The Technical Director for the club I coach with, Blue Valley Soccer Club, is Peter Vermes, who is also the Coach and Technical Director for Sporting Kansas City. Peter and the other directors of the club run sessions for the coaches two or three times a year. The sessions cover a variety of topics and are intended to show us how they would like the coaches to approach these areas with our teams.
This is a session was presented by Peter and focuses on the technique and coaching point for passing and dribbling.
Two players stand 5 yards apart and pass the ball back and forth with two touches from one player’s right foot to the other player’s right foot and left foot to left foot.
- Be on your toes and ready to move
- Move to meet the ball, pass and return to your starting position
- Focus on proper technique with each controlling touch and pass
- Receive with one foot and pass with the other
Passing and Receiving Technique #1
Player 2 starts between two cones while Player 1 stands with the ball 5 yards away at a single cone. As Player 1 passes to the right, Player 2 moves to settle the ball and pass it back to Player 1. After passing, Player 2 shuffles across to the left and receives another pass, controls it and passes back. Switch positions after 20 seconds to a minute depending on the age and fitness level of your players.
- Control and pass the ball with your “outside” foot
- Both players must focus on the technique of each controlling touch and pass
- Pass to the outside of the cone. Don’t Kill the Cones!
**To adjust this exercises for younger players, have the server roll the ball with his hands until they are able to control and pass accurately enough for Player 2 to receive good passes.
Passing and Receiving Technique #2
Next the server uses his hands to throw the ball for Player 2 to volley back with the inside of the foot
Have the players count how many balls are not played back to the servers hands and have them complete some type of penalty (ie pushups) for each mistake. This will focus the players and motive them use proper technique.
- Control with the thigh and volley back with the inside of the foot
- Control with the chest and volley back with the inside of the foot
Passing and Receiving Technique #3
Next the server throws a high ball and the receiver heads it back.
- When moving to the right, take off from your left foot and raise your left arm to protect yourself as you head the ball
- When moving to the let, take off from your right foot and raise your right arm to protect yourself as you head the ball
- Turn your head to meet the ball squarely and play it back to the server
- Don’t run back and forth, make sure you shuffle to keep your body open to the server
Running with the Ball Technique #1
One player dribbles around his partner who is standing on a cone 5 yards away and then dribbles around the cone he started from. This continues for 20 seconds to a minute before the players change roles.
- Dribble fast in the straight-aways and slow down as you turn before dribbling fast again as you go toward the cone.
- Use the inside of your right foot to turn the ball around your partner and then the cone
Dribble in the other direction after each player has done it to the right once.
Running with the Ball Technique #2
The players now run in a figure-8 pattern using the outside of their foot to turn around their partner or the cone. Switch directions after each player has done it once.
Running with the Ball Technique #3
The player now passes to his partner, runs around him and receives the ball back on the other side before dribbling around the other cone and passing again.
- Accelerate after the pass to move quickly around your partner
- Call for the ball just before you finish your turn so your partner can time the pass correctly
Dribble quickly with the ball around the cone using any of the techniques practiced earlier
Passing and Possession Game
Create two teams of eight and divide them so that four players on each team are in the area and four are just outside the area. The coach serves as a neutral player and moves to support the team in possession. The coach’s role is to make sure the game flows and the players have a lot of success. As the players become more accomplished, the coach should have less and less influence on the game.
The teams play keep-away inside the area. When the ball is passed to an outside player, they change places as the outside player dribbles into the area and the player who passed it take a position on the outside.
- Focus on quality passing technique
- Move to support your teammates and be available for a pass
- Find a player on the outside with longer passes to allow them space to dribble in to
- Players on the outside should be actively moving and calling for the ball to create an angle for a pass
The player on the outside must find a pass to another teammate rather than dribbling into the area.
The session ended with an 8v8 game.
This is a simple session but good one that focuses the players on their technique.