Soccer drill to focus on player strengths

Playing to your strengths is a vital skill when you're a soccer coach. You know your players and what they can do better than anyone. Add this soccer drill to your training session to get your wingers using high and low crosses, identifying their team mates' strengths.

If you watch soccer from all over the world you will see tall players, short players, fat and thin players, all of whom have a particular skill that has influenced the coach to pick them for his team.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and Man City's Carlos Tevez are both very short attackers, so it's no good crossing high balls into them, the defenders will head them away all day long. But put a low hard cross in and watch what happens.

At the other end of the spectrum is Peter Crouch, the tallest man on a pitch. He doesn't even need to jump to score goals, so if you have him on your team, get a high cross in.

I also have a very tall attacker in my team, I also play him in goal because of his size and agility. When he's up front I tell my wingers to cross high balls into him. Defenders hate it. Once the cross is away, if it's a good one, you can bet he'll get his head on it and have a chance to score a goal.

Soccer drill to match individual strengths

It's a good soccer coaching tip to incorporate a ten-minute, quick break drill of passing, crossing and finishing into your training sessions. High looping crosses to tall, good headers of the ball and low, hard ones to the good volleyers, with good turning skills and footwork.

Use this set up for the soccer drill:

drill to play to team strengths so ball is passed and either headed or volleyed depending on attacker's strengths

Tell your wingers to use both high and low crosses so you can see how your attackers cope. A server passes out wide to your winger who crosses first time, aiming for the edge of the 18-yard box. Two attackers run to receive the cross and either shoot or head first time.

Extend the soccer drill

You can then make the soccer drill harder by adding a defender or two.

One game I like to play is to give your server three or four balls and tell your players they are 1-0 down with a minute left, so the server must play to the winger and get as many goal-scoring chances in before the minute is up and try to turn around the 1-0 scoreline.