As a soccer coach you will often get asked by parents what happened to the fun side of soccer. Well this soccer drill is not only fun but should produce creative, skillful soccer playing to add a bit of flair on match days.
I don’t coach route one, but…
I wouldn’t normally advise route one football but sometimes you want to get a team on the back foot from the off. When I first started soccer coaching, it was very basic and unimaginative with queues of boys doing the same old soccer drill, lining up, shooting at goal, lining up, running through cones. I spoke about this to a coach from a top club and he said to me “Try something different.” This invaluable soccer coaching tip has stayed with me ever since and I am always thinking of new, innovative ways to play and drill my teams.
Kick-off coaching tip
At a recent football event where there were 80 or 90 teams and the pitches were very small 6-a-side ones. I took my player with the best kick to one side and said: “When you win kick off, just shoot at the goal without anyone else touching the ball.”
This he did and duly scored. The referee was a fully-qualified ref and was mystified. He didn’t allow the goal (“that’s not fair coach”) but he went and checked at half time with the guy who had the rule book and came back with an apology.
The law states: The ball must go forward at kick off, but does not have to touch another player to go into the goal. I saw the great Socrates try it once for Brazil. We did it at every match until we got to the quarter finals, but by then all the teams had copied us.
Route one soccer drill
This is one of those soccer drills that you have to get your kids to practise and you only really want one or two of your players to do it. To run the drill simply put the ball on the centre spot and get one of them to kick as hard as they can.
Give your players five or six goes, no more and tell them to try it at their local park. If they can reach the goal it’s worth a shot, it could also lead to a corner and your team is immediately on the attack.
Sometimes you will turn up at very small pitches and your players will be keen to put their skills to the test.
Soccer drill set up
(We call this Louis' kick). Three players take kick-off, only one touches it.
Players one and two stand either side of the ball a little way back, looking at each other. Player three stands behind the ball some way back.
Player one says to two, “Louis’ kick”.
Player three runs up and kicks the ball as hard as he can at the goal.
Try this soccer drill and see what happens but remember players learn quickly so watch out for them doing it back to you!
And don’t forget to keep a copy of the kick-off rule in your kitbag for when you score…