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This web site contains over 200 ready to use grids, four levels of skills, (L1 Juniors, L2 Youth, L3 Mens Club and L4 Semi-Professional Club) It includes 4 complete sets of training session (one for each level covering 26 weeks of sessions) Plus you can see specific areas of skill sets such as Attacking, Defending etc. and most grids use my PRESSURE TRAINING METHOD
Below is a list of over 200 soccer coaching grids
This web site is a resource to help you start your coaching and is still being updated this version is the 3rd edition of a book published in 1996. I include pressure training in most grids that add much more to the grid in use. Most grids have three or more further developments adding more variations so you can use one grid many times using further development. All grids are modifiable and you can even create your own session from any of the 200+ grids shown here.
You can download all the sections with a .zip file at the bottom of each section.
To look at the book in detail or at a specific area or level use the links above
To view any grid in detail or to print a grid click on the grid title
Learn more about pressure training - my Men's State team record (1986-1993)
Played 38 Won 23 Drew 6 Lost 9 Goals For 109 Against 55
Grids are set out here in recommended session order
Warm Ups (25 grids), Ball Skills (77 grids), Match Practice (72 grids), Game (27 game grids) and supplementary grids - Set pieces (20 grids) or Fitness & Assessment (26 grids)
Warm Up Grids General Scenario These grids and light training routines that are used to start the session, they carry elements of ball skills, close control with jogging, running and eventually sprinting, they are essential to get players core body temperature up so that the sessions can proceed with players training at optimum fitness levels. Some pressure elements are included so players get a feel for later pressure elements in ball skill and match practice grids. Players line up on each corner of the square grid, two players dribble the ball past the middle marker then make an across the body pass to the opposite side of their grid, and sprint to join the next group. Players pass and move inside a square grid (they must touch any marker after passing the ball - before touching the ball again). They must pass the ball inside the grid without 1, 2 or 3 defenders intercepting the ball. Ball must stay inside grid, player cannot touch ball again till a marker or post is touched.
Players on the outside (Attackers) can only move along outside their line of the square grid (cannot enter grid). Attackers must make five consecutive passes to score using only diagonal passes. (They cannot pass straight across the grid). Defenders change with two attackers after each score or if a pass is intercepted.
The outside players have a ball each and move clockwise around the grid, pass to any free player inside players the grid. That player dribbles the ball to the outside (players swap places) two (2) defenders are inside the grid. Ball must not be intercepted whilst passing the ball to any free inside player. The outside players MUST use a low inside boot pass to deliver the ball. Players (A) and (B) swap passes at the end of a square grid, and feed player (C) whom runs back and forth across the grid when Player C is in line with the ball. As player (B) receives the ball, player (C) must be in position to receive and give a return pass to (B). Player (B) then passes back to player (A) and player (C) must now be in a position to receive and give a return pass to (A).
Players dribble around a square grid, pass a ball to the static inside player (1) and receive a return pass (2), then dribble around the corner marker to the next leg of the grid and repeat, on the next leg of the grid, ball low pass, chip pass, header etc.
Instead of going around the pitch, we go across the pitch from side to side once only, various warm up moves.
Players form a circle in pairs passing a ball across the circle, if the players ball hits another players ball, then the player making the pass has to do five press ups.
Players step back from the ball and still facing each other with the ball in between they step to touch their side of the ball with the toe/sole of each boot. They both quick step touching the ball for thirty seconds.
Players in pairs Indian file side by side move up the pitch skipping with arms coming out to the sides level with the shoulders In threes up one player (B) faces two and this player runs backwards up the pitch being fed by either player, returns ball to other player. Players in twos, one lobbing the ball to the other. Players should watch the ball into body, set balance and position early. Use all parts of the body and all parts of both feet, joints relax and give slightly on impact. Two laps of the pitch at varying pace as warm up. Players start at the outside of the half way line run together side by side as a team running at various speeds and variations.
Players line up as shown, Player (A) using a basic push pass, passes the ball through a mini goal to a goalkeeper whom catches it and rolls it away left. Player (A) runs on (avoiding any ball or player crossing in front) to collect the rolled ball.
Players carry the ball to the opposite player, are challenged by that player (one step over their ball towards the oncoming player), the Attacking player then turns and attacks the next player in line.
One player holds the ball directly out front between both hands, or one hand, The ball is suddenly dropped and the facing player must catch the ball before it touches the ground. Later can catch on boot and juggle on foot.
Players dribble a ball out from the end of the square grid, pass cross field with a weighted pass for the opposite player to run on to. Then sprint forward to collect their cross-field pass, bring it under control and pass to the next player in line. The Player then joins that team.
Team is split into two teams with each team restricted to their area outside or inside the area. Players from Team (A) pass to get the ball through the midfield defender team (B) to score a goal. Adding defenders increases pressure.
Stretching is very important in training, players should be warm and stretches should prepare the muscles for the work ahead. Take time to stretch the squad after a warm up period. Do NOT stretch cold muscles.
After a warm up grid, players form teams of five six or seven, and play Five-A-Side Soccer.
Each player will play the ball once only. Once received a pass is made to another team member, as the team move forward on the pitch. EVERY player must have played the ball ONCE and the team MUST finish with a shot on goal.
Split teams into two and play normal soccer except that : Once a player heads the ball that team is the attacking team and can score a goal. If an opponent heads the ball then that team becomes the attacking team. The player MUST keep dribble through markers shooting with the appropriate foot to score a goal. Then collect a ball and return ONLY if their shot was on target. The goalkeeper is optional but if used is passive. Players feed balls back into the area for the next runner. Feed players change with attackers who miss the goal.
