Deception - U12 Practice Plan

Practice Date: Monday, April 23rd, 2018

This practice plan gives players lots of opportunities to work on using deception when working on moves. This practice is designed for a 1 hour session, the outline is as follows:

  • 30 x 20 3vs 3 (10 minutes)
  • Tight Spaces (10 minutes)
  • 1 vs. 1's to Goal (10 minutes)
  • Multiple Goals (15 minutes)
  • 7 vs. 7 Scimmage (15 minutes)

End of Practice Discussion

  • Bring your team together and ask some open ended questions about the practice.
  • Why is it important to sell our move to the opponent? (so they will get off balance).
  • Where should we take our first touch after beating an opponent? (behind them, so it’s more difficult for them to get back in front of us).
  • What can we do with our body when performing a dribbling move to sell it better? (get your body into it! The more you emphasize and exaggerate the movement, the more likely it is too work!)
  • Have a couple players show the group what some of the dribbling moves you learned today look like. Ask them if they have any questions, and ask them to practice their dribbling moves and juggling at home.

Have a team cheer and see everyone on game day!

30 x 20 3 vs. 3 Small Sided Game

30 yard by 20 yard 3 on 3 soccer small sided game


Create two 30x20yd fields with a 2yd goal on each endline. Divide players into four teams and play 3v3. Play two-minute games, and rotate teams after every game to play a new one. Encourage the teams to keep score, and try to beat each team they play.

Coaching Points

None. Let the players play and make mistakes. Only intervene if it is taking too long to get ball back in play.

Tight Spaces

Tight Spaces - Soccer Dribbling Drill

Drill Setup

  • Players are placed in pairs at the cones around grid. Each pair has one ball between them.
  • The first person in the pair goes first and dribbles on the jog through grid in the center. Once in the middle they perform a dribbling move and try not to bump into anyone or their ball.
  • Once out of the center grid, they pass to the player on the opposite side who repeats the task.
  • Add different dribbling moves to beat an opponent: Scissors, Matthews, Feint etc. Teach each move and use this as a no pressure environment to try each move.
  • Repeat. Encourage players to try different dribbling moves, and going both directions (don’t only reply on going to the side of your strong foot!)

Coaching Points

  • Emphasize deception with all moves. Get your body into the move to sell it!
  • Be specific about the techniques you are teaching.
  • Encourage tight, close touches when a player is in the center grid so they can change direction quickly.

15 x 10 yd 1 vs. 1's to Goal

15 x 10 yd 1 vs. 1 - Small Sided Dribbling Game


score by passing thru to teammate. when goal is scored, attacker keeps ball and attacks the same defender in the other direction . Keep the defender on the hook. No goal, Other team gets to attack. Teams must have players at both ends.

Multiple Goals - Dribbling Game

Multiple Goals - Soccer Dribbling Game


  • Inside your grid, place a number of 4-yard goals around area. You need enough goals as half the number of players you have at practice.
  • Divide players into two teams. Once team are defenders, and their job is to act as goalkeepers in each of the goals. The other team each has a ball and are trying to dribble through the goals.
  • Goalkeepers cannot use their hands.
  • Players cannot score in the same goal twice in a row.
  • You cannot score in a goal by passing the ball through it – you have to dribble!
  • Every attacking player keeps track of their score. They get a goal for dribbling past a GK through their goal. Play for 2 minutes. At the end, players add up their scores. Switch roles and see which team can score more.

Coaching Points

  • Length of touches. Keep the ball close as you’re approaching the opponent, but lengthen your touches to build up speed as you get around them.
  • Deception. Sell the move! Stay light on your toes!



7 vs. 7 Scrimmage

7 vs. 7 Soccer Scrimmage


  • Play 7v7. If your numbers are short, decrease size of field to 40x25 and play 6v6.
  • Cones for goals are 6yds wide and use goalkeepers.

Coaching Points

  • None! Just sit back and let them play. Play full rules for your age group: offside, thrown-ins, goalkicks and corners etc.
  • If you see deception, get excited, even if the move doesn’t work! Give them the thumbs-up and tell them you want them to try it again. The more you encourage the attempt, instead of the result, the more often your players will be willing to take risks in a game.