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Coaches Resources

When coaching soccer, one of the most important things is to come to practice with a plan.  Here, we have posted sample lesson plans and links to sites where you can get other fun drills and games that will make your practice more enjoyable and allow your players to develop better skills.  For a typical hour long practice, you will need around 4 games plus a warmup session.  I always give myself at least one or two back up games if I am trying something new, just in case it flops.  Don't be afraid to stop a game and move on if the kids aren't quite ready for the drill.  

I typically start my sessions with foot skills to warm up the kids.  I don't believe that young kids need to run laps or stretch to warm up.  Warming up should be done with a ball at their feet.  I use toe taps, drag backs, penguin dribbles, sole spins and a bunch of other foot skills to get the kids ready and to help the players understand the different parts of their feet they can use.  You can also use dribbling in a square to warm the kids up.

I then move into my first game, and follow my practice plan.  I always try to end with something the kids will recognize as a soccer game.  It will always be a small sided game since splitting one team in two will demand that, but I some times will use multiple goals or change the rules a bit.  The kids however will always think of it as the "scrimmage" which is the thing they like the most.

If you are in doubt at all about what to do during practice, you can always fall back to small sided games.  There are hundreds of variations of 1 v 1, 1 v 2, 2 v 2, 4 v 4, etc.  They don't have to be complicated, and small sided games are really the best way to offer each kid multiple touches on the ball.

So here are some links to other sites that have great drills, tips and in some cases full lesson plans.  Be sure to pick drills appropriate to your age group.

Lots of great drills and lesson plans.

This is an extensive site that has a ton of tips and drills from Coach Matt Callahan organized by age group.

The US Soccer Federation's Claudio Reyna developed and extensive "bible" for soccer coaches at all ages.  It is over 100 pages and is serving as the foundation for coaching development from the club level up to the professional level.

Another great coaching curriculum is by the US Youth Soccer Association.  They have an extensive program that is well worth a read.

Warning: there are thousands of videos on You Tube to demonstrate soccer skills and drills.  Many are quite useless, and you can spend a lot of time looking for something useful here.  But if you want to see a video of a certain skills, like a "Cruyff Turn", it is a great tool.


This is a great site that the BBC put up that has lots of good individual skills exercises and videos.  If you have a kid on your team that wants more, send them to this site and they can practice moves like the Ronaldo Chop, the Zico and the Rai Flick.  


UEFA, the European Football (where you actually use your feet) Association has a good site with lots of tips and drills.  Simular to the BBC site with emphasis on individual skills.  Another site to send eager players to and turn them loose.

This last one has a few free exercises and an extensive subscription site.

Below we have posted sample practice plans by age group as well as pages of drills by age group and also the United States Soccer Federation's best practices guidelines, a long but very useful document to look at.

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