The mission of HSA is to provide an opportunity for all the children of Hamden to learn and play soccer!

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       Attacking in soccer is a lot like attacking in the game of chess. In chess if you have three pawns and your opponent has two you would like to trade pawn for pawn until your 3-2 advantage becomes 1-0.  In soccer, if you have a 3-2 advantage your attackers should make passes and runs which require the defenders to commit.  You want your 3-2 advantage to become a 2-1 advantage and finally a 1 versus the keeper.




In a circle dribbling around the coach the ball is always on the outside foot AWAY from the coach.. Change direction with a chop, outside of foot turn, etc. always AWAY from the opponent. In this case the coach in the center.

Free Play
No instructions.

In pairs keep the ball away from a partner. Change every thirty seconds. Don't worry about resting. They will stop. Just keep circulating and keep them moving. About 2-3 minutes worth. Observe errors, who you will have to work with later, and who's good, so they can help you demonstrate. (Free play is an excellent opportunity to also train YOU. Increasing your observational powers and coaching eye).

Critique the free play. Demonstrate with yourself and an opponent. Point your shoulder to her with the ball on the near leg and have a player try to steal it. They will. Ask the question/ What should you have done.

The emphasis should be ball on the far leg.

(Verbalizing)Put the ball on the on the far leg, shoulder pointed toward opponent. Now ask the player to get the ball. (I assume your big enough that body size, compared to player, will overcome any lack of skill)

Now demonstrate dribbling with the opponent on the shoulder. Take a few steps. Then reverse direction with the same move you had them perform in the circle. Involve another pair of players to get them to demonstrate. Make corrections by asking the group what goes wrong.

Split them up in pairs and have them try it. Circulate and correct. Wild body movements are a common error. Get them to calm down and perform. "Be cool. The man can't get it with the ball on the far leg, etc."

Another common error will be turning their back on the opponent THE NEXT PRACTICE -NOT THIS ONE. Start at the beginning of drill above. "Yeah we got it coach- you did that last time". Now show the difference of having the back to the opponent vs the shoulder. Do this by letting the opponent kick the ball away from you by poking. Illustrate with the shoulder turned the distance between the ball is increased. Repeat all of the above.

Your two main points are: ball on far foot, keep shoulder turned.

Box Drill 3 v 1
Same as usual, but this time change the emphasis from one or two touches to four or five. Alternatively, holding the ball for a five count before passing it.

Small sided Game
Carry over the condition from the box drill.

Warm up
Soccer dancing with sole of foot per pervious posts.

Free Play/Drills
Keep ball under sole of foot, opponent leans on shoulder and tries to get to it. Reverse direction when opponent commits.

Handling an opponent on the back.(Note this is not taught at the start since in earlier ages getting the shoulder around is preferred). The body lean is more, and the ball leg is extended to avoid being poked. Vary degree of physical pressure and pushing. {For new refs: try this with NO OPPONENT and you will see your arms have to be out for balance. Don't get caught up in the hands by the sides routine} Box drill again but 3 v 2 hold ball longer and include takeovers.

Small sided game
Condition : forwards must hold ball from long passes until help arrives, takeover, etc.

Coerver Move
Stop ball by stepping on ball. Take giant step with same foot to put body between ball and opponent. Turn in opposite direction to dribble or pass. Practice using standard Coerver drills, buildup. Insist this turn be used through practice for all aspects of practice where a 180 turn is required, such as running down stray balls and returning to a group.


Players A and B are at the cones with the balls. Players C and D show for the ball and then receive a pass and pass it back. Then, they run across and receive a pass from the other passer (i.e. C starts with A, then goes to B, back to A, etc.) Do this for a bit and then switch. The hard part is making sure C and D don't run into each other while running to meet the next pass.


Now, have C be the attacker, D be the defender. Run it the same way, but now C must shield D from the ball to receive the pass. If C stands and waits, they won't get the ball. After a bit, switch C and D, then switch outside and inside. I usually have the defender start with light pressure - just running with the attacker, but I have them increase it to full pressure before too long.

I've found that this seems to get the girls to move to the ball better, especially after you add the defender and they "see" why it is important to meet the ball. It also helps with communication - the player in the middle should be able to communicate to the passer to pass the ball to a particular side/foot (depending on how well the player in the middle can hold off the defender - with my U12s it takes some time.)