Is there a magic formula to soccer training? Is there a strategy with specific skills and drills that is better than others? How is it that some clubs, teams, and/or coaches always seem to end up with winning teams.
Instead of a long in-depth study of what IF there is a magic formula, let’s just ruin the surprise and say – Yes! Absolutely there is. There IS a better soccer strategy to training soccer players in order to produce winning teams.
This magic formula, although simplistic in form, has many complicated and detailed parts. It is easy to grasp yet elusive sometimes in execution. Like any team there are compilations – mainly young people! So as you look at this formula and say, “What the heck, that’s exactly what I am doing!” don’t get frustrated. Know that along the way there will be difficulties and setbacks, but that your success depends on being consistently committed to the process.
So what is the trick? What is the right approach to soccer training?
Formula For Successful Soccer Training
Have a PLAN
Knowledge and Skills
Have a PLAN – People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. Before you ever begin you must start with an End Result in Mind – Set a goal to accomplish. Spend a little time to determine for your team: what you’ve accomplished in the past, where you are now, and where you want to be at the end of the year. Use the technique of S.M.A.R.T. goal setting (google it). Build your plan from your Dreams to Daily goals, and then make a habit out of working towards those goals. When your daily goals become your habits, you will get the results you want.
Ownership – you must sell! You must sell each and every practice that those dreams and goals that your team set, that they are possible. Sell to each player that if the team is going to win that it is up to the players to make it happen. It is up to them to do the work necessary to succeed. It won’t happen on accident. I won’t happen magically in the middle of the night. Hard work works! And they have to be sold to go do the hard work. The players have to be told and sold to do MORE than what is asked. They have to be led and inspired to get out and take the extra time to go above and beyond. Fill them with passion to train and become better. The desire to win is useless without the desire to prepare. They must own their preparation. The reward of the game goes to the one who has earned it most before that game is ever played.
Knowledge and Skills – Coaches this is on you! You must be able to teach and demonstrate the skills necessary in order for the player to succeed. It’s not what they know that will hurt them. It’s what they don’t know that will hold them back. Give the players the knowledge and skills so that they can win. You must set them up for success. If you don’t know soccer skills – learn it! R&D – rip off and duplicate! Use a program with skills video tutorials that show you how to do it, research great coaches, get a book on it, study tactics. Do what it takes so that you have the tool box necessary to do your job so they can do theirs.
Time – Commit! Be dedicated and never quit. Stay on your path to success and be relentless in your pursuit of winning. Be unreasonable and determined. Don’t be distracted by the setbacks or the opinions of others. Stay focused on your mission to train. Remember that the only place that Reward comes before Work is in the dictionary. Get focused on the work you have to do and put in the time – each and everyday. There are 1440 minutes everyday – find time and make it count. No shortcuts, no skipped workouts, no missed training… sell, sell, sell. Take the time, do the work!
Results – “Every Result that you desire is preceded by a process that is required to produce that result. When you commit to that process and commit to it for an extended period of time the result takes care of itself.”
Now you might say to yourself that the above is all well and good and that it can be set in motion, but give me more!
This practice plan represents a better soccer strategy in USA for youth players.
OK, here ya go.
Formula For Successful Soccer Training On the Field
Sample Practice Process – 90 minutes Team Training:
***When players show up to practice they Immediately begin with the ball, no exceptions – 10 minutes – Rondo (1 touch only), keep away, monkey in the middle, etc.
5 minutes – Mental practice prep as a team – sell, question, challenge, sell! Talk to them.
15-20 minutes – Everyone has a ball, ball skills, efficiency training must include physical component, passive pressure and limited direct pressure only. NO waiting in lines.
15-20 minutes – Topic. Small side direct pressure 3 or 4 at most. Everyone is engaged and involved. Multiple games or lanes at once, limited to no lines.
10-15 minutes – Phase play. Make this tactical functional. Work through patterns. Limit patterns to 2-3 per week. My opinion 4:1 attacking to defending.
20-30 minutes – Play. Everyone plays up to 11v11. Or 3 teams with one rotating in. No subs! Coach on point with your topic. Limited stopping, let them play – only stop play 3 times. Coach individual players within the scrimmage.