Standard warm up warm down routine
Fun & Games General Scenario
These grids have been designed to bring in some light relief to any training session, they embody the spirit of enjoyment but have some important skill requirements for soccer. Often the senior players will enjoy these grids just as much as juniors. Baseball and Cricket are popular with seniors.
We often use these grids for family days where the fun is an important element in the day and where players can show off their skills.
Players pass the ball to hit, jump over dribble around or touch scattered markers, also to pass through mini goals score as in golf.
Form a diamond and split players into two teams. A pitcher (the Goalkeeper) is in a small square about four metres from the plate. A mini goal is between the player (attacker) (Blue) and pitcher (goalkeeper). The rest of the defenders (Red) (fielders) are spread in the outfield.
Players volley, kick or head a ball across an open area (net). Place markers down the middle of the grid to form a "no go" area adjust size to suit your team. The ball is volleyed over the no go area and if that team cannot control a ball within two bounces then the opposing team score a goal. On command (coach blows a whistle) Outside players sprint in and try to steal another players ball. As soon as a player loses a ball then that player has to sprint around the outside marker and back in to steal a ball from any player. The coach blows a whistle and every player sprints in dribbles a ball out to that player's marker. Leaves this ball, sprints in dribbles another ball out until one player has four (or three) soccer balls at that player's marker. Players in pairs one player on the back of another player in piggy back style, match pairs correctly do not use small with heavy players in pairs. Players dribble in a marked rectangular grid (set size to suit the number of players) Players are in pairs arms linked together at all times dribbling a ball between them. After a few moments the coach blows a whistle and then players must try to kick an opponents ball out of the grid. Players play in teams or individually. A bowler player (A), passes the ball through a mini goal to a batter player (B) standing in front of three "wickets" 3 markers, cones or posts, half a metre apart (one and a half metres wide).
The bowler passes the ball as soon as he/she has the ball DO NOT WAIT for the batter to get in position.
Player pass across the grid BELOW KNEE HIGH and try to hit crossing targets, the targets have to make it across to a goal to score. Play is usually 2 minutes then teams swap, hit players move out of the grid.
Ball Skills General Scenario
In these grids we have the simple repetitive practice of ball skills, the grids are set up to encourage players to develop their ball skills in a variety of situations, including some pressure sessions where ball skills are developed, often building from passive to aggressive participation. Players are encouraged to use these routines to develop and fine tune current and new ball skills. Especially good for average or young soccer players, some grids develop into match play grids and can be used as an adjunct to a complete session base upon a particular skill, start with the WarmUp grid, then the Ball Skills Grid and move on to a Match Play Grid.
Players line up as shown and change places after each run.
On the coach's call. a defender passes a ball through a mini goal then sprints to defend running around a pressure post, an attacker sets off from a central marker and sprints around a pressure post collects the passed ball and tries to get a shot on goal.
One team must make at least five consecutive passes, without the other team intercepting and winning the ball. If one team achieve the set number of passes without losing the ball, then the other team must sprint out of the grid through a gate around the grid and back in through the gate within 10, 15 or 20 seconds. Players head the ball over the rope "net" (between the posts) and if the ball is not touched before hitting the ground that team scores a goal. Players (A), (B) & (C) pass the ball down the line whilst player (D) tries to intercept a pass. If player (D) intercepts a pass then player (D) changes with that player whom made the bad pass. Players can shoot from anywhere outside of a single goal, from either or any side, but cannot shoot within a No Shooting Zone five metres square of the goal. One player from each team takes up position in their respective goal. One player shoots for goal, and then runs to touch one of the posts. The other player tries to make a save using only legal parts of the body. An attacker places a ball in between a mini goal on the edge of the grid, then sprints and touches a post (For Pro or seniors use run around a post) a few metres away and dribbles the ball into the grid. Players dribble past one line grid with a defender, (mini goal using markers) to get a shot on goal. Attackers MUST pass through the mini goal by deceiving the defender (Defender cannot move forwards or back but MUST stay in line with markers) Players are split evenly between two teams, one with bibs on. Teams must pass a minimum number of times to each player in their grid and then make a good pass to a teammate on the other side of a no play area to score a goal. Attackers either side of a central grid three on either side, pass the ball around unchallenged (Until Phase ii.) to make space for a pass through a square back four defenders. Defenders try to move to intercept passes. Players spilt into two teams one team with bibs. They play V's each other outside of the marked grid and can only enter the grid if they run onto a on side pass.
Play is split into two grids either side of the half way line, about three metres wide. In one grid five blue defenders reside in the grid they have three red attackers. The 5 defenders v 3 attackers should win sufficient ball to get a pass through the no go area to one of their 3 blue attackers in the opposite grid.
Players use the grid to undertake skill routines; all players form even groups and line up on any marker corner. Then each will run set (run 1), once this is completed the winning team is declared and teams run set 2 etc., then set 3 and finally set 4
Complex and difficult session using pressure by making players think each section through. Players change roles through stages of the grid. Players inter pass with a central midfielder and sprint on to give and receive a crossed ball. This practice for keepers. When teams are pressing forward for an equaliser or for a winning goal, it is quite possible to catch the goalkeeper off the goal line. This practice routine sets up wide players for a long lofted shot at goal, the goalkeeper must come forward on each set and touch the post after every cross.
Passing to the free player, three players, two soccer balls, Player (A) & Player (C) both have a soccer ball pass to player (B) releasing anew free player. This is a sharp passing routine developing stopping skills and accuracy in passing.
