Fun Soccer Games- Having fun while training

Kids just wanna have fun and the best way for your kid or team if your a coach, is to make soccer practice fun. Its hard for kids to follow instructions and their attention span is a lot shorter than older kids/young adults. In fact according to Day2DayParenting.com, children from ages 5-6 have an average attention span of 5-10 minutes if they have no interest in the task or if it is difficult to do. So how do you get kids interested in soccer? Make it fun! Kids will play for hours if they are having fun. So here are some fun games that will help them develop fundamental skills without them even realizing they are on their way to being soccer stars.

kids playing soccer

Hit the coach: passing/shooting

U3 and up: 

  • Set up: Pretty self explanatory and pretty simple. Everyone has a ball and the goal is to aim and hit the coach. What kid isn’t going to enjoy this?
  • Rules:The coach will run away from the players and they will try to hit the coach with their ball. Players will aim below the knee.
  • Goal: Dribbling, passing, accuracy.

 

Knock Out:

U5 and up

  • Set up: Similar to Hit the Coach, but in this game players are not aiming for the coach, they will be aiming for each other. Divide the team into 3 groups. Group A, will be in the middle of playing area, and the other two groups, group B will have players to the left and right of group A. The area play will be a rectangle with rings on the opposite side of group A. You can do between 4-6 rings.
  • Rules: Group A will dibble across the area of play to the opposite side, grab a ring and dribble back. They will try collect all the rings without getting hit. Groups B will attempt to knock them out by trying to hit them with the ball aiming below the knees. If a player in group A is hit, they are out. Game ends when all players in group A are out, or if all rings are collected. Team that collects most rings wins.
  • Goal: Dribbling, Ball control, passing, accuracy

 

Monkey in the Middle: Defending/Passing

U5 and up

This is a classic. We all know how this is played. One thing my coach would do is switch up the game and put, 2 or 3 players in the middle. This will help the players defending work together. You can also have one round with more players on the outside the circle than defenders, and one round with more defenders than players outside the circle, again, depending on age group.

 

Sharks and Minnows: 

U5 and up

Set up: You remember playing this in the swimming pool as a kid?  You had  a great childhood if you do my friend. This is pretty simple. Divide the players into 2 groups, sharks and minnows, and the area of play will be divided into 3 zones. One zone will be where the minnows start, the middle zone will be where the sharks are, and the safe zone is where the minnows are trying to cross over to.  You want to have 2 minnows to every shark.

Rules: Once a minnow gets their ball taken away they become a shark. Minnows will continue to cross the shark zone back and forth until the last minnow standing.

Goal: Ball control, defending.

 

Zombies: 

U3 and up

Set up: One zone. All players with a ball. The coach or one player, who will not have a ball, will be chase the other players and try to tag other players.

Rules: Once a player gets tagged, they become a zombie. Last player remaining wins.

Goal: This will help players learn to play under pressure and force them to maneuver their body and the ball.

soccer kids training

Keep Away: Zone Defending, Positioning, Passing

U8 and up

  • Set up: This is a 3v2 game, and you will set up  the area of play into 3 zones. In the middle zone you will have the defending team and one player from the passing team. The outside zones  will have one player in each zone. Set a timer for 3-7 minutes. Encourage passing team to make quick decisions and use middle player.
  • Rules: The players in the middle zone are not to leave that zone. The goal is for the passing team make as many successful passes to each other. If a pass/ball is intercepted, possession goes back to the passing team. The team that gets the most successful passes wins.
  • Goal: This game is geared to help players develop their skills off the ball, a very key skill in soccer. They will learn how position themselves go receive a pass and look for openings for pass. Team B will practice zone defending. You will have games where you play a man down or two.

 

WAR!

U4 and up

  • Set up: This game is very simple and very fun. You will divide players into 2 teams with one team on each side of the play area. The coach will call out “WAR!” and the teams will attempt to knock the others team balls out of the play area with their ball while protecting theirs.
  • Rules: Team with the most players left wins. Players can only knock out another players ball by hitting it with theirs. Encourage you players to dribble around the play area as they go. Players will only aim below the knees.
  • Goal: Ball control, passing, accuracy

 

Theres so many games you can make up for kids to play to make the sport for them. All you have to do is think of skill you want the game to be about and go from there. You can rename these games to something they can relate to and change up the rules to make things more challenging. And please, leave your feed back below, and if you know any fun games please share.

