Develop Youth Soccer Training Sessions: Drills, Exercises and Match Preparation

A coach must be fully prepared and ready for training sessions with his team. He must have all exercises selected and the complete training plan in his mind. He has to dedicate his time and effort to find interesting drills to present to his players. Every training step should be designed in detail and the particular file must ready to become a setup. Imagine a number of soccer equipment perfectly organized and placed on the ground – and the training is ready to start. So, what’s to happen next in a scene like this?

Soccer Training on Paper vs Soccer Training on the Ground

The primary objective of every coach must be a favorable outcome from a performed training session. What are the players’ benefits; individually and as a team?

On paper, training sessions can seem as foolproof, but do players certainly understand the challenge in front of them, are they able to respond to the given task, and can they stay motivated to keep trying?

Challenges should match the level of the group, not lower nor higher than that. Otherwise, players could lose motivation and fail to perform at their best.

The Training Session Must Be Successful for Players, NOT for the Coach

Often, coaches prepare exercises that are complicated and too demanding for their players. The consequence is that they end up teaching the way an exercise should be performed and not what the drill is about and why they are doing it.

For this reason, coaches should select or create activities that are game related and that they simulate most possible and realistic situations that actually could happen in every soccer match. This way, players will recognize situations and be determined to deal with problems with their skill and talent. They will find solutions and develop creativity.

Coaches should also observe the movements and players’ choices and correct them when necessary. Initially, soccer coaches should explain to their players the purpose and aim of the training session and encourage decision making (related to the timing of movements, selection of skills in particular situations, positive approach to the decision made, show no fear toward failure and have the discipline to correct mistakes.

Adapt to the Situation

Soccer coaches must be able to adapt to the situation. Sometimes we think that a training session is fantastic and that it will work miracles, which often isn’t the case. A good coach, however, will be ready to adjust and fit it perfectly into his team because a real coach knows his players, their needs, and follows his own philosophy no matter what.

Exercise is Beneficial only if Your Players Learn from It

It is of utmost importance that a coach goes prepared to his sessions, that he develops his drills accordingly, that he searches for new ideas and proposes a variety of exercises. He must always make sure that his players will learn from them. That is when training sessions can be categorized as productive and good.

It is not that important we prepare – it is what comes out of it.