Player (A) passes to the middle player, Player (B), whom controls the ball, turns on it and passes to the opposite outside player, Player (C). A return pass is given and the routine repeated in the opposite direction. Change after ten (10) passes.
Back Heel Pass - Player (A) passes to the middle player, whom controls the ball, then back heels the ball, to the opposite outside player. Side Step Dummy- Player (A) passes to the middle player, whom steps to the left, pulls the ball to the right, turns on it and passes to the opposite outside player. The Drag Back and Back Heel Turn Player (A) passes to the middle player (Player B), whom controls the ball, drags it back heel, turns on it and passes to the opposite outside player (Player C). Sole of Boot - Player (A) passes to the middle player, whom controls the ball. by using the sole of his boot, rolls it under the boot, turns on it and passes to the opposite outside player.
Players line up as shown: one in the middle faced by two players on either side each with a ball. Markers indicate the inside grid and run around marker for each outside player. The cent er player always moves to the outside taking on the player feeding the ball.
Players line up as shown: one player, Player (B) is in the middle and on either side of Player (B) are two players each with a ball, Players (A) and (C). Player (A) passes to Player (B) who must dribble out using only the inside of the feet, players cross with the challenger being passive, to change places with the feeder Player (A).
Players line up as shown: one player, player (B) is in the middle and on either side of Player (B) are two players each with a ball, Players (A) and (C). Player (A) passes to Player (B) who must dribble out using only the outside of the foot, players cross, with the challenger being passive, to change places with the feeder Player (A). Players line up as shown: one player, player (B) is in the middle and on either side of Player (B) are two players each with a ball, Players (A) and (C). Player (A) passes to Player (B) who must dribble out at speed using inside and outside of the foot, players cross, with the challenger being passive, to change places with the feeder Player (A). The player running in Player (A), receives a pass from the other outside player, Player (C) and dribbles past this player using inside and outside of the boot to control the ball, and move to the outside.
Players line up as shown in teams of four, two players in the middle with a ball each, the two outside players on either side. Cutting Wide: Move your body slightly to your weaker side, whilst letting the ball run just ahead of you, use the outside of your best foot to push the ball wide of your body to your good side, cut or break in the direction of the ball and with the inside of the boot bring the ball back on line with your original run.
Players line up as shown in teams of four, two players in the middle with a ball each, the two outside players on either side. Players line up as shown in teams of four, two players in the middle with a ball each, the two outside players on either side.
Players line up as shown in teams of four, two players in the middle with a ball each, the two outside players on either side.
Four players per grid. Players line up as shown: two players in the middle and one player on either side. Both of the outside players has a ball. Note: Start by strictly enforcing the method of turning, lazy players will want to let the ball pass them then turn, this is not what is being coached here.
You often see teams use this simple line passing technique to warm up, often the passes go astray and this can only be attributed to boredom by the players, try my line passing grid, it offers players a chance to develop moving the ball skills and sprint fitness. Put the grids slightly adjacent, player receives the ball knocks it wide to collect themselves and pass to the opposite team, then sprints to joint the team.
After a few minutes you will see the passing improve Try it.
Players line up as shown, two outside players (A) & (B) each have a ball, both outside players (A) & (B) dribble a ball into the grid.This grid looks quite simple but can be used to develop a range of skills
Players pass down a grid using wall pass technique then race the defending player back to the start line and change roles
Set for Right footed crosses, NOTE: when using this grid again in your sessions set it up from the left, and insist on players attempting a cross with their left foot. When Player (A) dribbles the ball forward but leaves the ball near the first marker (3), Player (B) takes off from marker (2) going round either post.
This grid is useful to sharpen attackers and goalkeepers if your striker is missing easy shots try a couple of sessions in this pressure grid. Great for keepers as well because shots will come in rapidly.
Players form a circle around two players in the middle (size or number of grids depends on numbers).
Two players on the outside of the circle have a ball each. The two players in the middle one plays as an attacker, the other as a defender. The attacker receives a pass from one of the outside players and must pass to another (not the same) outside player.
Players play 3 v 3 on one goal, when the coach call "change" the Attacking team (the team in possession) MUST immediately pick up their ball and leave the grid, irrespective of the state of play. The next team immediately enters the grid through the gate and attacks the other three players. Players split to form a line of two (as shown) with players opposite each other and facing each other in the same team. They then pass the ball across the width of the grid to the next player opposite and then sprint down the outside of the grid to take up position at the end of the grid. Play continues with players passing and sprinting and the team will move along like a snake. Players in threes with one ball, for a loose triangle, players take turns changing places with the one that passes the ball (defender) against the one receiving the ball (attacker), players alternate as attacker and defender and play is non stop with the ball switched to the free player whom receives the 3rd pass.
Players face each other, one with a ball, (the attacker), the player with the ball, walks forward, keeping the ball between both feet and within playing distance (about 1 metre ahead), head over the ball, body in balance whilst the other player (defender) facing the attacker backs away. After a short walk the players swap roles (Blue) attacks first the gives the ball to the defenders (Red) the defenders now become the attackers.
Players in twos or small groups, one player throws the ball high in the air and on the first bounce one of the team must juggle the ball with their head, shoulders, feet etc. Try to get several consecutive touches 10, 20 etc.
Players moving on to the ball and making a pass to another player. Come into the ball at an angle, place the non kicking foot alongside the ball with your toes pointing at the target.
Players in twos or groups progress to driving the ball, move players further apart. Start with standard passing then allows one of the players to drive the ball back to the other player using the bootlaces (top of the boot).
