Soccer Drills & Football Training

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Football Training
Technical
Control and Receiving
Control Soccer Drills 1 (9-11yrs)
Control Drills 2 (12-15yrs)
Control Drills 3 (15-Adlt)
Passing
Passing Drills 1 (9-11yrs)
Passing Drills 2 (12-15yrs)
Passing Drills 3 (15-Adult)
Finishing
Finishing Drills 1 (9-11yrs)
Finishing Drills 2 (12-15yrs)
Finishing Drills 3 (15-Adlt)
Crossing
Crossing Drills 1 (9-11yrs)
Crossing Drills 2 (12-15yrs)
Crossing Drills 3 (15-Adlt)
Defending
Defending Drills 1 (9-11yrs)
Defending Drills 2 (12-15yrs)
Defending Drills 3 (15-Adlt)
Heading
Heading Drills 1 (9-11yrs)
Heading Level 2 (12-15yrs)
Heading Level 3 (15-Adlt)
Dribbling
Dribbling Drills (9-11yrs)
Dribbling Drills (15-Adlt)
Dribbling Drills (12-15yrs)
Feints and Moves
Moves Drills (9-11yrs)
Moves Drills (12-15yrs)
Moves Drills 3 (15-Adlt)
GoalKeeping
Keeping Drills 1 (9-11yrs)
Keeping Drills 2 (12-15yrs)
Keeping Drills 3 (15-Adlt)
Tactical
Functional Training
Defending Functional Drills
Attacking Functional Drills
Phases of Play
Attacking Phases of Play
Defending Phases of Play
Small Sided Games (SSGs)
Attacking SSG's
Defending SSG's
Formation Training
11vs11
Attacking 11vs11
Defending 11vs11
Fitness & Conditioning
Activation
Aerobic Training
Aerobic Fitness SSG's
Aerobic Fitness Drills
Aerobic Fitness Science
An-Aerobic Training
Strength Training
Circuit Training
SAQ (Speed, Agility, Quickness)
Plyometric Drills
Agility Drills
Management
Warm-ups
Pre-Game Warm ups
Practice Warm ups
Match Management
Psychology
Injuries
Systems of Play
Tactics & Line-Ups
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Introduction

Periodization is derived from 'Period' which is a division of time into smaller, easy-to-manage segments.  In our case ''Training Periods'. Specifically, periodization is the division of a yearly training plan into training phases which apply to the principles of training.  Work load and intensity of training programs in split into successive small units ranging from one week to a full year. Each segment of training targets a specific type of training (i.e. skill, speed, strength, stamina and suppleness (the five S’s).  In football these fitness attributes need to be blended with both technical and tactical training.  A well designed training program takes into account both the physiological and psychological needs of players.

To acheive mamximum performance and effective training it is the coaches responsibility to properly periodize and plan the training for the year.  The development of skills and psychological attributes should follow a logical sequence. 

Our goal is to have our players peak at the optimal times (i.e. Competition).  Deficient preparation will result in less than optimal performance.  Planning a successful training plan isa two way process between the coaching staff and players to develop a realistic and attainable schedule with a balance between training and recovery.  Inexperienced players and youth players are dependent on their coaches to develop these plans.

Periodization

Plans should be designed using a sequential approach.  A well organized plan will result in the desired psychological and physiological adaptation to the player.  The duration of phases depends heavily on the time the players needs to increase training level and also the timing of competition where peak performance is desired. Single season sports have an annual plan called a monocycle; since there is only one competitive phase, there is only one peak or competitive phase (Fig 1).

Fig 1. Relationship of Volume, Intensity and Technique in Training Plan


The Yearly Training Plan (or Cycle) is conventionally divided into three main phases:

  • Preparatory (General & Specific)
  • Competitive
  • Transition (Recovery)

The preparatory and competitive phases are divided into two sub-phases because their tasks are different. The preparatory phase has a general and a specific subphase, based on the different characteristics of training, and the competitive phase usually is preceded by a short precompetitive subphase.  A complete training program can span from 3 months to 12 months. The 12 month program is called the Yearly Training Plan (YTP).

