While teaching soccer techniques, you have a choice of using soccer drills and exercises during your practice sessions, or focusing on games and scrimmages. Different coaches feel differently about this.
Some prefer drills that develop skills and others think the best way to teach soccer is through the game itself. Usually, most coaches bring in a good mix of drills and games into their training sessions so that players not only improve their techniques, but also apply it to the game during practice.
- Why Drills Alone Are Not Effective
If you get your players to do only drills and activities to develop their soccer ball skills, you can be sure that your players will not only be bored but also lose their motivation to attend practice sessions.
It is not as if drills are no good; it is just that by including games, your players will see the relevance of the practice drills. Just imagine having your player practice hitting the ball with the outside of his foot two hundred times – he will never see the point behind it.
Worse still, when he is put on the field he will not relate the skill to the actual game. If the players are allowed to scrimmage all the time but do not use the proper techniques in handling the ball, it is going to be a major waste of time and effort.
- A Balanced Mix
Players must first be taught the correct way to perform a soccer coaching technique, which they can then practice in progressive pressure situations. This can be supplemented by carefully planned scrimmages, small-sided games and then when they are proficient and confident, letting them play a regular soccer game.
It is important to be able to learn the soccer technique and understand it in the game’s context. As a coach, you need to know how to make use of the games available and modify them in a way that they will develop various skills in your players.
You can even split the game into various sessions so that your players find it enjoyable to focus on a particular plan for that particular practice session.
A practice session that takes the player through a few active drills to develop their soccer techniques, followed by free play, which allows them to put their skills into practice and improve gradually, can work effectively. After all, the players are here to enjoy the game.