Players in twos, passing and kicking the ball with variation. Progress to OUTSIDE OF BOOT swerves passing, or INSIDE OF BOOT for curving for swinging the ball. Players play 2 v 2 and try to dribble across the opponents half and score by crossing the opponents line. (See also Development vi)
One player shoots for goal, touches a post or sprints around either post, strikes the next ball, then touches a post until all balls have been struck for goal. Players take turns in shooting under a time pressure. Other players collect the balls and reset the routine.
In pairs about 3 metres (10 foot) apart; one player lobs a high ball which must be trapped on the thigh, shoulder, head or shin or other legal part of the body. The ball is then brought under control and passed back with a basic push pass. In fours or small groups, players juggling the ball using chipping or heading to pass to other players. The player lifting the toes and trapping the ball between boot and against the shin holds the ball in place. The player must try to maintain balance and keep the ball wedged between boot and shin. BUT after each juggle or header the player juggling or heading the ball MUST touch a marker then move to another position and be replaced by a team mate. Players pass the ball into two players inside a very large circle (25 metres). Player (A) passes to the receiving Player (B) whom immediately lays off a pass to Player (C), whilst being pressured by Player (A) Teams try to score goals by passing to team mate across the diagonal grid. Goal is ONLY scored when the ball crosses the diagonal line and is NOT touched by any member of an opposite team.
Players dribble past one line grid with a defender, (mini goal using markers) to get a shot on goal, then must control the ball and dribble past a second mini goal and defender.
Players (A) play a deep firm pass to the corner, then sprint in field to defend the ball. Player (B) receives the ball, dribbles through markers or hoops and cuts in for a shot on the edge of the area. Players change places after each run.
Grid 2 Attacking roles Attacking Grid 5 attackers v 3 defenders and 3 attackers v 5 defenders, markers, goals and one goalkeeper. Make the grid smaller with fewer players.
Attacking teams A and B have two touches, must inter pass between at least TWO members of the team before passing across the no go zone to the other Attacking team.
Players line up as shown, this can be quite static but I use the following sequence to make it more useful:-
Players line up on each wide corner of the grid, four players, (A) each have a ball and start from the inside corners aiming to dribble their ball along the line of their grid towards a mini goal, they pass before they get to the mini goal or post, to the next player waiting on the next corner, Four defenders (Back four) are in the Penalty Area, and clear incoming crosses to defenders in the outfield. Attackers try to score with deep crosses into the box or chip the ball in for poor defending. We are using defenders v attackers. As the back line move up, two attackers move wide and are challenged by ONE defender, play is 2 attackers v 1 defender on either side of the pitch. This practice for keepers. When teams are pressing forward for an equaliser or for a winning goal, it is quite possible to catch the goalkeeper off the goal line. This practice routine sets up wide players for a long lofted shot at goal, Players nominate a captain whom passes a ball across goal to the outside of the penalty area as shown. Attacking team member must run onto the ball and try to score a goal. A defender is in the grid to apply pressure and MUST touch a post before challenging the next attacker.
Player (A) passes the ball forward to a defender at marker (2) Player (B) takes off from marker (2) going round post (3). Player (A) sprints around his post and receives a return pass from the defender Player A then crosses the ball to the Attacking Player (B)
Player (A) runs to a defender, shown in (Red), turns on the defender and receives a pass from Player (B). Player (A) controls the ball. Player (A) turns the defender and then gives a line ball pass to Player (B). Players line up as shown. TEAM (A) (Blue) will dribble the ball, TEAM B (Red) will pass the ball, In our example (Ten players) five players inside the grid, form TEAM (B) (Red). Play is split into two grids either side of the half way line, about three metres wide. In one grid five attackers reside and they have three defenders and a goalkeeper.
Players line up in pairs on either side of the pitch, one pair sets off in a 1 v 1 and the attacker tries to dribble past the defender after entering a tackling area about half way down the pitch.
Players make a deep cross far post for a runner to run onto whilst strikers are creating space for the runner. Players rotate with the exception of the two defenders, the two strikers and goalkeeper. This grid I used to work my central defenders against my two strikers, the rest of the players rotate firing deep crossed into the goalmouth or as shown in this set to the far post.
Players inter pass with a central midfielder and sprint on to give and receive a crossed ball. Add defenders as play progresses.
Set for Right footed crosses, NOTE: when using this grid again in your sessions set it up from the left, and insist on players attempting a cross with their left foot. Goalkeeping skills dealing with shots or headers on goal, try to intercept cross or anticipate flight of the ball, work on positioning as each set develops.
This practice for keepers. This practice routine sets up wide players for a long crossed pass into the goal area, the goalkeeper must come forward on each set and touch the post after every cross Players cross a ball and attackers try to score whilst being challenged by a midfield defender
Players score ONLY if the ball is headed over after being chipped by one of their own players first, Players heading the ball over the "net" (between the posts, over the rope) and DO NOT score goals if the ball hits the ground without being touched by a defending player and is NOT from a chipped or juggled pass.
Grid 2 Attacking roles Attacking Grid 5 attackers v 3 defenders and 3 attackers v 5 defenders, markers, goals and one goalkeeper. Make the grid smaller with fewer players.
Download All Ball Skill Grids
Match Practice General Scenario
These are the main grids for developing strategy , skills and game play, they should link with the ball skills and sometimes with warm ups but it is here that you will develop your tactics and work on how the team will play. Most of these grids include pressure training. Each session should include a Match Practice drill and these grids and drills make up the majority of grids in this book, there is sufficient variety for you to select the skills that you wish to develop.
Players make a deep cross far post for a runner to run onto whilst strikers are creating space for the runner. Players rotate with the exception of the two defenders, the two strikers and goalkeeper. Shooting drill whilst being pressured also includes elements of fitness in short sprints. Teams split into attackers and defenders. Defenders pass a ball through a mini goal outside of the penalty area then the "defender" sprints into play around a post to tries to force the attacker wide.
Teams split into two teams, one team in pairs start as attackers shown in (A Team Blue) and form up near the centre spot on the half way line. The defenders (B Team Red) line up at the goal line (either side of goal).
Players make a deep cross far post for a runner to run onto whilst strikers are creating space for the runner. Players rotate with the exception of the two defenders, the two strikers and goalkeeper. For professional use I put in two touch posts and make the defenders and attackers touch this post BEFORE they can play the ball. Players turn a passive defender (the player immediately behind the player, i.e. the next attacker). The attacking player (2) receives a ball through a mini goal, from a defender (1) then breaks left or right with the ball to carry the ball forward and get a shot on goal. Players line up on the goal line and halfway, in pairs. The first pair from either end carry the ball forward inter passing until they get to the half way line. They then pass their ball to the two attackers on their side of the pitch near the half way line, and then take up position as the next pair of attackers waiting on the half way.
Two players attack goal from wide and are challenged by two defenders coming from the other side of the pitch. Players swap places after every move or recover to remain as attacking pairs and defending pairs. Set ends with a shot on goal or an intercepted pass or tackle.
The attacking (A1) player passes to the first midfielder (M1) and sprints around the post and through markers to run on to a return pass from the second midfielder. (M2).
Two midfielder use line passing to feed the attacking player.
Play is deliberately created wide of the penalty area for crosses into the penalty area. Attacking and defending roles are present so use your back four defenders and keeper and include your two main strikers, the rest will feed the ball in from wide. Players hitting wide shots into the goal mouth from just past the half-way line, striker and defender roles.
General Scenario: Back four players fed from goalkeeper and breaks forward from their markers then playing out using at least three passes. Try to get a clearance to the midfield player just past the half-way line.
Attacking players hold up the ball whilst waiting for support play wide.
Player (A) dribbles forward and makes a wall pass to Player (B) past defender (C), whom is in a mini goal two metres wide. Player (A) then collects the return and moves on to goal which is defended by Player (D).
Players hitting shots from either edge of the penalty area after a 2 v 1 action with winger.
Attackers split into two groups (A and B) and will change places after each move. Team A each have a ball. Team A is on the far side of the pitch. Players from Team B are on the other side of the pitch. Put the back four into defensive positions, the defenders MUST touch goalposts or pressure posts after each attack.
Attacker (B) sprints around a wide post and turns to face Attacker (A), Attacker (A) passes the ball forward to attacker (B), and sprints inside the pair then wide of the pitch. Attacker (B), whom is closely marked by the midfield defender, turns and plays a line ball to attacker (A) then sprints around the wide post and inside the field for a return pass.
Players split into two groups (defenders - attackers) but change places after each run. Player (A) (defender) has passed a ball (1) through a mini goal to an area just in front of two run around posts or markers and in front of Player (B) (attacker). Player (A) (defender) then sprints around a run around post or marker (2) to defend.
Attacking Players make a simple set of passes towards goal finishing with a shot on goal. Returning players come back dribbling or passing the ball through the middle of the grid so that Attacking players have to work the ball in and around returning "Defending" players to get a shot on goal.
One player from one end of the grid passes to the Attacking player (A) somewhere in the middle of the grid, whenever that player calls for the pass. This player has to then turn whilst being defended upon by defender (B), the attacker can pass to the other feed player but cannot pass back to either player.
two teams, three strikers and four defenders in the penalty area (one a goalkeeper); Players deliver a simple cross for strikers to attack or defenders to clear, pressure is on the strikers in the penalty area to determine how the cross is delivered. Allow strikers to collaborate on moves and call as required.
A defender (C) takes up position on a marker or post on the goal line near to the goal and moves to defend when an attacker (A) leaves a midfield marker as shown. Another player (B) crosses the ball from wide (in our example the corner spot but alternative positions can be also used). Place a striker (A) in front of the penalty area with a defender (C) deeper inside the penalty area. Attackers (B) pass a ball through a mini goal and run on cutting either side to receive a lay off from the striker (A). Midfielder's receive a lay off pass from a striker and try to penetrate a defensive line to get behind defenders.
Players pass away from goal, receive a return pass, lay this pass off for a striker and change places.
The strikers will suddenly change places (switch) or break in opposite directions to create space when an attack is created down either wing. Normal soccer rules apply (offside etc.)
Players pass/shoot as attackers then become defenders and rotate places.
The coach has several soccer balls and the first three attackers line up on the half way line as shown (A 1, 2 & 3). Three defenders start on pressure posts and move as soon as the ball is played.
Various players lob a ball into the penalty area where a defender has to sprint in and volley or clear the ball to outfield players.
Teams are split into 5 v 5 each plus a goalkeeper (optional). The grid is split as shown with two defenders, two midfielder and one attacker in each team. The ball MUST be played from grid to grid and players may not enter another grid.
The squad is split into two teams Team A and Team B They line up as attackers, one defender and one midfielder on each team, as shown and travel through the grid using the midfielder's to help them attack the opposite goal.