The Sub-phases of training can be further divided into the following terminology:

  • Microcycle – Shortest period of training – usually one week but can vary from 4 to 10 days.
  • Mesocycle – A group of microcycles – usually one month but can vary from 2 to 4 weeks
  • Macrocycle – A small group of Mesocycles – usually three months but can vary considerably

Fig 2. Breakdown of a Basic Annual Plan

The Football Season  (Bi-Cycle)

For a standard football season we have two seasons of competition (bi-cycle).  Optimal performance can be acheived for approx. 8 week periods.  Intensity and volume (extent) of our training are principle opposites.  Therefore, if our training intensity is high, our volume should be low.  In the build up to games the volume should be cut back, but the intensity can remain high.  As the competitive phase approaches the training volume curve decreases drastically while the intensity curve increases.  During a season (competition) there are limited opportunities to train in high volume due to games resulting in deteriorating endurance.  During the second half of the competition phases the extent should be increased to compensate for this.  During the preparatory and early competitive phases, emphasize training volume with low levels of intensity according to the specifics of the sport. During this period quantity of work should dominate.  Opposed to the competitive phase when you emphasize work intensity or quality.  Note also, Preparatory phase I. which should be the longer preparatory phase.  A bi-cycle consists of two short monocycles linked through a short unload­ing/transition and preparatory phase. For each cycle, the approach may be similar except for training volume, which in preparatory phase I is of much higher magnitude than in preparatory phase II.

Fig 3. Relationship of Volume and Intensity over a Bi-Cycle Season

Types of Training (Generic vs Specific)

The majority of training for football fitness should be soccer-specific training (Approx. 80:20).  The only purpose of non-related (general) fitness (i.e. running, cross training, etc) is to increase a players basic fitness levels or to aid in maintaining them.  This type of training is appropriate during off-season periods when players are away from regular team training.

It should be noted that in youth soccer due to the stop and start nature of developing players, that there is the argument that we are unable to create the necessary overload.  Coaches should carefully design their drills and games to create physical overload or simplify them.  For example, increasing the playing area of the exercise, reducing the number of players, limiting touches, etc.

Fig 4. Types of Training for an Annual Plan 

TIPS

  • An important part of planning microcycles is to maintain scheduling consistency throughout the year. For instance, if games (competition) always fall on a Saturday, then special endurance training should always be on a Saturday (mirroring a game). The body remembers and if each microcycle begins with high volume and ends with race pace work
    (day 6) and recovery (day 7) then that should be maintained throughout the year. (T. Bompa)
  • Individual characteristics, psychophysiological abilities, diet, and regeneration increase this difficulty.
  • Creating effective annual training plans is an iterative process and you will be continually improving and adjusting plans from year to year.
  • Consider climate changes and facilities in your plan design.
  • A monocycle or bi-cycle year for novice and junior athletes is the maximum. The advantage of such a plan is that it has long preparatory phases, free from the stress of competitions. This allows the coach to concentrate on developing skills and a strong foundation of physical training.
  • Stress is a significant by-product of training and competition which can alter performance.  Periodization is an important tool in properly planning for anticipated stress.  Generally stress follows training intensity patterns.
  • Bompa states: that athletes' psychological behavior depends on their physiological wellbeing. In other words, athletes' mental state is a by­ product of their physiological condition. This is why I believe that, "Perfect fitness results in the best psychology!

References:

Theory and Methodology of Training -by Tudor O. Bompa, PhD

Aerobic Fitness Sessions

Detraining Effect

Introduction Typical soccer seasons have periods of intense training, matches, tournaments and also rest periods at whatever level of football.  As coaches we should be aware of the effects of training...

12-02-2015 Hits:3074 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Running With the Ball and Conditioning

Dribbling technique that can be also used as a conditioning and fitness exercise if needed. Running with the ball technique training and also football specific conditioning. Can also be used...

