|Barcelona’s training sessions also include obstacle course like routines. Of course Barcelona always start with some keep away or a possession game, but when they do drills they are never standing still in one place, they’re always moving and jumping and cutting before they take a shot. Challenge your players to make adjustments when they’re running with the ball at their feet.|
The soccer drill doesn’t have to be as elaborate as this Barcelona drill below. And you don’t need that many players working within the drill. Plus, this is something you can work on individually. The key is just adding different skills together and then building off of them. That’s the key thing to do in soccer training sequences or an obstacle course – which in many ways is similar to soccer patterns of play.
Every top level soccer team works on sequences of play and patterns of play. It’s about triangles and support from up high in the attack, at the wings and then in the back. Players have to move and make runs at the right time to offer support and keep the sequences of passes going.
Field size: half field of the soccer field
Number of players: split into two teams; teams from two to six
Age range: 10-14
Description: Create zones on the soccer field where players have to complete a certain task. In one zone players have to juggle the ball ten times. In the next zone they have to dribble through a set of cones with their left or right foot only.
Next, they have to sprint for ten yards before they take a shot into a small goal. Incorporate all different kinds of skills and moves within the drill. Maybe players have to do sit ups and push ups in one zone or head the ball five times up in the air to themselves. Or they play a give and go with a coach or do an overlap.
Obstacle courses force players to do things when they’re tired and they’re also fun. Players like to be challenged and compete with other players – it’s almost an innate quality in every player that they try to be the best.
Break into two groups and have teams race one another through the obstacle course once they start to get the hang of it. This can actually also be a good warm up drill.
Think of the TV show Survivor and come up with your best challenge or game and apply it to your soccer practice. Maybe the players have to strike the ball in the air into a certain space. There’s really no skill that you can’t add to these obstacle courses to challenge your players.
Equipment needed: Cones, small goal with a net, and practice vests – for each team to wear.
Christie Rampone, World Champion defender of the U.S. Women’s National Team, shows an obstacle course variation that can be used in any team or individual training session.
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