Two attackers (A) and (B) challenge two defenders (C) and (D). The attackers MUST make at least three passes (A) to (B), (B) to (A) and (A) again to (B) more passes are allowed three is the minimum.
Midfield players work the ball to create space for a midfield through ball to a winger or central player, and make a through ball pass. Players start level with the penalty area then begin by moving towards the halfway line (as they would if an offside trap was being employed) attackers are marked by defenders. The back four work the ball in a 4 v 2 against twin strikers and pass to the midfield when one or more of the midfield players makes break to support the play. Two strikers remain in the penalty area covered by two defenders. There are two additional strikers next to markers just outside the area also covered by defenders. Three midfield players each with a soccer ball is allocated a number and when called out by the coach can play the ball to either available striker Goalkeeper: Has to make a decision on when to come out or stay on the goal line before diving on the ball.
Players play 2 v 2 with two defenders (A1) and (A2). The defenders are initially passive defenders, just making it difficult for the attackers and do not tackle. Two attackers (B1) or (B2) receive a pass from defender (A1) and one of the attackers (B1) or (B2) must try to get into the area, where the goalkeeper must come out to smother the ball.
Play is dictated by the midfield group (A, B and C) whom are unmarked and are restricted to a maximum of three passes The attacking midfield players A1, A2 and A3 create passing sequence (1, 2, 3 etc.) and strikers and nearby midfield players (except the two attackers on the far side) move to support the play calling for the ball.
Line up the back four with your sweeper behind the defenders. Player (A1) passes to (A2) and the routine begins. The strikers link with the midfield and try to get the ball back to the attackers or past the back four for a shot on goal. The sweeper dictates play by calling the back line out for the offside trap.
The ball is played in to goal by any midfield player with either winger chipping the ball into the area towards the keeper. The front third is defended as 4 v 3 using a sweeper.
Attackers (A) and (B) work the ball in a 2 v 1 against a midfielder. The midfielder must touch the post or marker before defending on the next attack. The ball is being played out by the back four, the goalkeeper rolls the ball to one of the defenders. The strikers, having retired, now pressure the play by closing down one side of the pitch to force play to that side of the pitch.
Mark out a pitch into zones and allocate your defenders to play within these areas and advise the defenders to assume responsibility for that zone. Defenders may move out of the area but MUST always remain responsible and liable for play in their zone.
The team is split into two teams (Attackers -bibs) v (Defenders) with two goals. The Attacking team have seven players plus a keeper and the defending team have six players plus a keeper (or in similar proportion depending on your squad).
Play is for an Attacking fullback to pass to a midfield player and then overlap down the wing. Other players take up defensive and Attacking roles and the two overlapping attackers return to the start after each attack. Players cross a ball and attackers try to score whilst being challenged by a midfield defender. Players pass a ball into the corner flag and a defender has to get to the ball and turn and clear the ball up the line to a receiving player. The passing player puts pressure on the defender and players change places after each run.
Players attack and defend whilst attacks are built from midfield. A striker (C) and defender (E) remain in the penalty area to undertake normal attack and defending roles. Midfield attackers, change places with the two defenders and these players rotate roles.
Play is 2 v 1 wide with the winger, player (A) and midfield support (B) The winger being released with a wall pass past a passive defender; the winger (A) is then challenged by the fullback.
Play is 2 v 1 wide with the winger, player (A) being released then challenged by the fullback. The ball is crossed into the penalty area and the opposite winger player (B) MUST run far post and NOT into the penalty area.
Player (A) runs to a defender, shown in (Red), turns on the defender and receives a pass from Player (B). Player (A) controls the ball, turns the defender then passes down the line, and breaks inside for a return pass.
The Attackers then break into the penalty area where a defender (B2) has sprinted in to defend. The attackers in a 2 v 1 Attacker (A2) must cross the ball for the other attacker. (Then moves to become a defender).
Shooting drill whilst being pressured also includes elements of fitness in short sprints. Teams split into attackers and defenders. Defenders pass a ball through a mini goal outside of the penalty area then the "defender" sprints into play around a post to tries to force the attacker wide. A large mini goal about three metres outside of the penalty area, is set up. Teams split into two teams, one team in pairs start as attackers shown in (A Team Blue) and form up near the centre spot on the half way line. Players make a deep cross far post for a runner to run onto whilst strikers are creating space for the runner. Players rotate with the exception of the two defenders, the two strikers and goalkeeper. Players turn a passive defender (the player immediately behind the player, i.e. the next attacker). The attacking player (2) receives a ball through a mini goal, from a defender (1) then breaks left or right with the ball to carry the ball forward and get a shot on goal. Players line up on the goal line and halfway, in pairs. The first pair from either end carry the ball forward inter passing until they get to the half way line. They then pass their ball to the two attackers on their side of the pitch near the half way line, and then take up position as the next pair of attackers waiting on the half way. Players turn a passive defender (the player immediately behind the player, i.e. the next attacker). The attacking player (2) receives a ball through a mini goal, from a defender (1) then breaks left or right with the ball to carry the ball forward and get a shot on goal. Play is deliberately created wide of the penalty area for crosses into the penalty area. Attacking and defending roles are present so use your back four defenders and keeper and include your two main strikers, the rest will feed the ball in from wide. Players hitting wide shots into the goal mouth from just past the half-way line, striker and defender roles. Player (A) dribbles forward and makes a wall pass to Player (B) past defender (C), whom is in a mini goal two metres wide. Player (A) then collects the return and moves on to goal which is defended by Player (D).
