Off-Season Training Part 2: Improve Foot Skills
During the off-season, players and coaches have a chance to rest and recharge, and to focus on goal-setting for the upcoming season. This is also an excellent opportunity to work on improving basic skills, such as foot skills and agility training. The following information is offered by the team at Fold-A-Goal to help coaches and trainers devise a great off-season training schedule.
Confined Dribbling Skills
A great way to help players improve their footwork is by setting up a confined dribbling drill. Begin by marking out multiple five-yard squares with cones or discs. Divide players into teams of two, with one player dribbling the ball while the other attempts to steal it. Set up a timer so that players know when to switch roles, and try varying lengths of time to run this drill. Keep rest periods to a minimum, which helps players keep their heart rates up and improve overall fitness. This is a fun way to work on foot skills, and also enhances mental agility.
Traditional Cone Drills
Cone drills have been used for years to improve foot skills and help players increase speed and agility. One reason why cone drills are still used is due to the flexibility that they offer; coaches can set up seemingly endless variations, which helps to keep players engaged and on their toes. One of the more traditional cone drills involves setting up cones in a line, then having players weave their way through, alternating between using the inside and outside of their feet to control and direct the ball. These drills are a great way to force players to keep the ball in motion at all times, which helps on the field when a stopped ball offers an engraved invitation to the opposing team to try and make a tackle.
Allow Players to Devise Their Own Drills
One of the benefits of having plenty of cones and discs on hand is the flexibility that these tools provide. If the training program begins to feel a bit too constrained, think about giving players a chance to devise their own drills. This not only helps to shake things up during off-season training sessions but can also help build bonds between players as they work together in pairs or small groups to train and come up with the most challenging or unique set of drills.
The off-season is a great chance to step away from the highly structured routines of the regular soccer season. There are plenty of opportunities for coaches and players to work on foot skills and other aspects of play during this important break. At Fold-A-Goal, we are proud to serve as a training partner for teams across the region and the nation, and we look forward to assisting you in selecting the best equipment to meet your training needs.