Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice


You don’t need to kick people to be a good player

One of my players got hit by a two-footed challenge and went down in great pain. Luckily nothing was broken and he was able to walk after a long rest. I was furious but the opposition manager and his player were unrepentant, the boy even chuckled to his team mates.

The problem is young players are watching these kinds of tackles on the TV and replicating them on the pitch. And some coaches are seeing it as a way to make their team stronger.

Earlier this season in the Premier League, Newcastle United’s Hatem Ben Arfa suffered a broken leg in a tackle by Nigel de Jong of Manchester City and Wolves’ Karl Henry was sent off for a wild challenge on Jordi Gomez of Wigan.

Harry Redknapp thinks managers should drop players who commit reckless tackles. The Tottenham Hotspur manager is worried that someone will have a career threatening injury unless there is a crackdown on bad challenges.

“You don’t need to kick people to be a good player. The only way to calm them down is by leaving them out of the team and by saying to them: ‘I don’t need you being sent off every week and making reckless tackles. We need 11 men and until you can time your tackles and make good tackles then you’re not going to play’.”

It’s not just the Premier League managers that should take a firm hand with bad tackles it should be coaches right through all levels of soccer that should make sure their players don’t do them.

Watch this horror tackle in a non-league game:



Xavi plays the perfect through ball

Once your players can pass and move the ball you need to get them to focus on more advanced types of passes. The through ball is a ball passed into space for the target player to run on to – a great attacking weapon. It is a skill players develop over time, theability to put a ball where an attacker can run on to it.

Below is a clip of Xavi at Barcelona playing an amazing through ball to Thierry Henry. It is such a clever ball that the defenders do not see it coming. Watch though how good recovery play from the defender and a brave goalkeeper block Henry’s attempt to score.

You can also see two great goals from the FA Cup games at the weekend. When Leeds shocked Manchester United the goal came from a perfect through ball by Jonny Howson of Leeds who played the ball into space behind the Manchester defenders. Jermaine Beckford was quickest to the ball and he beat the goalkeeper with his shot.

The second goal was in the Tranmere v Wolves game when Wolves’ Nenad Milijas played a ball through the heart of the Tranmere defence to Matt Jarvis who fired home from just inside the box.

Watch all three goals below.

You can get your players to practice playing the through ball using coned off zones at either end of the pitch with an attacker and a 3v3 in the centre where players have to compete for the ball then pass it through to the attackers.

 Soccer Skills and Drills




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