Injury Prevention

Session warmup to prepare players for the training time.  Designed and proven to cut down on significant training injuries.  Below is a series of videos.



First Touch

One of the most essential elements of the game and what separate good players from great is first touch.  This video outlines 3 first touch exercises with 2 cones.  It is a simple activity that can be done 1 on 1 or with a group of players.  Instructions and coaching points are embedded in the video.  

Coaches, add this as part of your warm-up for this week.  Ensure that players get plenty of touches on the ball and continue to develop their first touch.  



Be Encouraged!

As coaches there are times when thoughts run through your mind like, "will they ever get it?" or "will I ever see improvement".  Allow this short video to encourage you.  Keep putting in the work and the results will arrive.  Players will transform from meager ball skills and technique into players who consistently demonstrate great technique.


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IEYSA Clinic

Approximately 100 players at last nights IEYSA clinic.  Dribbling focus and ball skills and a ton of fun scrimmaging with Whitworth University soccer players.  

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Practice Tips for Youth Coaches (U6-U8 Coaches)

1. Practice should be fun.

Concentrate on the fun factor.  Skip "drills" and lead activities and games. Limit dead time....let them play. 


2. Be all about skill development.

At least 80% of the practice players should have the ball at their feet.  Focus on technique.


3. Positive Motivation is important 

Encourage, Encourage, Encourage.


4. Have efficient, effective trainings.  

Plan your practices, have maximum amount of touches on the ball, limit the lines kids are standing in, try to make it one ball per player until free play (scrimmage). 

(ideas borrowed from David Huddleston, April 2012)


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Warm Up Activity

A warm up that includes exercise and mental training at the same time.  Tic Tac Toe is a blast to incorporate as a pre-session warmup.  As you begin training make sure players have the ball at their feet, but use this activity before training as players arrive or as a fun activity to recapture attention with younger players.  

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Dribbling Exercise

numbered corners.png

numbered corner

In a 15x30 yard grid, divided in 4 rectangles, number each of the corners.  All players in one area dribbling, when the coach calls out a number, all players must dribble to that area.  


one foot only

inside of foot only

outside/inside of foot

call out more than one number. (i.e. 1 /3 - players would dribble from their corner to corner 1 and back to corner 3. 



Highlight a Value

Every practice with 90+ we highlight a value that players should embody.  In IEYSA we highlight sportsmanship during games.  Highlight a value at the beginning of training this week.  Explain what it means and ask players to watch for it during practice.  At the conclusion of training, ask the players where this particular value showed up during practice and encourage them to practice it at home and school.  

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Coaches Question Challenge

Be the first to answer the questions right in the comments section below and win a soccer coaching resource with six weeks of games, activities, and coaching material.  


Question 1: 3 specific actions she needs to take before receiving the ball

Question 2: offer 2 coaching points to the player

Question 3: list the 2 completed correct actions



Ball Mastery and Foot skills

Photo by Markus Spiske

Photo by Markus Spiske


If you are looking for some basic ball skill mastery for your younger teams, check out the linked videos.

You will find the following:

1 & 2. 30 ball mastery skills to incorporate into training.

3. basic dribbling skills individually and with a partner 

4. Dribbling in a condensed space.  This is a time to incorporate the ball mastery skills into a more realistic training environment with some pressure.  You can add a defender to this in a natural progression. 

5. Cone dribbling.  The goal is to increase the proficiency of dribbling in tight spaces.  

6. The 2 cone drill is for more advanced or older players working on ball control.

Russ (



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Welcome 90+ and IEYSA Coaches

This space will serve to provide coaches with resources and interaction to assist in their development as coaches.  The following will be the focus of this Virtual Learning Environment (VLE):

  • coaching techniques

  • technical

  • tactical

  • training activities 

  • warmup & injury prevention

  • etc.


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