Have a great day everyone

FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME

What you need to stay warm: Cold weather soccer gear

Winter is around the corner, and if you will be playing outdoors, your going to need proper gear to stay warm during the match. If you allow your body to get cold, you wont be performing at your peak. Jackets, sweaters,  hoodies are all nice to have and they will keep you warm, but they are bulky and not breathable. You will dying to take it off after a few minutes. Not to mention if its game day, you’re going to be wearing your uniform. Here are some recommendations for keeping warm during your match.

Compression Gear

Compression gear is a good way to keep warm and dry. There is a lot of claims by big brand names like Under Amour, Adidas, etc. claiming by wearing these garments, they  are going to increase your performance but this isn’t exactly true. The compression gear is going to put pressure on your muscles which will help with blood flow. Which means once you start moving, your body will warm up quicker. Depending on how tolerant you are of cold weather, I would recommend getting the shorts/pants and a long/short sleeve shirt. You want to make sure you get cold weather compression, they will be a lil thicker than the regular ones.  Soccerloco.com and TheUpper90.com has great a selection of compression gear to choose from.

Head Gear

Did you know if your ears are covered, 70% of your body will be warm? Well its just a saying but idea is to keep areas of your body that cold easily. There is barely in fat in your ears and they are an opening for air to get in. This is why you want to keep them covered.  You don’t need anything fancy,  a sports beanie is ideal or you wear those things runners use that go around the back of your head and cover your ears.

 

 

Gloves

Have you ever done a throw in with bare hands in cold weather? Its not fun. I used to hate doing throw ins with cold hands.  Its hard to grip the ball and more than half the time my throw would be off. You don’t want just any pair of gloves. You want a pair with grips on them, thin, but able to keep your hands warm. Its hard to find a good pair of gloves that are thin and warm but they are out there.  Heres some I recommend.

Socks

I would say this is the most important part of your body to keep warm during a soccer game. If your feet are cold and numb, its going to be hard for you to feel the ball. Your shots may be a little off and dribbling with be cumbersome. I like to wear two pairs of socks (the outer pair being thin ankle socks) but if you don’t want to wear two pairs i would recommend some over the calf socks so that most of your leg is covered. Also make sure your boots fit nice and snug to avoid letting to much air in.

 

So there you have it. Head, hands and feet. Keep these part of your body warm and you will be good. You want to make sure your comfortable playing as well, some of you may not need as much layers as others. Main point is to stay warm and dry. If your gear is too warm and you getting hot and sweating and decide to take off your gear, that cold air hitting your wet skin could get you sick. Also make sure you warm up before the game, if you need compression shirts/pants, wear your wind breaker/track jacket and sweat pants to warm up quicker.

Have fun everyone!

Professional Soccer Coaching


OVERVIEW

Professional Soccer Coaching   is an online soccer coaching education platform with a massive library with over 400 sessions created by professional coaches from leagues such as UEFA, FA, USSF, and soccer academies around the world for professional and amateur coaches.   The training sessions are in HD video format with printable PDF’s. It contains an online calendar system for coaches and trainers to plan and periodize their training plan.The founders of the program are working coaches for U-23 and professional level players. PSC in not just for adult players  it also includes training content for as young as age 9. The searchable library is broken down into the following categories and available in over 50 languages.

Sign up here

MODULES

Technical:
  • Control and Receiving
  • Passing
  • Finishing
  • Crossing
  • Defending
  • Heading
  • Dribbling
  • Feints & Moves
  • Goal Keeping
  • Tactical
  • Functional Training
  • Phases of Play
  • Small Sided Games
  • Formation Training
Fitness & Conditioning
  • Activation
  • Aerobic Training
  • An-Aerobic Training
  • Strength Training
  • Speed, Agility, Quickness
Management
  • Warm Ups
  • Match Management
  • Psychology
  • Injuries
Systems of Play
  • Tactics & Line-Ups
  • Tactics News & Analysis
Training Model
  • Attacking Organization
  • Defending Organization
  • Attacking Transition
  • Defending Transition