Goalkeeper to control defenders for all crosses, positional play and calling, two teams, three strikers and four defenders in the penalty area
Players deliver a simple cross for strikers to attack or defenders to clear, pressure is on the strikers in the penalty area to determine how the cross is delivered Two attackers (B1) or (B2) receive a pass from defender (A1) and one of the attackers (B1) or (B2) must try to get into the area, where the goalkeeper must come out to smother the ball.
To act as obstructions so that attackers have to work the ball or dribble to get into position. Later encourage tackling outside of the area only, as directed by the keeper.
The ball is played in to goal by any midfield player with either winger chipping the ball into the area towards the keeper. The front third is defended as 4 v 3 using a sweeper.
Again look for good line passing from attacker (A1) or chipping crossing skills from the winger (A2), followed by good timing of the run onto the crossed ball, and strong finishing, especially now that a defender (B2) is in place.
Players spilt into two teams one team with bibs. They play V's each other outside of the marked grid and can only enter the grid if they run onto a on side pass.
Players inter pass with a central midfielder and sprint on to give and receive a crossed ball.
Players inter pass with a central midfielder and sprint on to give and receive a crossed ball. Breaking wide and switching places in attack
The strikers, having retired, to a central pressure post, now pressure the play by closing down one side of the pitch to force play to that side of the pitch. (The strikers may allow the ball to be played across the back four but should then sprint try to closed down players and make play predictable).
Download All Match Practice Grids
Small Games General Scenario
These grids feature specific roles in the end of a session using a game which should align with the total session i.e. a session dedicated to DEFENDING and made up of defending grids. All the game grids have a specific purpose, I rarely use just a game
Ten players or more, Make a grid about forty metre square with markers on each corner or area to accommodate even number of players; i.e. a grid with seven points accommodates fourteen players. Put a mini goal on one side of the grid. Use two soccer balls.
Players select a partner (or you pick players) and one partner puts on a bib. The two now play in opposition with ONLY their partner allowed to tackle them, AA, BB CC etc.. Players try to break free of their partner and link up with teammates, bibs team or shirts players to score goals. The goal is protected by a semi-circle of markers eight metres from the goal. (This is a heading Zone).
Teams are split 4 and 3 into either side of the pitch, 4 players defend their area and 3 players attack in their area. Players cannot leave their respective grid areas. Teams must pass and get the ball into the attacking half. Goals are scored ONLY if the attacker dribbles the ball through the goal. Players play in two teams normal soccer except that ALL the players of the attacking team EXCEPT the goalkeeper and a sweeper MUST be in the opponents half of the field before the attacking team can score a goal.
play normal soccer but nominate one team (Red) to defend by playing for time, the other (Blue) team is attacking. Defending team score goals by holding the ball for a certain amount of time without conceding a goal or by eight, ten touches of the ball, or the time set.
Players play a normal game but when defending the nearest player calls "one" the next nearest MUST call "two" Players split into two teams, one with bibs on, play against each other in two touch or normal soccer. Players can score goals as determined (see Developments) Use any of and all four goals to score goals In open play players cannot pass the ball for three, four or five seconds (you set the time) upon receiving a pass. They can only dribble, turn, hold, carry until the set time is over, then they can pass or continue to dribble etc.
Players play in three teams 4 v 4 v 4, 5 v 5 v 5 etc. with or without goalkeepers. Each team play in turn moving in one direction FORWARD ONLY through the grid. Players start from one end of a grid and always move to the other end of the grid. The team in possession of the ball keeps going in the direction that they commence their moves.
Players play normal soccer, except that when a ball is passed back or moves back from the direction of the at team in possession, it MUST be immediately chipped forwards by the receiver. Players must hold the ball in control to 'draw a player' (make a player come to the attacker in possession) and take on this Attacking player. Players cannot pass to the nearest player, each pass must be at least three metres away, players must stay apart from team mates, no nearer each other than three metres.
Split the team into two even teams, one team with bibs on. Before any team can shoot for goal, all players in that team (including the goalkeeper) must have touched the ball at least once.
Teams use man to man marking for the pitch, i.e. each player has a partner and must mark appropriately. Players are assigned to mark only their own opposing player and if that player wins the ball and after a minimum of three (3) touches, makes a successful pass, one goal is awarded to that team. Players are allowed only two touches of the ball to control and then pass the ball, so good balance and vision are important, ensure players look up before and after receiving a ball. This game teaching the advantages of wide play. In juniors or ladies games you will probably find most of the traffic is down the middle, also if your team is constantly hitting the long ball down the middle, try this as your session end routine on several occasions.
Players must remain silent during the game, players MAY NOT call for the ball. Play is two touch or three touch, then moves to normal game
Play normal soccer, place markers all over the pitch, scattered randomly. If any player touches a marker, runs over a marker or passes a ball over a marker then a mine has exploded and that player must immediately run and touch both of the touch lines before resuming playing in the game. Teams play normal soccer with one team supposedly numerically superior to the other. This should allow the numerically superior team to develop confidence on the ball. Players play normal soccer but must chip the ball or volley the ball when passing, any below knee-high pass is penalised, allow dribbling. Play is all touch (normal game) but all passes MUST be below head high but NO TACKLING allowed. - Players can challenge, cover space, pressure but cannot tackle the player in possession Players play normal soccer until an opponent touches the player in possession. This player MUST release the ball on the next touch. Players play normal soccer and ONLY the player in good position may call for the ball. The ball must immediately be passed to that player. If the coach or referee feels the call is bad or the ball is easily intercepted then a FREE KICK is awarded at the place where the call was made. The player must do 20 press ups etc.
