EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Volleying

Volleys can be used for passing, shooting or clearing the ball away from the goal your team is defending. But whatever the situation, it’s important that players apply the correct technique for kicking a ball when it’s off the ground.

What this session is about

  1. Developing technique for kicking the ball when it’s not on the ground
  2. Directing the ball straight ahead
  3. Passing, shooting, defending

What to think about

  • Get in line with the ball.
  • Eyes on the ball, head steady.
  • Extended ankle.
  • Use laces for control plus power.
  • Strike through vertical mid-line and bottom half of the ball, but not underneath.
  • Make good contact.

Set-up

  1. One large playing area
  2. Two players per group
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
7-10 minutes20-25 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

  • One player bounces the ball at their own feet and volleys it to their partner at chest height,
    10 yards away.
  • Second player catches the ball and repeats the technique.
  • After 10 volleys each, switch to the weaker foot.
Bounce the ball and volley to your partner.

Bounce the ball and volley to your partner.


Development

  • Rather than let the ball bounce, the players drop the ball and strike it before it reaches the ground.
  • Increase the distance between the players. First player drops the ball to volley it before it hits the ground, but this time directs the ball so their partner can volley it straight back. The first player then catches the ball and repeats the practice.
  • Increase the distance again, but this time place a pole between the players, which they try to hit and dislodge out of the ground.
Now try and hit the pole in the middle with your volley.

Now try and hit the pole in the middle with your volley.


Game situation

Spilt players into two teams of equal numbers. Mark out a ‘tennis court’, say 10 x 20m in size and with a half-way line, and assign a team to each half. To begin the tennis game one player volleys the ball from behind their own back line into the opponents’ half of the court. The other team has, say two bounces and three touches, to receive the ball and play it back. However, the ball doesn’t have to bounce and the ball can be played back after one touch.

If the ball does touch the ground three times, is knocked out of the court or is touched more than three times, a point is awarded to the serving team. Keep score as you would in tennis.

Play a game of soccer tennis using volleys to really sharpen your accuracy.

Play a game of soccer tennis using volleys to really sharpen your accuracy.


What to call out

  • “Watch the ball all the way onto your foot”
  • “Don’t try to hit the ball too hard”
  • “Concentrate on timing”
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