The best way to learn how to play soccer is simple: Play soccer! When your youth training program follows this philosophy, exercises for small groups that are based on game situations, from 1 v. 1 to full scrimmages, are the cornerstone for success. These exercises are easy to organize, and are fun for players, too.
There is one basic principle behind an effective youth training program: Nothing motivates youth players more than playing games with goals and goalkeepers. This does not mean you should just let your players play and hope they might learn something. However, with a few simple variations and rules, you can focus on specific elements of the game while keeping practice simulating to players.
To demonstrate the wealth of possibilities, we will use exercises based on a simple form: 4 v. 4 + 4 extra players on two goals with goalkeepers. The exercises presented here are just a small sample from a broad spectrum of variations. It is up to each coach to invent further exercises according to the abilities and specific needs of his players.
How to use this exercises