Soccer has different elements. Effective training requires different approaches. The objective is to develop and assess different skills among the players on different instances.
Different drills help in identifying unique capacities of the players. It can help in establishing the best playing position of a player particularly when they are under the age of 14 years. The following are the core u14 soccer drills.
The 4 versus 3 Attack Versus Defense
The tactic allows the players to nurture the attacking skills. It applies commonly as a way of training how to coordinate an attack and utilize the numerical advantage.
- A square grid measuring between 25 and 30 yards on the sides
- Seven players when three are defenders and four are attackers
- A goalkeeper and a ball
The core strategy is for the attackers to utilize the numerical advantage and score as many goals as possible. The philosophy is to ensure that the attackers coordinate and exploit the defense by numerical advantage.
- Instruct the attackers to utilize their numerical advantage to score
- Instruct the defenders to read the game and break the attack down
- The defenders need to pass the ball to the coach on the opposite end when they dispossess the strikers.
- The attackers shall receive the ball and attempt another attack after every dispossession or score.
Appropriate Coaching Points
It is necessary to assess the attack and defense strategies that the players engage. The coach needs to assess the timing, efficacy, and coordination of the attack. On the same note, it is necessary to assess the deficiencies of the attacking strategy on the physical and mental approaches to the game.
The core idea of the tactic it to teach the under-14 on how to utilize numerical advantage and score goals. On the flip-side, it aims to horne the defending skills for the defenders when outnumbered by the attackers.
1 versus 1 Shooting Drill
The drill aims at improving the passing skills and the finishing abilities in the players. It also assesses the player’s movement without the ball. It is a fun drill since it is common that a player who misses a shot or is out of position is compelled to play as the goalkeeper.
Basic Setup of the Drill
- Establish a diamond pattern using cones on the field.
- Cone one and two should be on the edges parallel to the throw-in lines of the field
- Cone four should be nearest to the goal and cone three should be farthest, on a line on the middle of cone two and cone one.
- place a player on each cone.
- place a goal with a keeper
- start with player one passing the ball to player two, who in turn shall pass the ball to player three
- player three shall pass the ball to player four who shall in turn try to dribble past player three and score
The drill can provide the coach with an opportunity to assess different components of the game. They include;
- The ability to cohesively play as a team
- quality of passing play among different players
- the dribbling and the defending skills learnt by each player
- the defense and goalkeeping tactics in case of a one-on-one situation
- the defensive positioning and the utility of the physical attributes of the different players
The drill can be used to assess various skills and competencies among the players aged less than 14 years. It is necessary to ensure that the drill takes place towards the end of the training session as it assesses different components that are learnt during the training session.
Figure 8 Dribbling Drill
The Figure 8 dribbling drill obtains its name from the player movement during the drill. It aims at enhancing individual creativity through horning the dribbling skills.
Basic Setup and Instructions
- Establish two grids that measure 5 yards on each side. The two grids need to be around 5 yards apart.
- Establish a buffer zone between the two grids. Do this by placing two parallel sticks, three yards apart, on the borderline where the two grids touch each other.
- Instruct a player to control the ball while running around each grid at a time. One needs to circle each grid for a minute. It is necessary for the player to run with the ball at his feet at full speed.
- Install cones on the way and instruct the players to repeat the process dribbling on the inner and the outer area of the adjacent cones.
- instruct the players to use the same foot to dribble the ball around the cones at each turn.
The core coaching objectives is to train the Under-14 players some basic dribbling skills. The core objective of dribbling involves constantly changing the cause of the ball.
The coach can assess the development of a player through a variety of ways. On the one hand, a player who uses both feet with ease is an excellent dribbler. It is necessary to urge the players to improve on their speed as they dribble past the barriers.
Four Corners Passing Drill
The four corners passing drill serves to improve the timing of attacks. Thus, it aims at perfecting the attacking player’s positioning, the quality of the passes, and the timing of the runs.
Basic Setup of the Drill
- demarcate a square of 30 yards on each side
- sub-divide it into for equal squares of about three yards each at the corners of the demarcated square above
- establish two teams with distinct uniforms on each side
- let one team start off with the ball
- Instruct the other team to try and break-up the passing game of the opposing team
- record scores when the player in any of the four small boxes receives the ball from any of his teammates
- Let the players time the run to the small boxes rather than waiting for the ball while in any of the four small boxes
The coaching objectives at this juncture weighs heavily on teamwork and each player’s contribution. Particularly, it reflects on aspects such as;
- the efficacy of the passing abilities between the players
- the quality of the final ball from each player within the team
- timing of the runs and coordination of the passes
- ball control techniques and abilities
- mental aspect of controlling the attacking and defensive mindset among the players
The specific U14 soccer drills above assesses passing qualities and movement of the players. It is essential to create a good cohesion between the midfield and the attack.
However, it can serve a good purpose for the defenders too as they can play an integral role in crossing the ball to the strikers in the modern game.
Triple Whammy Soccer Drill
The Under-14 players commonly engage in the Triple Whammy soccer skills to improve on their reaction to get the ball. It creates awareness among the players on how to prepare an attack.
Basic Setup for the Drill
- establish two teams with different uniforms.
- Play a three versus three or four versus four situations with a goalkeeper and a goal
- Each player is to mark an opponent in the area near the goal
- let the player with the ball pass it to the one who reacts fastest
- Such reaction can be through shouting or through movement
- Such a player should pass the ball to one more teammate who should proceed and attempt to score
- A deflected goal counts as a goal for the opposing team
- Reverse the roles and pass the ball to the formerly defending team which should now attack
The drill mainly aims at improving the reaction of the players.
7 versus 7 Scrimmage
The 7 v 7 Scrimmage is a common way of ending a coaching session for the under-14 side. The drill utilizes the whole field.
- Establish a standard goal for the Under-14 on each side of the field
- Select seven players for each side with six serving as the outfield player and a goalkeeper for each team
- Use standard length of 20 yards as width and 30 yards as the field’s length.
- Allow the teams to play under short timelines of about 12 minutes. All ordinary rules of the games apply
The coach can use the drill to assess different elements of the team. They include aspects such as;
- The speed of the game,
- The coordination between the defense, midfield, and attack of each team, and
- The unique abilities of each player
The above unique U14 soccer drills apply to assess how the players have grasped the playing philosophy and tactic. Hence, it commonly takes place at the end of the training session.
The soccer drills reflect the development and capacities of each player. The soccer unique soccer drills apply to players of different ages since they have varying abilities and capacities.
The u14 soccer drills above help in inculcating teamwork, dribbling skills, game’s speed, and the timing of the runs among others. In all these elements, it is necessary to consider how each player uses their abilities to positively influence the game as soccer is a team sport.