Grids Levels Tools Skills



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




Games General Scenario

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.





ball Level 1 ball Level 2 ball Level 3 ball Level 4 ball Starter Spreadsheet

How to set up Sessions Generator

Here is where you select the grids that you wish to use, the best way to start is to copy the Level sample for your age group, then look at the existing selections and change them as you see fit. Here is how to do it, OPEN one of the Sessions Samples (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 or Level 4)

You have selected Level 3 and can now choose the sessions (all 200+ grids will be shown) but highlighted on the left are those suitable for Level 3 shown as L3 a guide.

In Session 2 I have selected Grid W015 Dribbling Angle Grids as a Warm Up using No 1 as the warm up grid selected


You can choose grids concentrating on Attacking, Defending, Midfield, Goalkeeping, Shooting, Passing, Crossing, Fitness, Dribbling or Heading by simply using a number in your selection area (shown below Number 5 shows all the grids suitable for Attacking), However most grids will use a combination of skills.

Use the Spreadsheet T025 Sessions Planner Skills.xls

Once I have made my selections I can look at the Sessions print out


This is the print page for session 1 of Level 4 The Count shows if you have selected a grid, The section is Warm Ups, Ball Skills, Assessment etc, and the lookup looks at your selection and brings up the file information so that you can print the files for your session. The Time is what you set for each routine with a suggested time for the routine. Depending on how long you weekly session is you can adjust or remove some grids.

session L4

Session Explanations
1. Pre Warm Up is where you are waiting for players to assemble on the park. Rather than let the keen ones stand around, I have some fun routines  that get the players started. As the group gets bigger and the session time arrives you should have all the players doing a pre warm up routine. These should be light sessions but some are quite important for the following sessions.
2. The stretching (G191) is important and should be devised specifically for soccer. It should cover sitting and standing stretches of various muscle groups. If it is wet use standing stretches only. Note: In the following you should stretch only after a Warm Up (lap of the oval etc. - never stretch cold muscles).
3. The Warm Up is designed to get the core temperature up so that players are ready to start the Skill Developments or Match Practice. When a light sheen appears on a player's forehead you have core temperature. This is sometimes an introductory grid or routine for the session ahead.
4. The Skill Developments is a fitness/skills component with various soccer ball skills involved. In many instances it will provide a basis for the Match Practice by developing passing,  dribbling,  shooting, etc. skills that may follow in the Match Practice. It may however just be a drill that covers another aspect of the game or a fun skill's session.
Note:  If coaching Juniors (under 11) you may only need to use the Skill Developments. The Match Practice in most instances is the advance part of the session. In many sessions the Skill Developments used can often be reversed to develop either attacking or defending skills. It will depend on what element of coaching you want to concentrate on  as to how you use the drill. In many instances' players change places after each move and change from attacker to become the defender in the progress of the drill. I have found that this gives players a more encompassing view of the various aspects of each role.  However you may wish to modify the Skill Developments so that only attackers attack and defenders defend, depending on how many players you have at training.
5. The Match Routine is where we simulate the roles of players in game situations often in match play conditions or where more advanced techniques and skills are developed.   Here is where we develop defending, attacking, set pieces, etc. In senior teams this component is very important especially for premier league standard. You should split defenders, midfield and attackers into specific roles. When I move onto Match Practices I often insist on defenders being separate from midfield players and from  attacking players,  so that those particular skills are sharpened in simulated game roles. I also use the Match Practice to develop my strategies for that particular team.  Some of the Match Practice may be an extension of the Skill Developments and it is in these drills that you should concentrate on defenders v's attackers, etc.  There are many grids and drills to choose from and you may find that one routine suits your particular team strategy better than another.  You will need to select and mix grids from the appropriate folders and the following samples show you how I have put together my season.
6. The Game may reflect what we have been doing in our session. It is NEVER just a game! It is always conditioned and players should be developing skills in preparation for their normal league or cup fixtures. If you can get another person to supervise the game then this is YOUR opportunity to take out individuals for concentrated coaching.
7. The warm down is a very short segment but is very important. (G126 end) Is reduced stretching and a gradual cooling of the muscles using slow jogging and walking. It should be followed by a shower to relax the muscles completely.

Drinks: Have regular drinks breaks between each segment or at least one drinks break between the Skill Developments and Match Practice.

You may want to do several coaching sessions on the same theme or just do a fitness session and therefore leave out the Skill Developments or coaching routine. You may find some grids suit your purposes adequately and some do not work for you or your team. Initially it may take you longer to see how the routine works so walk it through so that you and your players know what is going to happen, what your targets are and what roles each player will play.

The following sessions are set out in a sequence that might be used for a professional or senior team during a season. Some sessions such as fitness or set pieces will not follow the session sequence shown above.

these drills are aimed at giving soccer coaches a starting point to thier season and to offer developments in most grids so that you the coach can set the level of skill required. In the word files you can add or modify the drill to suit your needs or improve on the basic concept. Use the planning sheet to prepare your session.

In the sessions belowI have used 6 weeks for pre season (12 sessions) then the season begins 14 weeks (28 sessions)

a total of 20 weks you may wish to modify this according to your team.

Sessions Level

Suitable For




Is suitable for Junior players up to about 11 and includes basic skill development and fun routines with lots of action and ball work.

A sample of 26 weekly sessions for Juniors is included (make a copy of the sample if you wish to make changes) and you can add more grids from other sections if your skill levels improve.

Level 1 Sample



Is suitable for Youth up to about Under 16's and Women’s Teams and concentrates on Developing passing and dribbling and introduction to the skill techniques

A sample of 26 weekly sessions for Level 2 is included (make a copy of the sample if you wish to make changes) and you can mix and match with other grids from higher or lower levels, it is also an opportunity to start using the development elements in each grid.

Level 2 Sample



Is suitable for Club Men’s Teams and Premier Ladies teams it it the broadest scope of skill development and brings in Match situations, player roles and high level ball control and development of tactics including set pieces

A sample of 26 weekly sessions for Club men and women teams is included (make a copy of the sample if you wish to make changes) and you should now be looking at the Phase ii sections of these grids or move onto some Level 4 grids.

Level 3 Sample



Is suitable for Premier or Semi-Pro Teams at club or semi pro club level it concentrates on player roles extreme fitness and testing along with serious ball work

A sample of 26 weekly sessions for Semi-Pro teams is included , (make a copy of the sample if you wish to make changes) and you have access to other levels if you wish to develop your own area of need, i.e. you can select grids that concentrate of Forwards, Defence or Midfield or on crossing, shooting etc. Most of the grids start at Phase ii of previous grids.

Level 4 Sample


Club Team Men Pre Season Sample 1 Club Team Men Pre Season Sample 2
Week 1 Session 1 Time 120 min Week 1 Session 2 Time 120 min

1. Pre-warm up

10 Min

1. Pre-warm up


10 Min

2. Stretching exercises after lap of oval

10 Min 2. Stretching exercises after lap of oval 10 Min

3. Warm up


5 Min

3. Warm up


5 Min

4. Skill Developments


20 Min

4. Skill Developments


20 Min

5. Match Practice


20 Min

5. Match Practice


20 Min

6. Game


15 Min

6. Game


15 Min

7. Warm down


10 Min


7. Warm down


10 Min





Email Peter Faulks

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Last updated 24 March 2017