There’s an old saying that stipulates practice makes perfect. If you ever dream of playing soccer professionally you will definitely need to practice and train. The two go hand in hand and if done correctly will increase your chances of playing on the big stage.
Soccer drills are a great way to improve your playing ability and will also ensure you maintain a certain level of fitness. Specific soccer drills also allow the required muscles to develop and strengthen.
The beauty of a soccer drill is that it takes an aspect of the game and allows you to practice a certain routine until you can comfortably say you’ve mastered it. Practice through repetition is crucial if you ever want to rise above the millions that participate in the sport.
The problem with most soccer coaches these days is that they implement soccer drills the wrong way. There is no benefit practicing certain drills if they do not replicate match conditions. It’s laughable when coaches set up shooting drills for their players by placing cones just outside the penalty box. Players virtually stroll in with the ball to the cone and then shoot towards goal. Can you see the problem with this set up?
The problem is so obvious that if you conduct your training sessions this way you might need to look for another job or take up a new hobby. How does waltzing in towards goal with the ball and then shooting from a designated spot replicate match conditions? It doesn’t!
Under match conditions you are pressured by defenders that have all the intentions of stopping you even if they have to hurt you. Very rarely if ever will you waltz in towards goal and take a shot at goal with no pressure. So why would you ever train this way?
A better shooting drill would be to place a defender at the edge of the box that will try and stop the attacker from shooting. The attacker would need to dribble towards goal at sprinting pace and try and pass the defender. Once the attacker passes the defender he can then have a shot at goals. Strikers need to learn to earn their shots at goal. By simply adding a defender into the drill you have to some extent replicated match conditions.
Both defender and attacker can practice their trade at the same time. Defenders will try and prevent goals while the strikers will try and score goals. Also the pace of the drill will replicate match conditions where players are hell bent on getting the ball and winning possession. The increase in pace and tempo will also benefit the players aerobic capacity and increase their lactic acid threshold.
So next time you set up a soccer drill, make sure that it replicates match conditions. Without replication you will teach your players bad habits and inevitably waste their time. Do you want to be responsible for this? Let your players reach their full potential by providing them drills that replicate a game of soccer under match conditions. It’s that easy.