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The article makes lots of good points about drills.  In many cases, it is spot on.

I think drills work good for situations such as getting lots of reps in a short period of time with new players in particular, but I don't see them as a long term focal point of practice.   I was taught to look down on drills (National youth license) and came to appreciate them only after years of avoiding them. So, I have a different perspective than the author.   I came to this point after working with some South American coaches who were doing drills with young kids where the kids loved them and greatly improved their skills.  It opened up more options in games which lead to more success and fun.   I saw how they coached the drill in a way that made it work.

If you do a drill and it carries over to the game then you know it was done right.  You have to be able to adjust it to your players and make it so that it is applicable to their game.  As your players grow, the situation changes and what they need changes so the drill may change or become inappropriate for them.  This may happen in one practice or a few weeks or a season.  A drill may later become a short part of a warm up sequence to get lots of quick touches and refresh certain scenarios.

For example, with new players the initial issue is controlling the ball.  After you can control the ball, it may be recognizing different options and being able to make different types of passes or shots.   Later, you need to be able to read and combine with others or deal with different situations 1v1, 2v1, 2v2, 3v2, etc.  This may take a season or more to learn for new players.  So, appropriate drills that might happen during the season will change as they develop.

You try to set up the drill in same area of the field that it will apply in the game to help it carry over.   You can put players in the desired situation and create lots of reps in a short period of time.

Some people have a narrow view of drills, but depending upon the level of player and amount of available time and it may be the best way for them to learn.   You won't make great soccer players just doing drills, but there is a place for it in the player's development.

I think the main problem is poor coaching rather than drills.  For me, it took about 10 years to start to really understand how games mistakes (and successes) often carry over from little details in how I run my practice.    When coaching the same age and level of players for several years you do begin to find groups of drills that have worked well in the past, but every team is different so you adjust to what works.

It is not the drill that teaches the player.  A coach creates an environment that encourages skill development and improvement.   It is how the drill is run and how the players are handled that is coaching.   Doing a drill is not coaching.

Can you imagine keepers training without ever doing any drills?

I guess some people hold that drills are boring and mindless with no decision making and that coaches should instead use activities which are fun and require decision making.   So, there may be some difference in how people define "drill".   Drills typically do include decision making and they can be fun.

Drills should be economical in that they involve psychological, physical, technical, and tactical aspects to improve the players.   They should progress and lead to improved skill in the game.

After all of this about drills, I have also run many sessions that have not have any drills at all.   Sometimes, I may just play 4v4 and use different conditions to vary the game or let the kids play self organizing pick ups soccer.  There are many types of training.

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