16-07-2013 Hits:14212 Aerobic Fitness Drills Ray Power - avatar Ray Power

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Conditioning With Dribbling

Dribbling exercise that incorporates conditioning to varying degrees as desired. Improve dribbling, turning, ball manipulation skills with football-specific conditioning. ...

15-07-2013 Hits:11897 Aerobic Fitness Drills Ray Power - avatar Ray Power

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6 Ball Game (Aerobic)

Small sided game focusing on developing Aerobic Fitness (High Intensity) and immediate transition on attack. Finishing is also trained in high reps as the defending unit is frequently outnumbered. ...

30-03-2012 Hits:27014 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Fitness Ladder (Aerobic)

Fitness and conditioning activity used to develop aerobic capacity and also threshold capacity. Exercise integrates technical training at repeated stations whilst training aerobic energy systems. ...

12-02-2012 Hits:27649 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Directional Possession with Targets (Hig…

Possessional exercise with direction where players have to work in a high intensity environment. Developing aerobic capacity in a small sided game scenario. ...

20-11-2011 Hits:21716 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Transition Fitness (High Aerobic)

Develop a teams ability to work at Moderate to High intensity for sustained periods. This possession exercise works the aerobic and lactate systems to induce a training overload that replicates...

20-11-2011 Hits:21282 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Numbers Up Transitions with Conditioning…

Develop Possession and Creating Goal Scoring Opportunities in Numbers Up Situations. Also train a teams ability to work at high intensity for sustained periods and increase the Intermittent Aerobic Capacity of players.

10-11-2011 Hits:13682 Aerobic SSG's TonyDeers - avatar TonyDeers

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Training Zones for Football Fitness

The below information should help provide you with guidelines for designing fitness and conditioning sessions with specific training objectives.  Due to the intermittent exercise profile of football, players require a...

31-10-2011 Hits:12652 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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2 Ball Aerobic Possession (Low Intensity…

Develop the aerobic capacity of players in this exercise an train the ability to perform moderate intensity over long periods of time. Also trains possession skills in small groups. ...

20-10-2011 Hits:13438 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Small Sided Games vs. Generic Training i…

A number of studies have now shown that small sided games are an effective form of aerobic training in soccer opposed to the traditional generic (running) training techniques.  ...

18-10-2011 Hits:13513 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Physical Development of Girls vs Boys

It is important to understand pre-pubertal and pubertal physiological development of girls and boys in order to gauge expectations and plan an appropriate training schedule for them. Both...

25-09-2011 Hits:6670 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Aerobic Fitness Conditioned Match (8vs8)

Develop the Intermittent Aerobic Capacity of players in this Small Sided Game. Develop a teams ability to work at high intensity for sustained periods. ...

23-09-2011 Hits:14114 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Football Periodization

Introduction Periodization is derived from 'Period' which is a division of time into smaller, easy-to-manage segments.  In our case ''Training Periods'. Specifically, periodization is the division of a yearly training...

01-09-2011 Hits:18478 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

Read more

150 Yrd Shuttles (High Intensity)

Drill Objective(s) Developing the ability to sustain high intensity exercise specific to soccer. Develop psychological toughness. Develop turns and good running form in soccer. Drill No: HAN1 Age: 14-Adlt No Players: 1+ Difficulty: Advanced Area/Time: 25x25yrds Diagram 1 ORGANISATION: Set up...

04-08-2011 Hits:20264 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Yo-Yo Intermittent and Endurance Testing

The Yo-Yo test series evaluate an individual's ability to repeatedly perform intervals over a prolonged period of time in intermittent exercise related sports. The endurance version of this test is...

25-07-2011 Hits:27223 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Split Pitch Fitness (Low Aerobic)

Small sided game with focus on fitness. Develop the Intermittent Aerobic Capacity of players. Develop a teams ability to work at low to moderate intensity for sustained periods. ...

20-07-2011 Hits:10944 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Repeated Sprint Training (RSA) and Inter…

Testing done on elite soccer players has shown that additional RSA (Repeated Sprint Activity) and Interval training has been shown to further improve performance in Intermittent Exercise (i.e Soccer). Bangsbo et...

