What do you need to run a soccer practice? There are certain things every soccer coach needs, no matter the level and ability the players they’re coaching are at, when running a soccer practice or training session. There are certain things every soccer coach needs, whether they're the coach of Barcelona or the coach of a local youth soccer team in Iowa.
You’ll need some cones, to mark out a possession or keep away game. The key thing in a possession game is to force your players to play under pressure, so you'll need to start out in a big space and then slowly close the area down to make it harder for your players to keep the ball when under pressure - this is why you'll need cones.
You’ll also need some small goals, to setup a three versus three game. You’ll need two large or standard goals to work on crossing and finishing or goalkeeper training.
Oh, and you’ll need some bibs or vests, to distinguish the players on each team when you face off in a full field scrimmage. While you might not need these items at every practice, over the course of a season you’ll need these items at some point in time.
Even Alex Morgan and the U.S. women's national team use practice bibs. If you as a soccer coach are prepared with all the equipment at practice you'll earn more respect from your players. This idea might seem a bit silly but it matters if a coach is orangized and runs a smooth practice. They'll know you care and want them to learn and get better.
If Manchester United uses cones and vests to play a piggy in the middle type game they call boxes, then I'm sure it's good enough for your youth team too.
But of course the most important thing you’ll need is a few good soccer balls, without those of course you can’t really run any kind of soccer practice, unless you’re just working on soccer conditioning or fitness, but what player wants to come to a training session and not touch a soccer ball?
Plus, today’s modern game it’s all about incorporating the soccer ball in every drill, even fitness drills. After all, instead of having your players jog around the field without a ball at their feet, why not make them dribble around the field with just their left or right foot.
The beauty of soccer is you don’t really need all that much to run a training session, but these few items will make you’re job as coach much easier and help you teach the game to players of all levels. If you don't have cones or vests, it just makes it harder to run a proper soccer practice.
What’s important though, as a soccer coach, is having a plan for each practice. Your players will appreciate it when your training sessions are planned out, there’s a progression from skills training on the ball at the start of a practice to small-sided games and then eventually to an actual full game or walk through on regulation sized field.
And having the right equipment and gear for coaching soccer is key to being able to implement your plan for each training session and teaching the game of soccer. No player wants to show up to a training session where there's no plan or there's a lack of equipment.
It shows you care and understand the game when you as the coach have a practice session planned out and setup even before your players arrive at the field. If you don't have the right amount of soccer balls, the vests, the cones or any small goals then you can't run a good soccer practice.
During Barcelona's training sessions they use cones and poles to setup certain drills: