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Session 13

If you have a small number of players, such as 2-4, start with very small-sided games like 1v1 or 2v2 and add players to each of the teams as they arrive at your session. If you have more players, divide them into multiple small teams ensuring as much balance as possible in terms of skills and physical attributes. Once the majority of players have arrived make trades and switch players if you need to in order to make the teams more balanced or to get like with like.

This segment aims to enhance physical literacy by focusing on speed, agility, and strength, setting a high-energy tone for the session. The activities are designed to improve players’ movement skills, cardiovascular fitness, and readiness for more complex soccer drills. This segment also serves as a dynamic warm-up, reducing the risk of injuries and ensuring players are mentally and physically prepared for the session. Coaches are encouraged to be creative within these guidelines, tailoring activities to suit the age and skill level of their players. The key is to keep every player moving and engaged throughout the entire segment.

Speed Drills: Short, intense sprints or shuttle runs to boost acceleration and speed.

Agility Work: Obstacle courses or cone drills requiring quick changes of direction, enhancing footwork and coordination.

Strength Exercises: Basic bodyweight movements like jump squats, planks, or burpees to build core and muscular strength.

Ball Skills (for advanced players): Fast-paced dribbling courses or quick passing games, integrating technical skills with physical conditioning.

Field Setup: The playing area is divided into three horizontal zones: two end zones where the green and blue teams are positioned and a middle zone occupied by the red team.

Teams: There are three teams involved in this drill: the green team, the blue team, and the red team. The green and blue teams are allies, playing together against the red team. The green team starts with possession of the ball in their end zone, while the blue team waits in the opposite end zone. The red team is positioned in the middle zone one red player goes into the green team’s zone to challenge for the ball.

Activity: The green team works to maintain possession against the pressure of a single red defender. Their goal is to accurately pass the ball through the ranks of red defenders to a teammate on the blue team, positioned across the middle zone. Upon a successful pass, the play dynamically shifts as a new red defender steps into the blue team’s zone to challenge possession, while the previously active red defender falls back to the middle to aid in intercepting future passes. The drill proceeds with the blue team now attempting to return the ball to the green team, continuing the cycle of possession and defense without interruption.

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Field Setup: Create a square playing area suitable for a small-sided game. Mark each side of the square clearly to indicate the directional play for each team. Place one player from each team outside of the square on their respective sides: one blue player at the North and South ends, and one green player at the East and West ends.

Teams: There are two teams of five players each. Inside the square, three blue players face off against three green players in a bid to retain possession. Each team has two additional players stationed outside the square on opposite sides, aligned with the direction they are playing.

Activity: The three players from each team inside the square aim to maintain possession and score points by successfully passing the ball to their teammates positioned outside the square. The blue team scores by passing the ball from the inside player to their teammate on the North side and then to the one on the South side, while the green team scores by passing from East to West. The activity is continuous, with teams aiming to quickly switch the point of attack to their outside players while preventing the opposition from intercepting.

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Finish your session with Winner Stay On games.

“Winner Stays On” is a dynamic format for organizing soccer games involving three teams. In this setup, two of the teams compete in a match where the victory condition is set at scoring either one or two goals, depending on the preferred pace of the game. A single goal makes for a faster, more intense match, while a two-goal requirement allows for a slightly longer and strategic play. Additionally, to ensure that the matches don’t extend indefinitely, a time limit is imposed. If the game ends in a tie within this period, both teams are rotated out, allowing the third team to play. The winning team of each match stays on the field to face the next team, fostering a competitive yet fun environment. This cycle continues, offering each team multiple opportunities to play and compete.