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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #1 
I have coached club soccer and recreation for about 25 seasons and here is one of the games that I created that works well and is a lot of fun. I call it the "Ladder game."  The topic is "inside of the foot passing."

Frank’s Ladder Game

There are two parallel lanes each lane is about 2 or 3 yards wide and the two lanes are about 12 yards from each other (depending on the skill of your players). In the center between the two lanes there is a parallel line of five pair of cone goals which are of one color, say orange. Between each of these cone goals are pairs of another color say yellow. The purpose of the yellow cones is to set off the orange goals.

The final set of the goals is shorter than the other four- say, this one say three feet wide.  (If you don’t have the cones of a second color you can set cones on pinnies to distinguish them.) 

 To start:

Partners have one ball between them. The partners are at the starting point at the base of the opposite lanes. The first pair of partners dribble forward and then pass the ball though the first set of goal cones to the partner in the other lane. If the ball goes through and the partner controls it in their lane it is a successful pass. They then can dribble forward up to the next rung on the ladder to the next goal . As soon as the first partners start by playing the ball the next set of partners can start, etc.  

 The partners return to the starting point if: 1) they successfully negotiate all five goals (get a point), or 2) if a player make an errant pass not through the goals, or 3).  If a ball dies before it gets to the partner. The game is continuous.

 The lanes distance should not be so distant that accuracy is sacrificed for power.

Remember the three coaching points for passing with the inside of the foot: 1) support foot even with the ball on contact, 2) ankle on kicking foot locked with toe above heel, and 3) kicking foot follows through in a straight line toward the target without crossing the support foot.

 Tell your players it will improve their performance if they target their partner’s feet instead of the middle of the goal cones.

 The game could eventually require passing with the weak foot.

This game is more challenging for the players than you would expect.  I was surprised when I did this with club soccer girls they refused to bypass other girls until they shot in progressing up the ladder! 

I attempted to insert my diagram here but found the format would not take. 

Frank Potter

Posts: 3,270
Reply with quote  #2 

Don’t progress to the weaker foot.  Start there.

This forces the players to slow down and concentrate on getting the technique right. The latter will transfer to use of the dominant foot.

94%, 83%.  Those are the median differentials (weak foot proficiency to dominant foot proficiency) on tests of shooting power and service for distance & accuracy in a group of 24 06G that I work with. (About 50 hours year, for two years now, and the work is on much more than shooting technique.)  

Persistent adherence to a “teach to the weaker foot” model, regular attention to the technical aspects of striking a ball, and a juggling progression that requires equal use by both feet has produced players who at age 12 are at or approaching automaticity in terms of use of their weaker foot.

Recent months have seen, with the weaker foot: corner kicks taken, a shootout PK made, and on a single weekend three shots put on the frame in the run of play from the center circle of a 9v9 field. (One scored, one saved, one tipped over the bar.)

Today a player in a predecessor group begins her college career with a top-25 ACC school.  That school and the others recruiting her were salivating at the thought of getting a strong left-footed player.  She’s not left-footed.

Learn more about this idea here.  Chapter 13.



"Winning is important. The lessons learned by winning and losing in sports last a lifetime. However, the goal of every youth coach should be to help young soccer players understand and enjoy the process of participation and to teach the skill necessary to succeed. When the pressure to win begins too early, the passion and the love for the game can be lost." - Jay Martin, editor, NSCAA Soccer Journal
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