Tips on How to Create a Great Soccer Lesson Plan

One of the most popular sports in the world is soccer. To have a great team, soccer lesson plan is important. It takes time, planning, commitment and training to achieve a great team. 

As you plan the soccer lesson, you visualize each step of the training and the goal you want to achieve at the end of the lesson. 

Planning ensures that you have thought about everything that needs to be done during the training as well as presenting the idea in the most logical way. 

Whether the team is playing as a profession or for fun, soccer lesson plans are important to achieve a great team and help the team gain the many benefits that come with these lessons. Here are guidelines that can help when planning this lesson.

Creating the Plan 

Design a session: This is the road map of your lesson. It is an organized description of the activities and resources that you will need to guide your team in achieving the objective of the training. Some of the things to include when designing a session are:

  • Number of sessions in a week/month/ year.
  • How long each session will take.
  • The method of training of each session.
  • The test or measures you will use to make sure that each participant has learned what you trained. To design a session, it is important to use a standard training template that will help you come up with a chat that will display the flow of the session. 

Include the Objectives of the Game

Soccer Lesson Plan: Include the Objectives of the Game

The objectives or the purpose of the training or of the lesson is what will determine the plan that you will put in place about the entire lesson. The objective will help you to decide on

  • The restrictions that you will use during the training. These restrictions are supposed to help towards achieving the purpose of the game.
  • The time duration of each session as well as the whole duration of the training.
  • Choosing the area of the ground that is most applicable to the purpose of the training. 

Specify your Drills and Activities According to Age Group

This sport is not limited by age. When planning a lesson, make sure that the activities that you are putting in place for the lesson suits the age group taking the lesson. 

Bear in mind the physical and mental age of the group you are giving the lesson to. Some of the things you will put in plan when doing this are;

  • Do not put too ambitious or too easy plans because they could lead to discipline problems. Let the plan be moderate for the group you will be training.
  • Let the activities and the drills that you are putting in place be ones that the age group in training will be able to master. This does not mean that they have to be too easy; it simply means that the activities will be attainable at the end of the lesson.
  • Take into consideration the age characteristics of your players. For example, the characteristics of children are seeing things from their own perspectives. When planning a lesson for them, you will put this into consideration and pick an activity or drill that will train them the importance of passing the ball.
  • Let the activities that you are putting in place be the ones that will lead to a great teamwork, which is one of the main goals of soccer.
  • The drills and activities you are putting in plan should also be planned according to the reason of the sport. Identify if the sport is a profession or for fun.
  • For professional soccer, the activities will have to be more intense and one that will sharpen the skills of the players to make sure that they achieve their professional goals. 

Design the Flow of the Activities

The way that the activities are planned should flow well. This means that you can start with simple activities to the complex activities.

This will however be determined by the team that you are planning the lesson for as well as the age group of the team. This can be done by: 

  • Identify the goal of the training. Know what the team needs to achieve by a certain time. One of the best ways to do this is to identify the skill that each member of the team requires. The team members will have different understanding and mastery level, when you are planning the activities, put each and every player in mind.
  • Put in mind the challenges the players may face during the session. This will help you determine the pace of the training. Again, age group here is a factor when considering setting the pace of the activities. The purpose of the game is also key when setting the pace.
  • Increase the exercise level in small amount of time and make the practicing sessions to be on a regular basis for a specific period of time. This is especially when the purpose of the training is competition [professional].
  • Have a good communication skill of the activities. This will help the players adapt each and every level of training without straining. Design what to include in each session depending on the age group of the team you are planning the lesson for; you need to know what to include in every session of the lesson.

Activities That Are Never Left Out

Nutrition: for good training and best achievement, a certain nutrition plan has to be achieved. This will be included and well observed when planning a soccer lesson. The team must know the right diet that is required for the training

Design the Flow of the Activities
  • All the activities such as passing, shooting, juggling, ball control, speed of play, defending, tricks and skills, speed training and fitness, mental training among others. With all the activities listed, you will now be able to fit in every activity in sessions that you are planning to Make sure that your practice makes sense.
  • While training for sports may be figured at as general exercise, it is important to note that soccer lessons must bring the sense of soccer. 
  • Use training skills that will be helpful during this specific sport. Set realistic objectives that go along with soccer. The exercise and the nutrition observed must also be applicable for soccer.
  • Plan on mental motivation that will help the players to get motivation about achieving the purpose of soccer sport.
  • Let the players know where each practice fits in the game. Get to know the source of all the training materials. The lessons will include many other items. These items are necessary and it may get quite difficult to train without them.
  • When planning a soccer lesson plan, list all the items that are required, where you will source them. This includes the balls, the uniform, shoes, if you will use diagrams and charts among other training materials necessary. Putting these things in place will give you a swift moment of training, which is necessary for achieving the purpose of the game. 

Design Diagrams

Diagrams are one of the best ways to put ideas in the mind of the players. When designing the training diagrams remember to:

  • Give an explanation of the diagram and the features you will use in the diagram. There are many diagrams that can be used in the lesson to give the player all the idea they need to know about his game. Find out about all the useful diagrams and put them in place when planning for soccer lesson. 
  • Keep them simple

Drills for You Practice Plan

Soccer Marbles

 This is a plan made for individual competition, to check the player’s accuracy to pass the ball, and the weight with which he passes it, it’s also used to introduce the difference between a pass and a kick.

Who is it designed for: As you might have guessed, it’s meant for under 6 and under 8 kids.

How it works: A weighted ball is placed at the center of the grid. This grid is large enough to accommodate the number of players but also small enough for them to be able to kick it out. Each player has a ball with which they try to hit the weighted ball and move it out of space.

