The Benefits of Soccer Practice Plans

Planning is a key factor in whatever we do in life, and as the saying goes if you fail to plan, then you also plan to fail.’ As a coach, you definitely want to write out a list of things to do in your practice sessions today or tomorrow, that’s a practice plan. 

Practice plans are very important as it allows for a perfect and well-organized practice session. Practice plans could involve drills of various kinds, warm ups, techniques and skill development.

How Do These Soccer Practice Plans Work?

 Excellent question. Soccer is meant for everybody, that is to say different people of different ages play soccer. Ranging from kids to teenagers, youths and adults. You have the under 6, under 8, under 10, under 12, under 14, under 16, under 19 and the adult team. 

As a coach, you should make sure you’re considering the age limit while drawing your practice plans. You don’t want to plan something so intimidating to scare the kids away, at the same time, you don’t want to plan something so frugal to put off the youths or adults. Some soccer practice plans are: 

  • Defending practice plans.
  • Goalkeeping practice plans.
  • Attacking practice plans.
  • Midfield practice plans.
  • Passing practice plans and so on. 

hese are only general names for the plans as they have a whole lot of plans under them with different age requirement. Before you start drawing out a practice plan, first check out the age range of your players and class them by their age ranges, then you can pick the practice plans suitable for them. 

Below is a list of warm ups, techniques, drills and skills, who they are designed for and how exactly they work that should constitute your practice plan.

Soccer Marbles Practice Plan

 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 Practice Plan

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: They also designed for kids. Under 6 and under 8 kids.

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

Stop & Go Practice Plan

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 wouldn’t 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 Practice Plan

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.

Heading Practice Plan

 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 Practice Plan

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 Practice Plan

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: 0 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.

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- ………………

his is an example of a practice plan. 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 it and understand in other to train his own team. Generally, it makes it easier for you to coach your players and other coach. 

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.

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Last updated on 02/22/2020 12:32 am

Lazy Legs

"I learned all about life with a ball at my feet." Soccer allows me to push the limitation 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. :)

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