- “I need a good drill”
- “Do you know a good practice to work on shooting?”
- “I saw a professional team training and was wondering if it would be good for my U14 team”
These are some of the most frequent things I see in emails from subscribers. While I appreciate them wanting help, it’s important for them to realize that it’s not about a good drill but rather it’s about the right drill (or exercise, activity or game) for their particular team.
The session that works for a college team will probably not work for a U9 team. A session that works for a U8 team will most likely not work for a U16 team.
This can be taken even further by saying the training session that works for one U14 boys team might not work for another U14 boys teams.
Training sessions should be designed based on the specific needs of the individual team and players. While one talented U16 team might need to spend a great deal of time working on crossing and finishing, another team might need to send that same amount of time on 1 v 1 defending.
Around 10 years ago we came out with the very first Full Season Training Session series based on one college teams training sessions. While I think they were well designed, it’s important to realize they were designed for a specific team based on their needs as determined by the previous games. These sessions were then turned into a book and a year later, one coach who purchased the book told me his college team used the exact sessions from the book throughout their entire preseason and it resulted in their best season ever. While I think he meant this as a compliment, my first thought was “how sad”.
The chances that a men’s team in the northeast and a women’s team in the southeast would need the exact same sessions are VERY SMALL. The idea behind these full season training sessions was to show what one team was doing with the hope that others would design their training sessions using the same logic (but not the same drills). Each session was designed with a purpose FOR THAT SPECIFIC TEAM and understanding the reasoning behind the drills was much more important than being able to duplicate the drills. Also, if a person could understand the flow of the sessions and how they used a common theme, it would hopefully allow that person to design more effective and efficient sessions based on their teams needs.
Having read through all of the Full Season Training Sessions, I still believe it’s one of the best ways to understand how and why sessions are designed as they are. I have reused some of them for my own teams (it makes me regret not having kept a record of all of my training sessions from my very first one to my very last one).
Whether you are using some of our Full Season Training Session materials or watching other peoples training sessions and learning that way, make sure you are understanding the how and the why of the development of the sessions and not just the drills themselves.
Just something to think about
By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.