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Practice plans

Covering core and advanced skills, each Practice Plan provides the blueprint for an entire session for you to run with your team. A quick read through and you've got a ready-made session to take on to the pitch. Perfect for when you're running late and don't have time to hunt around for new ideas.

Practice Plans can be adapted by the coach to suit any age group from age 7 to 16, and are appropriate for adult teams. As a Soccer Coach Weekly subscriber you can access all 275 Practice Plans on the website covering the entire range of skills and tactics, in a format you can easily print and take to training.

How to coach shielding the ball- part 1

The shield

in Ball Control and Footwork, Practice plans

This session is crucial to develop a competitive edge in your players. Learning how to challenge for the ball and shield it from an opponent is a vital part of a player’s development as it has big relevance in real games. MORE

How to coach goalkeeper distribution drills- part 1

England’s number one

in Goalkeeping, Practice plans

Goalkeeping is not simply about making eye-catching dives to the top corner of the goal. This session will help improve your goalkeepers’ distribution, catching from crosses and shot stopping – and your outfield players will benefit in dribbling, crossing and shooting techniques. MORE

How to coach strong formation drills- part 1

A formidable formation

in Practice plans

Having a formation that your players know will give your team good organisation. If players can use the shape to help when defending and attacking, this simple 4-3-3 set-up can be used to great effect. MORE

How to coach the goalkeeper w-catch - part 1

Goalkeeper W-catch

in Goalkeeping, Practice plans

Catching the ball is a fundamental goalkeeping technique, and the best way to receive balls arriving at chest height or above is to set the hands in either a “W” or diamond shape. MORE

How to coach goalkeeper circuit drills- part 1

The goalkeeper’s circuit

in Goalkeeping, Practice plans

This goalkeeping circuit improves your goalkeeper’s allround handling skills. From catching under pressure to getting rid of the ball quickly and making reaction saves, this session will improve their technique and decision making. MORE

How to coach the covering defender – part 1

Covering defender

in Defending, Practice plans

When a defender is applying pressure to an attacker with the ball it's important that they have back up in the form of a second or covering defender. That's to ensure that if the attacker beats the first defender, any progress is stifled by the second one. MORE

How to coach goalkeeper distribution drills- part 1

Release-the-goalkeeper

in Goalkeeping, Practice plans

Look to improve your goalkeeper’s confidence by enhancing their ability to receive and pass the ball. This in turn will improve the trust between your goalkeeper and outfield players, who will feel more confident in passing back when placed under pressure. MORE

How to coach get to the ground for keepers - part 1

Get down to the ground

in Goalkeeping, Practice plans

They don’t look as spectacular or nearly as much fun as flying through the air to tip a powerful effort over the bar, but for goalkeepers being able to save shots that skim along the ground is just as important. MORE

How to coach pack attacking drills- part 1

Hunting in packs

in Practice plans, Team Management

When trying to pressure opponents, it’s important that players don’t work alone as they will be outnumbered and simply played around. The key to regaining the ball quickly is for players to work together and hunt aggressively in small groups. MORE

How to coach defending high balls- part 1

Dealing with high balls

in Goalkeeping, Practice plans

This session works on improving a ‘keeper’s ability to deal with a high ball over their head. This can happen when caught off their line or if a cross catches on the wind. It will also test general footwork and handling. MORE

How to coach heading from crosses - part 1

Heading from crosses

in Heading, Practice plans

A high percentage of goals are scored from crosses into the penalty area, which is why it is crucial to practise attacking headers. Some footballers, especially young players, don’t like to head the ball. Use this session to teach your players the correct technique when running to meet a cross and heading towards goal. MORE

How to coach recovery saves- part 1

Recovery saves

in Goalkeeping, Practice plans

There are situations in games where goalkeepers are required to make several saves within a short space of time, just a few seconds. This session encourages your goalkeeper to react quickly and adjust their position to make the next save. MORE

How to coach keeper to shut down angles - part 1

Get your angles right

in Goalkeeping, Practice plans

Soccer commentators are always expressing disapproval when a goalkeeper is beaten by a shot on his near post. Why? Because it is a sure sign he hasn’t positioned himself correctly. This session will iron out any such problems your keeper might have. MORE

How to coach goalkeeper participation drills- part 1

Get in the game, keeper

in Goalkeeping, Practice plans

This week’s session improves your goalkeeper’s active participation during the game. The practices will develop a range of techniques from footwork, starting positions, passing and receiving and communication. MORE

How to coach the next Michael Carrick - part 1

The next… Fernandinho

in Defending, Practice plans

Manchester City's Fernandinho has shown how a defensive midfielder can intercept the ball to break up attacks and then begin a counter attack. This session will help your players emulate the Manchester United star. MORE

How to coach keepers in a 1v1 -part 1

Smother the shot

in Goalkeeping, Practice plans

When an attacker is clean through on goal and wants to dribble around the keeper, the attacker should be favourite to score. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty a keeper can do to give himself a better chance of emerging as the winner in this 1v1 duel. MORE

How to coach goalkeepers to close the angle- part 1

Narrow the angle

in Goalkeeping, Practice plans

Improving your goalkeeper’s ability to come off the goal line to pressure the attacking forward and narrow the shooting angles will stop your team leaking easy goals. If there is less for an attacker to aim at, scoring goals will inevitably be tougher. MORE

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