ten volleys into hands
  • Goalkeeper rolls ball and I hit it back to their hands (10 each)
  • Goalkeeper shuffles from post to post; when they reach the post I serve ball to their hands (6 each)
  • Balls served into air (from coaches hand) simulating cross ball. (3 to the right, three to the left)
  • Balls served on ground, goalkeeper must dive. (4 to the left, 4 to the right)
  • Shots from the 18-yard box. Coach and back-up alternate shooting from different angles, forcing the goalkeeper to use footwork across goal before saving the shot. (6 to 10 from each side)
  • Cross balls from each side. (10 from each side)
  • Back to shots from the 18-yard line, now shots are an attempt to score, forcing the goalkeeper to make more difficult saves.
  • Play one touch with the feet (back-up is now at midfield), on every third pass the goalkeeper kicks a long ball to midfield.
  • Goalkeeper works on half volleys and punts.
  • Goalkeeper and back-up take shots from the team.
It is important that the coach pulls the starter from the shooting exercise after a big time save, sending the goalkeeper into the game with the utmost confidence.
If you notice, this warm up includes many exercises. It is designed to involve the goalkeeper in as many technical situations they will face in the game as possible.
The total time of the warm up should be no more than 30 minutes, so the exercises are short but effective.
I have used this warm up at every level that I have coached at and it has proved to be effective at getting players physically and mentally ready to play.

4 Games to Improve Goalkeeper Play

4 Games to Improve Goalkeeper Play

Goalkeepers are the last line of defense, so their importance to a soccer team can't be overstated. A strong defense is twice as good when it has a good goalkeeper backing it up, and keeping balls out of the net reflects directly on the scoreboard and indirectly through team morale.
There are hundreds of ways to improve a goalkeeper's skill level. Veteran soccer coach Jeff Pill has teamed up with eteamz to share his insight into the game. Here are some of the drills he organizes to help goalkeepers make the big stops when it counts.


The Game
  • Team A is shooting on team B's goalkeeper, starting from the line that is 40 yards away from the goal.
  • Players go in one at a time and only get one shot each time.
  • As soon as the shot is taken, the next player may go.
  • Players must retrieve their own ball.
  • Each team gets 90 seconds to take as many shots as they can. The amount of goals scored is recorded and compared to the other team's score.
  • Teams switch after 90 seconds.
Pill Breakaway Diagram

Coaching Points
  • Keepers must determine how far they can come out without giving up a "chip" over their head.
  • Keepers should stay on their feet, making themselves as "big" as possible, for as long as possible.
  • Dive, slide, for the ball, hands first, only when sure of getting the ball. Dive immediately after the attacker's touch on the ball.
  • Keepers must also work on guiding the ball over the crossbar.
  • Shooters must decide between dribbling and shooting or chipping the keeper immediately after the save is made.
  • When dribbling, if the keeper stays in the net, slot ball low, just out of reach of the keeper's feet.
  • If the keeper come out of the goal, look to unbalance the keeper, then dribble around and shoot.
  • Fitness for all involved.

    The Game
    • Set up triangular goal with cones 12 feet apart.
    • Players A, B & C each have a ball.
    • Keeper starts at D.
    • Player A rolls ball towards E (No emphasis on scoring!), keeper dives and stops ball, returning it to player A as quickly as possible and then gets into position at E.
    • Player B then rolls the ball to cone F, etc.
    • Switch keepers at 90 seconds or when fatigue sets in.
    Pill Diving Speed Diagram
    Coaching Points
    • Look for proper diving technique.


    • Coach stands 5-7 yards away with ball in hand.
    • Coach simulates shots by rolling soccer ball to the side, lobbing over the head, throwing the ball downwards to replicate downwards header, but always gives the keeper a chance to make the save.
    • If keeper misses the ball or pushes it away, coach immediately picks up another ball while keeper is recovering.
    • When save is made, keeper must first throw the ball back to the coach, before doing anything else. Keeper uses the momentum of the throw to aid in the recovery back to the alert and alive position.
    • Give rest periods when fatigue sets in.
    Pill Shot Stopper Diagram

    Coaching Points
    • Throwing the ball back from the side diving position, while pumping back with the upper knee, brings the correct recovery position, forcing proper side diving technique and positioning of hands. This artificial condition has the effect of conditioning the keeper to adopt the open, side diving position when making a save.
    • Look for these improper diving positions:
      1. Swinging both knees around in front.
      2. Dives backwards.
      3. Belly flops.
      4. Rolls onto the back.


