When analyzing goals in soccer, it is clear that small details usually made the difference. A defender was not tight enough on an opponent. A tackle was made a fraction too early or a fraction too late. The wall was just a couple of inches too far to the left or too far to the right, or a short player was mistakenly marking a much taller player when defending a corner kick.
Running a practice session is all about details too. A practice plan should include the soccer objectives for the session and must be age and ability appropriate. The coaching points should be spot on and there should be many repetitions for the players.
But once it is practice time and the ball starts rolling, there are many more details that need to be taken care of to make the practice session a success.
Below find a list of details that the coach might keep in mind when running a training session.
- Say hi to all your players! A simple fist bump and hello at the beginning of each practice session with every player on the team will ensure that the coach has a very important personal moment with every player on the team.
- When coaching young kids, the coach should make sure to get on eye level with the players when talking to them. Just bend down on one knee and suddenly you’re in the player's world.
- When a playing area is too big or too small, the activity will become too easy or too hard. Make sure to use the exact right size of the playing area. Observe the activity first to see if the playing area is correct so the goals of the activity can be met.
- When a line of players in an activity is too long, they get bored and impatient. Even two players in a line can already make it too long. Keep waiting times short.
- Make sure to have plenty of soccer balls at practice to ensure more repetitions and more active playing time.
- When playing small sided games, let players dribble the ball back onto the field after it was out of bounds. Let them dribble or pass the ball back in. This tiny rule change increases the tempo and intensity of the game immediately.
- Another very important detail is appearance. You should look like a soccer coach. Also, don’t brag or talk too much about your great playing days either. Details like this can make or break the credibility of a coach.
- At the start of a finishing drill, make sure that your players pass the ball into the hands of the goalkeepers for the first two minutes rather than letting them score right away. It will make the drill much more enjoyable for the goalkeepers and they will perform better.
- Ask questions. To stimulate awareness and individual thinking, ask your players a lot of questions. And have your players ask questions as well.
- Add a point or scoring system to every activity. Create a trophy that players can compete for once per week and post a picture of the winning team on social media. Increasing the intensity will lead to faster improvement.
It's all about about the details.