Players ONLY have one touch, use a small soccer ball or tennis ball to add interest.
Player can ONLY pass forward, and lose goals (own goal) if the pass is backwards. This game can also be used to encourage overlapping, stress this at the beginning and encourage players to hold the ball and wait for support from overlapping players.
Players play a normal game but certain players are nominated for free kicks or corners. The coach calls a free kick or corner at any time and designated players must move and play the kick or corner as soon as possible.
As soon as defenders have cleared the ball or strikers have shot for goal. The game continues.
Split teams into two and play normal soccer except that : Once a player heads the ball that team is the attacking team and can score a goal. If an opponent heads the ball then that team becomes the attacking team.
Set Pieces General Scenario
The routines that require prolonged practice to perfect planned moves using a set piece from a known position, ie. Free Kick, Corner etc. Just a sample of some set moves but as a coach you should watch for good moves, copy and modify them for your own team or plan your own set pieces just for your team
Players set up as shown, with four defenders inside the penalty area. Two strikers are also in the area and have only two touch roles. As the coach calls a number, that move is made. I.E. No. 1 a corner kick from left side, No. 2 a corner kick from right as shown. The Coach calls numbers quickly as soon as defenders have cleared the ball or strikers have shot for goal. Pressure is the name of the game.
Player (A) stands inside the kick as shown a (1) and shapes to pass the ball to the winger running wide when the winger calls, but runs over the ball, hopefully deceiving the defenders whom think the play is wide and far post. This set piece is particularly good wide of the goal. Strikers move wide of the goal to open up the goal. The winger (1) and player (A) 1 starts the move hopefully deceiving the defenders whom think the play is going wide to the winger) opposite to where the ball will be played. You have a Free kick just outside and to one side of the opponents penalty area;- Players line up as shown: Numbers in brackets (2) show player movement in sequence with the free kick movements i.e. = numbers not in brackets. You have a Free kick some distance outside and to one side of the opponents penalty area. Both strikers go wide of the goal away from the free kick. This is usually a deeper field free kick, A lot depends on where defenders are standing and if space exists for the double play.
There is a throw in midway between goal and the halfway line in the Attacking half. You need to take advantage of what may be a fairly crowded area.
For all corners I have a player near post (61% of corners taken go to the near post) and a midfield player covering the far post, (17% of corners go far past - ironically usually more go far post later in the game duration). Players should be ready to recover an over hit corner or drive. Most corners are scored by moving players.
In this example a deep kick aiming for Player (D) or (C) is being used. It is anticipated that the ball will be aimed at the target area. Player (B) breaks forward to open up space behind and Player (C) and (D) run in to join a deep striker.
All attackers go far post, Player (D) is in a little hiding place see special note Grid S009. Player (A) calls for the ball and runs forward, leave a hole behind.
Normal kick off, Player (A) passes to Player (B) whom passes to Player (C), Player (C) chips the ball into a pre-planned target area, Player (C) can be fairly deep.
A free kick has been awarded within striking distance of goal, a wall has been set and you need to shift the position of the ball to bend a shot around the wall and into goal:- Player (A) passes to player (B) whom stops the ball for player (C) to strike.
This set piece is designed for a slightly deeper free kick, the twin strikers Players (A) and (B) start the move with a slow jog towards the wall, then turn sharply and sprint back to goal, hopefully leaving central defenders watching them.
Player (A) runs to the thrower calling for the ball, the thrower uses a long throw to Player (B) whom runs slightly towards the thrower or is already waiting on or close to the near post.
All players stay out of the area, three or more stand very close together (like sardines) on one edge of the area therefore marking them (the attackers) very difficult to mark.
The intention is to create a 1 v 1 with the kicker, Player (A) with the goalkeeper by clearing the traffic in front.
A free kick deep near the half way line in your Attacking half (or the midfield third). The defending team expect a deep kick chipped high to attackers but suddenly one striker breaks forward and gives a return low pass back to the kicker
The thrower calls to Player (A) then the thrower turns and calls to Player (B), both of whom run in.
Two attackers (A) and (B) have their back to goal, player (D) runs in to strike the ball from a distance, as (D) is running in (A) rolls the ball across (B), (B) turns on the ball and shoots first time.
From a deep free kick, all Attacking players push to one side of the pitch, then one player sprints wide into open space (this player MUST break very quickly) and collects a controlled power pass from the kicker.
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Session 27 A sample 1 of 104
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Warm Up: W002 Passing The Passing Square.doc
Warm Up Fitness: A006 Speed Passing Fitness Run.doc
Ball Skills: B001 Attacking Pressure Shooting.doc
Ball Skills Specific: B006 Shooting 1 v 1 Pressure.doc
Match Practice: M009 Attacking Working Goal Line Crosses.doc
Game: G002 Man on Man Game.doc
Warm Down: W007 Warm Down Chart.doc
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Below click on each week by week for a Level 3 sample of 26 weeks ready to use coaching sessions
I strongly suggest that you download the planning sheets from Coaching Tools, then save grids as you need them and put them into a folder. Create your sessions using grids from either Warm Up, Ball Skills, Match Practice, Fun, Set Pieces, Fitness or Games grids.
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There are four pre-prepared session spreadsheets, these have been created for the four levels of skill and contain 26 sessions in each sample, ready to print out. Pick the level that you are coaching and download the completed spreadsheet, this will give you a start to your coaching. As you progress you can create more sessions using the same spreadsheet or make a copy then select new or variations from over 200 grids, or drills listed in the spreadsheet. You can then print each grid ready to use in your own sessions.