    The Game
    • Keeper A tries to throw ball into B's net and vice versa.
    • First keeper to score wins.
    Bubbas Keeper Toss Diagram

    Coaching Points
    • Proper technique and throwing skills, developing arm strength.
    • Accuracy of throws will improve.
    • Heavy psychological factor because the two keepers compete solely against one another.
    • High work rate for keepers because this match can last a while with talented keepers.
    • Emphasize positioning.
    • Give each keeper a ball.
    • Add attackers who may only head balls into net.

ball control

games and drills designed to improve ball control
There are two key elements of good ball control:
a) The receiver's first touch should protect the ball from challenging players and not give them a chance to regain possession,
b) the receiving player should play the ball into available space to allow for the next touch and to gain or keep momentum.
A poor first-touch will risk taking the momentum out of play and increase the possibility of losing possession. Some players make the mistake of killing the ball dead and not concentrating on getting it out of their feet. The first touch should ensure that a time wasting second touch is not needed to get the ball out ready for the next action.
The general technique for controlling the ball requires several simple skills which can be acquired through correct training practices.
1/ The first element of ball control is to place the controlling surface into the ball's line of flight. The body weight should be well distributed so it is possible to move forwards, backwards or sideways. Keep the head steady and watch the ball carefully to judge it's flight and speed. It is difficult to keep one's eyes permanently on the ball and better players are able to take a quick glance to know what is happening around them before contact is made.
2/ The second step is making an early judgement in choosing the right technique and body surface to control. Wedge control involves a more rigid surface where the player attempts to force the ball downwards or into space so he can move onto it. A cushioned control involves taking the sting out of the ball. This involves pulling the surface back just when the ball makes contact (the body becomes elastic) so that it simply drops at the players feet. This particular technique is very useful when closely marked, for example a forward receiving the ball on the chest with his back to goal.
The different body surfaces often used in controlling the ball are: The foot (sole, inside, outside, instep), thigh, chest & stomach and head. Generally, the part of the body used should preferably be large, flat and able to take the weight of the incoming pass.
Control also requires good mental abilities such as confidence and total concentration. A composed player is one who is calm, relaxed and unhurried in his movements. Confidence does play a big part in this as players who know what they can do and are confident in their ability are more likely to show great technique and succeed. Those who do not have confidence, will be indecisive and their technique hurried.
When training, players can exaggerate the movements to get the feel of the right technique. Younger players can learn from the coach who should demonstrate the technique, break it down and practice the individual elements and eventually, practice the whole technique. Only once the basic techniques have been mastered should a coach move onto more advanced situations. These should concentrate on improving control in pressure situations (defenders coming from the side, front, back), control while moving at pace, control which involves an immediate layoff and controlling the ball for a team mate. The ball should be received from all angles, speeds and heights and all surfaces constantly used.
Some common problems when controlling the ball are described below along with a training method than can be used to improve technique:
Problem 1 - Ball path has been misread and the player has missed the pass.Corrective procedure Repeated practice using passes from different distances and vary intensity. The coach must encourage player to keep their eyes on the ball at all times and get their body in line.
Problem 2 - Player is indecisive when choosing controlling body surface.Corrective procedure Player shouts the type of body surface they will use and the server provides the pass and vice versa until the player gets the right feeling for the choice of technique.
Problem 3 - The player does not get the ball out of their feet and needs a second touch.Corrective procedure Encourage the player to relax and exaggerate the movement. Repeated practice using passes from different distances and vary intensity.
Problem 4 - The ball bounces off the player and control is lost.Corrective procedure Again, encourage the player to exaggerate the movement, especially the relaxation phase, firstly without the ball and afterwards using gentle service (eventually building up service difficulty). Try using smaller or lighter balls.