Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

The advantages of playing at home

David Clarke

Set out a weekly plan and have the players keep a diary of their daily physical activity, as other forms of exercise can add to their football development.

Some players will respond to this, others might find it a struggle. Give your players tasks to work on from session to session, just like football ‘homework’, although don’t use that word, as it may well put some players off. Perhaps you can call it “extras” or “add-ons”.

Check that the tasks you gave each player have been completed, for instance by asking them to demonstrate them at the next session.

What tasks can you give the players?

Ball control exercises

Any type of juggling, trapping, flicking will serve your players well. Ask them to make up a 30-second performance.

Movement skills

Dodging, stopping quickly, accelerating, moving backwards, or sideways. Again, have the players make up their own movement circuit and demonstrate it at the next session.

Kicking skills

Chipping, curling, or firing the ball at pace is good. Kicking accuracy games such as Football Golf are very enjoyable, and can be played by a lone player or in groups.

Observational skills

Remember, not every type of homework has to be in the practical sense. Your players should be encouraged to watch as much football on the television (or better still, live) as their parents deem appropriate. Encourage youngsters to reference and observe as much as possible. For as many who write down a spectacular overhead kick, you’ll get the same number who comment on a box-to-box midfielder’s tireless running or a goalkeeper’s instructions when lining up a wall.

Get mum and dad to help

Another thing to consider is that working on their own can be limiting for kids. Encourage the players to ask their mum or dad to help in these situations by feeding the ball to strike or being the target for the pass. You may be surprised at just how much your players can round their technique in between training sessions, and the parents will undoubtedly enjoy playing their part also.


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