Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke is head coach and editor of Soccer Coach Weekly, providing thousands of subscribers worldwide with drills, insight and advice covering all aspects of coaching.

Soccer drills and small-sided games by Dave Clarke

Transitions: react to possession turnover

in Attacking, Defending, Tactics

Transitions are a vital part of match play - players must react quickly to winning or losing the ball because in these instances games are won or lost. It is vital that as soon as the ball is won or lost teams react instantly. An attacking team that has lost the ball must work hard to immediately win it back and a team that has won the ball must attack at pace. MORE

1v1 skills to beat the goalkeeper

in Ball Control and Footwork, Email newsletters

Everyone finds it exciting when a player goes through 1 on 1 against the goalkeeper... if it's your attacker you are on the edge thinking this is it a goal, but if your team is defending you are looking for your goalkeeper to smother the shot. Attackers should score but often they will not due to a number of reasons like taking too long to shoot, missing the target, hitting the keeper with a shot and even slipping over. MORE

Anticipate long passes

in Defending, Small Sided Games

It is important to press defenders and not give them chance to play long passes that can catch an unwary defence out. Coaching players to force the player at the back to play short gives chances for team mates to push on and win possession. MORE

Small sided = game-led play

in Email newsletters, Small Sided Games

When you hear mentor's talking about getting your coaching point across to get the best out of your players, one of the ways to ensure all your players are tuning into your coaching is to use small-sided games. In these games you get a much clearer picture of which players are picking up on the coaching points you have been making. MORE

Transition in defence

in Defending

When a team wins or loses the ball, they have to react. Here the defenders must react quickly or they will lose a goal. It encourages teams to close the centre of the pitch, in order to force play away from the goal. MORE

Locked on goal

in Attacking, Shooting

This is a good session to teach players to shoot or combine to shoot quickly from varied distances under pressure. The more players shoot, the more chance the team has of scoring goals. MORE

Be creative around the penalty area

in Passing, Shooting

This will help your team make killer passes into the final third, with clever play releasing players so they beat the offside trap and go 1v1 on the keeper. It is a great session for attackers to show off timing and technique. MORE

Coach better defending

in Defending, Email newsletters

It is not easy coaching in a pandemic. But one thing I know my players like doing is to give them a task to do which involves watching a match on TV. Say it's Charlie who plays left wingback ... he's a Chelsea fan so his task is to watch Ben Chilwell and give good things or bad things that happen when he is defending. The players love it! MORE

Attack high balls in the box

in Attacking, Heading

Session on heading for older age groups 16+. Please check your local rules on heading during practise. This is all about making the most of high balls in the penalty area to score more goals. MORE

Watch and discuss training games online

in Email newsletters

I know that when I get my team back in training one of the first games we will play will be a series of Rondos. They are food and drink to my players and they cannot wait to get back to them. So you can watch this video with your players and discuss all the aspects of Rondos with them MORE

Are you coaching the right things?

in Email newsletters, Passing

This week I spoke to Alf Galustian the co-founder of Coerver Coaching about coaching the individual in a team. He makes some great points that are vital to think about when you are coaching your players. Is each individual developing to be the best they can be? It's not an easy question to answer. MORE

Coaching individuals in a team game

in Podcasts

Dave clarke asked Alf Galustian this question: "Bayern Munich has removed U9 and U10 teams and their academy will now start at U11. Is this a model other professional clubs should follow?" Find out what he thinks. Also session planning, what are the most important things to consider? We also discuss the current Covid restrictions and how we can help players to practice at home. MORE

Individual skill: deadly dead balls

in Email newsletters, Set pieces

Perfect set pieces can be a thing of beauty... but they can also spell disaster. Think of how many times you see a free kick sail over the bar or a corner put your team from attacking to defending a counter attack. Dead ball situations are an individual skill from the player taking the set piece but also they encompass a whole team working to take advantage of the situation. MORE

A career in coaching

in Podcasts

In this podcast Dave Clarke talks to Keith Boanas about dealing with coaching in the lockdown including keeping fit, the learning curve for coaches as well as players, sessions he has had published in Soccer Coach Weekly and Elite Soccer, his role with the Palace for Life Foundation, what skills a coach should be looking to learn from coach education and life as a published author. MORE

Simple fitness drills for all ages

in Email newsletters, Fitness and Diet

During lockdown or anytime you find you cannot get your team to training for a period of time you should make sure they are doing things to keep fit. They need things that they will find are fun and things that they will want to do because it is a competition. Without matches they are missing that competitive edge and that will add to their boredom when they cannot get out and play. MORE

The art of the keepy uppy

in Ball Control and Footwork, Blog

This week during lockdown we’ve set up a league at our club where boys in age groups challenge each other to beat the keepy uppy record – keeping the ball in the air with different parts of the body but mainly the foot. It helps to get them to try to do as many as possible because they want to win the league. MORE

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