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Soccer Moves - Practice Methods

by Stewart Flaherty

Practicing soccer moves is something that requires a high amount of repetition and attention to detail. As a youth soccer coach, you should ensure high levels of repetition without your practices becoming stale and boring. This is particularly important in the younger age groups.

Many different forms of teaching soccer moves exist, and you should vary the drills you use from session to session, even if the turns and coaching points remain consistent.

It is also important to add progressions into practice of soccer moves to increase difficulty and maintain focus and interest. Finish all sessions with a form of competition involving the soccer moves you are teaching. Whether it be 1 v 1 competition, or keeping score and the group competing as individuals, competition will increase intensity and allow you to measure which players are mastering the skills practiced. A score will also allow a player to track his progress and development of each soccer move practiced.


Line drills are a very traditional form of practicing soccer moves. They allow for structure and let you as a coach pay close attention to each player as they perform soccer moves. Place 3 cones in a straight line 10 yards apart. Line the players up at each end cone with player A having a ball. Player A dribbles and performs a soccer move as she reaches the middle cone, then continue in a straight line before dribbling the ball to the feet of player B. Player B then repeats the drill.

When performing line drills try and keep lines of players down to only two or three players per cone. This avoids players waiting for long periods between repetitions, and becoming bored and disinterested. Also, you should always be aiming for consistent movement from players during your training sessions, this helps practice simulate the physical and mental demands of a soccer game. Physical fitness is also developed by training sessions that involve constant motion and activity. To add competition to line drills, have relay races between groups of soccer players. Have a separate race for each soccer move you practice, and award points to the winning team for each round. Play the first team to five points is declared the winner.


Free movement allows you to teach soccer moves to young players without one dimensional straight line running. Mark out a 20 to 30 yard box and have 10 players inside, all with a soccer ball at their feet. Have the players dribble and on the coaches command perform soccer moves as you observe and give coaching points regarding technique. This set up allows you to take individual players to the side for brief individual coaching points as the other players continue to work.

The free movement aspect forces the players to be aware of their surroundings when performing a turn. It is possible that they could turn and crash into each other. Teach players to quickly look over their shoulders and know that they are turning and accelerating into open space.

Progress soccer move drills by having two passive defenders skip around the box and plant themselves in front, to the left, or to the right of a player. Attacking players should turn and accelerate away from pressure as soon as a defender plants their feet.

Finish this practice by adding live defenders to try and win balls form the attacking players. A defender wins possession by clearing the soccer ball outside of the square. After losing her ball, an attacking player becomes a defender. Play this game until only one attacking player still has possession of their soccer ball.


Use game like situations to teach players where and when is a good idea to perform soccer moves. Play on half a field with 6 attackers and 6 defenders. Line up your attackers as 2 forwards and 4 midfielders. Line the defensive team up as a defensive four, and 2 central midfielders. You should cover the following coaching points in this practice;

When to perform a soccer move for penetration. If an attacking player is lined up 1 v 1 he should be aggressive and try to beat the defender. If the defender has immediate cover, a move to find space and pass or shoot is preferable.

Moves to find passing space, even if it is going backwards. Patience and possession are at time more important than preparation.

Finding a shooting lane in a tight area.