What I love about my U9s team is that when I come out to warm them up before a match they are all ready and sitting there waiting for me... with a cheer they all descend on the bag of training balls and start warming themselves up. MORE
Diamonds sharpen skills
This session sharpens an array of soccer skills at the beginning of a season when players need to get their bodies back into balance and refresh their technique on the ball. This is a great session to use for sharpening awareness and coordination.
Set up a 15×15-yard area, with a five-yard diamond shape in the middle. We used eight players.
How to play it
There are two players on each side. Each pair has a ball between them. On your command, players must dribble and complete various skills before passing out and waiting for their next turn. When a skill is completed the player follows his pass and joins the next group.
Try calling out these skills: dribble around the cone and go left; dribble around the cone and go right; drop right shoulder and go left; drop left shoulder and go right; right-footed sole drag and go left; left-footed sole drag and go right; right-footed step over and go left; left-footed step-over and go right.
Add more skills depending on the ability of your players.
Players must focus on their technique on the move, working to their maximum and performing at a constant pace so that the motion of the diamond is maintained. Awareness is important too – can players react to both late and early instructions?
- 1. Players set up in pairs around the square and wait for the coach to call out the instructions and signal go
- 2. The first player in each pair must dribble to the cone and perform a skill
- 3. Once the player has performed the skill they pass to their left and follow the ball. They wait for their next turn
- 4. Here the players performed a step over before they reached the square then had to turn to their left and pass the ball
- 5. The next go they drop their left shoulder and go around the cone and pass to the player on their right