Small Group Skills & Activities for Soccer


SKU: RD-04934B Category:


Learn how to take activities you currently use and adapt them to work on different components of the game

with Ian Barker,
Director of Coaching Education, NSCAA;
21 years of college soccer coaching experience at Macalester College and University of Wisconsin;
served for 10 years as the director of coaching and player development for the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association (MYSA)

  • Learn shooting drills that will increase your team’s scoring opportunities
  • Learn small sided games to improve speed of play in attacking and defending
  • Use creative passing exercises to develop your players’ soccer awareness
  • Currently serving as the NSCAA’s Director of Coaching Education, Ian Barker presents 10+ small group exercises that will make the good coach a better coach, and the effective coach more effective. These training exercises can be used with any age group.Building a Successful Training Session

    Coach Barker lays out the traits needed to build an efficient and successful practice. Once the video moves to the field, Coach Barker provides examples of these coaching necessities. He provides the five essentials of an effective coach.

    Training Exercises

    These exercises are built around the four components of soccer: Technical, tactical (or decisions), physical and psychological. An example of some of the exercises you will see include:

    • 5v2+3 – A traditional keep away game with a transition tied into it. A great game for teaching transitions and can be used for pressing. The section goes on and becomes progressive building on each game.
    • 4v4 – Filled with many good opportunities for teaching paired defending and passing to keep possession.
    • 1v1 to 2v2 – Ideal for teams who like to press or play more forward soccer. Players try to score on a small gate diagonal from where they start. The game then moves to a 2v2 situation, where you must work with your partner to widen the defenders out or if defending learns to have 1 defender press while the other has a choice.
    • Shooting Activities – This section has three drills that are very progressive. Each drill adds a different element to a pass, pass back, shot, then movement to crash the net and receive a cross from the corner. The combination of a shot from straight on and then the cross is a great way to teach movement to the net. The added element of adding a partner also helps with learning to communicate as you attack with numbers. All the drills require the players to move around a mannequin and either hides the ball to drop it or to shot once around the mannequin. All of these situations are game like situations.
    • Triangle Passing – Set up so four players practice three passing activities before entering into a 3v1 keep away exercise. Coach Barker’s explanation of how a pass towards the player back foot instead of their front foot puts the receiving player in better position to pass the ball and keep possession moving.
    • 1v1 Gates – This section has good explanation of attacking 1v1 and defends 1v1.

    Barker does great work with explaining all the sections and what coaches should expect from each drill. He stops the play as needed to explain what he is looking for.

    70 minutes. 2016.


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