18-07-2011 Hits:13776 Aerobic Fitness Science TonyDeers - avatar TonyDeers

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300 Yrd Shuttle (Lactate Tolerance Test)

Set up markers (cones) at 10 yrd intervals out to 50yrds.  This test is designed to test your lactate system and high intensity running.  This test is done with a...

04-07-2011 Hits:8561 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Cooper Test (VO2max Calculation)

What is VO2max? VO2 max, or maximal oxygen uptake, is one factor that can determine an player's capacity to perform sustained exercise and is linked to aerobic endurance. VO2 max refers...

05-05-2011 Hits:17007 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Reduced Training Volume vs. Increased In…

This article discusses the balance of volume and intensity of fitness activities in soccer training sessions. Iaia FM et al, performed a study on high performance athletes by replacing their...

18-04-2011 Hits:6358 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Aerobic Possession Grids

Possessional based fitness activity that could be used in pre-season or as an aerobic integrated possession training phase. ...

30-06-2010 Hits:27430 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Speed and Agility Circuit 1

SAQ Exercise designed to develop explosive speed and acceleration. Typical activities include co-ordination and balance training integrated into the various exercises. SAQ Circuit using a variety of movements to develop...

01-02-2010 Hits:40490 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Pyramid Fartlek Runs

Fartlek Pyramid training model for soccer. High Intensity Aerobic fitness development activity used to progress the aerobic energy systems included aerobic threshold. ...

01-02-2010 Hits:34139 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Partner Relay (Aerobic Threshold)

Aerobic fitness development activity used to progress the aerobic energy systems included aerobic threshold. Relay races to create intermittent exercise to replicate the physical conditions of a match. ...

31-01-2010 Hits:22524 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Intermittent Aerobic Course (50yrds)

Aerobic fitness development activity used to progress the aerobic energy systems included aerobic threshold. Exercise performed without a football for older and advanced players. ...

31-01-2010 Hits:21482 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Incremental Aerobic Recovery Runs

Aerobic fitness development activity used to progress the aerobic energy systems included aerobic threshold. Series of high intensity sprints followed by various running bouts. ...

31-01-2010 Hits:20147 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Incremental Aerobic Fitness Pitch Runs

Aerobic fitness development activity used to progress the aerobic energy systems included aerobic threshold. Requires a full field and involves different intensities of running/jogging. ...

31-01-2010 Hits:20520 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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High Intensity Aerobic Circuit

Aerobic fitness development activity used to progress the aerobic energy systems included aerobic threshold. Without ball for advanced and senior level players. ...

28-01-2010 Hits:28403 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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3/4 Field Aerobic Runs

Aerobic fitness development activity used to progress the aerobic energy systems included aerobic threshold. ...

28-01-2010 Hits:16445 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Low Intensity Aerobic Agility Circuit

Develop Aerobic Capacity in this fitness and conditioning circuit. Perform various SAQ and loaded runs in order to develop a teams (player) aerobic profile. ...

28-01-2010 Hits:18912 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Aerobic Runs (High Intensity)

Aerobic fitness circuit used to develop aerobic capacity and the ability to recover after repeated bouts of high intensity intermittent exercise. Also develops 'Aerobic Threshold'. ...

28-01-2010 Hits:17865 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Cone Retreive Race (Aerobic)

Fitness and conditioning exercise to develop Anaerobic fitness and also aerobic base and recovery training. Performed without a football and in two teams or more depending on squad size. Competitive...

07-11-2009 Hits:21897 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Cone Runners (Recovery Runs)

Defending priorities in and around the 18yrd area. Focusing on preventing goal scoring opportunities and small group defending techniques.

07-11-2009 Hits:26244 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Cone Capture

Small sided game or pre-season activity used to develop aerobic fitness in players in a fun and high intensity small sided game. Developing a players ability to recover and perform...

07-11-2009 Hits:28440 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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