Free play soccer warm up drill

I know we’re always talking about the importance of structuring your soccer training sessions, planning ahead with your coaching drills and tactics, briefing your assistants and having everything in place before your young soccer (football) players arrive. But sometimes a little bit of chaos is good, too. Try the following soccer warm-up drill to kick start your coaching session.

Recently, I’ve been starting my soccer coaching drills sessions with free play. When all the players have arrived I get them into the centre circle. We talk briefly about the game just gone and discuss what we will be doing in the training session ahead and what we hope to achieve. Then we let our players run around for five or ten minutes of free play.

This is a very simple warm up drill. Give every player a ball and just let them go. Put a goalkeeper in each end (use your soccer coaching assistants). Tell your players to roam all over the pitch with the ball at their feet, under control. Tell them they can shoot if they like, but that you really want to see them showing off their soccer skills.

I like to chase around among the players, providing an obstacle for them to dribble past, or asking them to show a turn or disguise. Occasionally we might take a player to one side to work on a particular aspect of their technique.

This is a great warm-up drill, particularly for cold days. Your players get literally hundreds of touches early on in the drill session. Their “soccer-vision” is sharpened as they have to look up to avoid the other players. Their blood will be pumping and they’re now ready to concentrate on the drill session ahead.

For another fun soccer (football) drill to kick-start your coaching session, click here.


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