MEMBERSHIPS

STANDARD PACKAGE
  • $19.99 for 1 year, 1 user
  • Access to technical and tactical modules
  • Over 300 Professional Sessions
  • Video Tutorrials
  • Training Calendar
Professional
  • $69.00 for 1 year, 1 user
  • Full Access to all session content and videos including future content
  • More than 400 Professional Sessions
  • Video Tutorials
  • Training Calendars
Club
  • $249.00 for 1 year, 5 users
  • Community multi-level access for organization including all content and tools
  • More than 400 Professional Sessions
  • Video Tutorials
  • Multiple Training Calendars

 

I would recommend creating a free account or visiting their Facebook page before committing first, so you can see the quality of the program. You won’t have access to much (which would be nice if they gave a little more) but its enough to see what they offer and how much of the sport they cover. If you are a serious coach this program is for you. The videos they have are shot with drones so you get a clear view of how the drills work. The site also provides downloaded pdfs with formations and tactics. Overall I think the program is very well structured, professional quality content, a bit pricey but $19.99 deal is a good option to start with. If you are interested in PSC, you can sign up here.

 

Sklz Quikster

Sklz Quickster Soccer Trainer

sklz quickster

Key Features

  • Sklz quickster
  • 2 sides 6ftx4in large side 6ftx20in small side
  • Light weight and portable
  • Easily dissembles
  • Where to buy: Amazon.com

Pros

The Sklz Quickster is a rebounder just like the Franklin launch ramp. This is a little more expensive than the Franklin by not buy much. 30-50 bucks. Could not find the exact weight for this product, but is pretty light and easy to move around. It features two sides, the smaller side is meant for ground passes, and the larger side for working on volleys, which both each give accurate rebounds.It’s larger than the Franklin ramp give more space to work with and it also can be dissembled so you can bring it with you to the field. Amazon has it listed for a lower price than the original manufacturer but if bought through them you get access to online training videos. Great product for working on a variety of skills, headers, chest, first touch, passing, shooting and more.

CONS

The straps on the corners tend to rip after some time.  Although the Quickster does come with stakes to secure into the ground, I would recommend using sand bags. The stakes come loose after being used a lot.

Renegade Soccer Training Review



REMEMBER TAEBO?

Everyone and their mom were doing Taebo back in the 90’s! Heck,  even my mom did Taebo and bunch of other home work out videos too. Renegade Soccer Training is similar to that, but without the corny music and funky clothes. It is an at home, off day training program that offers one time purchase programs and exclusive all access memberships for teams. So if you are a coach, you can register your team and they will all have access to new content every month. The program was designed very well for drills to be done at home, and you won’t need much room  (its actually better to train in smaller spaces in my personal opinion). The programs also  have many videos to watch. Its almost like having  your own person coach at home guiding you every step of the way.

The training program is thoroughly planned out for you so all you have to do is put in the work. It is customizable so that you may train on your free days for any amount of time. Some of the programs have videos that start out at a beginners level (basic techniques that even an advanced player should practice)  and go all the way to advanced levels that college/professional players do. If you are serious about improving your skills and are willing to invest some money into your training I would recommend this product, especially if you don’t have much friends that you can play soccer with on your off days. If money is tight, they have plenty of short videos on their youtube page that are free. They also have a one time special offer for $27.  Not bad…  Oops! I forgot to mention. They have a 30 money back guarantee, so if you don’t like the program you can get your money back. If your a coach reading this, I would also recommend looking into Professional Soccer Coaching. Its an online soccer coaching program that tons of information you can use to improve your teams.

 Programs and details

  • Total Control System, $247 : 60 Day Program that is organized into 12 modules, progress tracker, all videos are downloadable, includes all of the pr0grams listed below)
  • Mastery of Touch, $127: 30 day Day Program, 155+ footwork pattern movements, progress tracker, all videos are downloadable, Advanced level
  • Next Level Dribbling, $67: 30 day program, progress tracker, 35+ Soccer drills broken into 10, 15-20 min. videos, all videos are downloadable.
  • Evolution of Touch, $67: 30 day program, progress tracker,  starts at beginners level to advanced level, videos, all videos are downloadable.
  • Wall Warrior, $97: 30 Day Program, 35+ Soccer drills broken into 12 videos, progress tracker, all levels, all videos are downloadable.

 

What ever you decide to do just make sure you train in between your practices. Doesn’t matter if its only 15 mins, this is the only way you will be become the player you want to be.

for the love of the game