Coaching girls soccer can be tricky. On one hand, you have to treat them equally with any boy’s team and on the other, you have to be aware of their needs. Soccer is a physical game and there’s no room for any meekness. However, in terms of attitudes and priorities in soccer, girls and boys can be completely different. Though creating girls soccer drills can be similar with drills for boys, you can tweak the drills just a little to suit your girl’s team’s needs.
Before you start creating your girls soccer drills for an upcoming training session, here are a few things to consider. Girls are very sensitive and emotional. If you shout at them in front of the whole team, they will take it personally and may hold grudges on you, which will then affect how they perform. So be very careful when you scold your players. Second, girls place more importance on team work rather than individual skills, so create drills where they can play with a partner or a group of other players. And lastly, girls respond well to verbal encouragements and words of affirmation, so be very vocal when they do an excellent job.
Here are three girls soccer drills that can kickstart your practice lesson plan:
Monkey in the Middle
First is the popular Monkey in the Middle. But this drill involves two monkeys. Divide the team into groups of 8, with 2 of them placed in the middle of a circle as the defenders or the “monkeys.” The remaining 6 girls that form the circle pass the ball around with only two touches. The defenders in the middle try to steal, strike, or touch the ball. Once the defenders intercept the ball, one of them will join the circle and the one who made the bad touch will take her place. This is a game of first in, first out. So even if a defender touches the ball but the other defender came in first, she will have to stay and wait for the next interception. This drill practices teamwork, communication, defending, quality touch, dribbling skills, and sacrifice.
The second drill is called the Backpack Race. This drill will serve as your team’s strength training and endurance as this will strengthen your players’ arms and legs. Divide the team into two groups and have the groups line up one after the other. Place a cone in front of the groups, about 8-10 yards away. On the blow of your whistle, the first girl on the line will carry the second girl on her back, as if she’s carrying a backpack and run towards the cone and back. The girl who was the “backpack,” then carries the next girl on her back and so on. The first team to finish, wins. This will foster your players’ bonds and develop their muscular strength. It is also a great exercise to help your girls internalize a more masculine and tough exterior.