by Ashley Pugh -

Soccer Coaching With Cupello Part 3 - Soccer Coaching At Home

soccer coaching at home
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Table of Contents

In this part three of six parts soccer coaching with Cupello, we look at soccer coaching at home.

I am constantly thinking about how to improve my players and to get them to a standard so that they are enjoying playing as much as possible. All too often players are not getting the extra push they need to meet the next level and will stay where they are because no one has encouraged or inspired them to better themselves.

It's always a disappointment to me when the summer break happens and I lose my players for a few weeks because they lose the inspiration I give them every week to go out and do things on their own that will make them a better player.

Some players will do so, usually inspired by a mom or dad but a lot of players will take the easy option of playing on the playstation or other less active things.

It is a pleasure to speak to the parents who have taken to heart the things I have spoken about and put into practice some of the ideas that I want them to use at home.

Home coaching is all about ball skills, fun games and playing with siblings in the garden and also in the house. What some parents don't understand is that get their kids a soft ball or a small ball and set up a little pitch, maybe in the hall or one of the rooms you don't use as much and let them play out their soccer dreams.

kids soccer cupello

Small steps, big challenge

You may think everyone else's kids are doing the same thing – and maybe they are – but to be the best you have to match whatever they are doing at home and push yourself that little bit harder. It isn't easy to train on your own so if you can get a friend or a parent or sibling to join in so much the better.

Without the coach to help it can sometimes seem like you are not using the correct ball skills or doing the correct training to help improve your playing skills. But that shouldn't deter parents from stepping in and using the advice from Cupello to guide you on that coaching journey with your soccer playing children.

Motivate at home

Why are you doing skills and soccer games at home? Is the main thing to give the kids something to do or is that just a part of what you are planning in your soccer at home sessions? It is important that you and your children know why you are doing it and what they will achieve if they follow the skills and games you are showing them.

You need to make the most of the time the kids are playing because they will stop doing what you want them to do and revert to just playing a game – nothing wrong with that because everything we do goes back to the game which is why we try to hone our skills to play the game better.

Do I need equipment?

You need a ball and cleats to play in the garden or in the house you shouldn't let your kids play in socks because that is how injuries happen. Bare feet is best in doors with football boots outdoors. You can use trainers if you have no boots but boots would be better as it gets players used to kicking a ball in them.

At young ages U6 and below, playing indoors is ideal for getting an idea of the game and how it should be played. Chasing the ball can be turned into running with the ball and eventually being in  total control by dribbling the ball.

What is crucial to your thinking is that it is not the equiment that matters but the commitment players put into the games and skills sessions. Try and make the most of the commitment because naturally that will fall away especially with the younger age groups.

One thing that would really help is a portable goal – small goals are not too expensive and if you had a couple of goals it makes it much easier for your kids to imagine they are playing a game.

Plus some coloured cones would be very useful for the games here.

What to eat before training

When you are home with your kids they are not going to eat things they don't like – so think of giving them pancakes for breakfast. Perfect to start off a day of playing soccer in the garden. They are the carbohydrates that give energy for the day especially if it is a hot and energy sapping day. Top them off with a bit of syrup and some fruit and they'll love it.

Pasta around lunchtime with breads, waffles, cookies and plenty of fruit for snacks.

Using mental skills

The mental side of the game helps players to perform their best under playing pressures. At Cupello we use Gazing's Red2blue programme to help youth players with goal-setting, emotions, focus, and resilience.

soccer at homes with kids

Five drills at home with mum, dad or sibling

You can play these in the garden or in your lounge.

1. Box Running

This is a series of runs in and around a square of cones, place four cones in a square 10 x 10 yards

Start with a sprint around the cones

Next go forwards to the first cone then run backwards to the second cone, forward to the first cone then backwards to the 4th cone.

Sidestep around the four cones.

Now go from cone 1 to cone 2 then diagonal to cone 4, back to cone 3 then diagonal to cone 1

2. Number react

Set up a of three cones in a straight line in front of the runner with a gap of 1 yard between the cones and 4 yards between the first cone and the start where the player runs from.

Players react to number called out.

Fast runs to the number called by the coach (1-3) jog on the spot until the second number is called. Players must look forward so if a number called is less than the first number they run backwards (ie coach calls 2, then 1 the player runs backwards to 1)

3. Ball react

Set up a circle of five cones with each cone 2 yards from the centre with a ball on each cone. Number the cones 1-5 and tell the player so they know the numbers. The coach calls out a number and the player must react to that number and knock the ball off the cone. Time how long it takes then run it again.

If you don't have five balls or cones you can use anything to mark the space (like plant pots) and get the player to touch each one as you call the numbers

4. Command and action

Player has a ball and runs around a 10 yard square. He/she must react to the action called out by the coach. 1. Dribble Slower 2. Dribble Faster 3. Turn with ball 4. Keepie uppies 5. Dribble with best foot 6. Dribble with weakest foot 7. Dribble out of the square and back in.

5. Dribble in zig zags

Set out a course of cones 1 yard apart that are zig zagged so players half turn to each cone. Use 6 cones. The players zig zags down then zig zags back up. They can progress to using a skill at each cone – turn around the cone, do a step over to “beat” the cone, use a feint to “beat the cone”.

Five games for the garden (some can work indoors)

Players and friends plus siblings and parents!

1. 4v1 Boxes

Body positioning is key when receiving the ball and deceiving the defender, helping link play with teammates

4 v 1 boxes

2. Movement to receive

Coaching movement is not about using lots of equipment it is about engaging your players to making short, sharp moves with good body position to receive the ball including timing of runs

movement to receive

3. Circle possession

This drill gives different angles of pass so that as the outside players move between the goal and the half-way line, there are more options to split the defence.

circle possession

4. Long accurate passes

Long passes are excellent way to advance play up the pitch to a player in space. Moving the ball from wing to opposite wing or passing into players running into the box is an important part of a player's attacking development.

long accurate passes

5. Triangle pass

This drill works on basic actions in passing and receiving the ball and movement to be in a position to receive the ball. Works for players to get their technique and movement right.

triangle pass

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Ashley Pugh Written by
Ashley Pugh

Ashley Pugh is one of the Co-Founders of and has been committed to writing family related content since 2008. There isn't much about family attractions that Ashley doesn't know, after visiting hundreds of them worldwide over the last 20 years.

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