Random Cones 

This one deals with dribbling. It is to develop their body control and agility. To also teach them how to dribble and concentrate.

Who is it designed for: This is also designed for kids. Under 6 and under 8 kids.

How it works:  Cones are placed dramatically around the grid. The player has to weave in and out of the cones first without the ball and then with the ball. It is a very effective dribbling practice plan.

Stop & Go

This is another dribbling practice plan. Stop and go teaches the players involved ball co-ordination and how to keep their heads up, it also makes use of their speed. They must always be on their toes and keep the ball close.

Who is it designed for: This is for under 8 kids who have practiced random cones.

How it works: If the players have practiced random cones, this would not be hard. Here, there are no cones involved. Players dribble the ball freely in different directions according to the coach’s command. When the coach says stop, they stop, if he says move, they move and if he says change, they change directions still dribbling the ball.

Ball Stealing

This is a practice plan to train athletes on alertness, foot co-ordination and speed. It is interesting and also effective.

Who is it designed for: It is designed for kids under 10. They’re just developing so footwork is important.

How it works: The team is split into 2 groups, they have to wear different vests. The players in one of the teams are given balls to dribble inside the area without losing their balls to the other team who are trying to get it. At the end, the team with the most balls win.


 As the name implies, it is to develop great heading skills. There are other plans too for heading, this is only one of it. It also helps to build the players’ confidence.

Who is it designed for: This heading plan is designed for kids under 12 for boosting their confidence.

How it works:  Each player tosses the ball in the air, heads it twice and then heads it to another player. This is usually done in groups of 3 or 4.

Receiving Air Balls

This practice plan promotes your players’ flexibility, co-ordination and ball touch and confidence. It also builds team work.

Who is it designed for: This plan is for teenagers. The under 14s.

How it works: The players are divided into groups of 5. 4 players must keep kicking the ball amongst themselves while a player runs around just outside the group. If he returns to his point without the ball touching the ground, their team gets a point.

Expansion & Contraction

This one checks for players’ mobility to support the ball and maintain balance.

Who is it designed for:  This is designed for players under 16.

How it works: Teams should be grouped into teams of 4 or 5. They should make rounds of 60 seconds. Teams should try and score highest number of consecutive passes per round. Defenders should be rotated per round. The first pass is always free.

Zonal Defending Practice Plan

This practice plan even has health benefits, it increases blood circulation. It allows the players to practice simple rhythmic movements.

Who is it designed for:  This practice plan is designed for under 19s.

How it works: 10 consecutive passes are equal to 1 goal here. Players work as a block. This is a tactical technique to balance and compact. The 1st defender looks for opportunity to make play predictable for teammates.

Things to Consider While Creating your Practice Plan

As earlier said, these are just few of the numerous practice plans that exist. These plans are also effective but here’s the question, how do you create a formidable practice plan? Do you just add all the techniques above and bam, your practice plan is ready? No. Here’s a list of things to consider while creating your practice plan. 

  • The skill or focus you would like to work on for that day.
  • The way you would like to work on it.
  • How many sub sessions will you be having.
  • The time you’ll like to budget for these sub sessions.
  • How would you like to create challenge in the day’s practice?

A Typical Example Of A Soccer Practice Plan

Here’s an example on how a typical practice plan could look like. Let’s say the skill to work on is receiving air balls. You could go like this.

Practice plan for 12th June 1993

Goal: Strengthening team work with receiving air balls. 

  • Warm up- 10 minutes.
  • Technical emphasis- 10 minutes.
  • Small sided- 15 minutes.
  • Small sided(specific)- 15 minutes.
  • Group activity- 20 minutes
  • After play- ………………

You could spice up yours by going further to explain each step especially if you’re not the only person who will be reading it. 

Well, another practice plan could be an outline of the skills you want to coach in the long run in a particular period of time. Let’s say you want to teach dribbling, passing, attacking, ball familiarity, finishing, ball control. Your practice plan could look like this.

Practice plans for April - June 2012

  • Ball familiarity- 1 week.
  • Ball control- 2 weeks.
  • Passing- 2 weeks.
  • Attacking- 3 weeks.
  • Dribbling- 1 week.
  • Finishing- 3 weeks

What are the Benefits Of Soccer Practice Plans and Why Should You Use Them?

 The benefits of soccer practice plans are numerous. Every coach wants to build an excellent soccer team. Practice plans help you outline the skills you want to teach during practice sessions. 

They help you in your quest of building an excellent team. They help you mark out the weak areas of your team, so you can focus more on them. It also ensures that the at least one and half hour you spend during practice sessions is not a waste. They help you outline a well-prepared soccer course for the long run. 

Since practice plans are pre-determined and are outlined step by step, it makes a simple learning curve for your players and also gives you a plan for a successful coaching. While preparing your practice plans, you could get new insights and ideas to help your players sharpen their playing skills.

 It also sharpens your coaching skills. It also portrays you as a decisive person that knows what he or she wants and values his or her time. 

If organized well, another coach could easily read and understand it in other to train his own team. Generally, it makes it easier for you to coach your players and other coach. 

Coaching Board

Final Thoughts

Soccer practice plans are very important in building a formidable soccer team and developing your coaching skills. If you’ve chosen soccer as a career, then you must know how important planning is in your career. Remember, age range is a major factor in creating a soccer practice plan. 

Coaching also becomes enjoyable when you start creating practice plans. It means, less stress and more spare time for yourself. There is much to learn from when it comes to soccer lesson plan. 

Last update on 2023-09-29 / This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Lazy Legs

"I learned all about life with a ball at my feet." Soccer allows me to push the limits of creativity and express myself without saying a word. Soccer is my addiction. I train, I play, and I repeat every single day. I hope you like my site. Feel free to say hey. I don't bite. :)