Practice Plans

We have hundreds of practice plans available for you to use or get ideas from, which have been collected from coaching courses, books, interviews with coaches and watching sessions. Keep in mind that very few people are actually inventing new games here, just changing the approach or focus slightly. We recommend reading a few plans and then trying to adapt them to fit exactly what you are trying to help your players with on a given day.

To help you sort through topics we have tried to arrange them by the age of the player and roughly by theme. These are not set in stone though and a lot of plans can be adapted to work with players a few years older or younger. Similarly, some attacking plans make great defensive sessions if you just change the coaching points.

Target Age: Themes:
Title Age Level Players Description
1v1 Activities U13-14 Advanced 16 A practice that works on improving 1v1 success anywhere on the field, progressing to 1v1 finishing moments in larger group environments.
Attacking and Switching Point of Attack – Espanyol U15-18 Elite 18 Working with entire team on possession and team shape on the big field. Session run by Espanyol youth academy.
Attacking Crosses U15-18 Advanced 16 Focusing on improving the quality of crosses and the approach to getting the ball wide through combination and pattern play.
Attacking from the Flank U15-18 Elite 18 Shadow play and other activities working on getting the ball wide through combinations and better vision of the field.
Attacking from the Fullbacks U15-18 Elite 18 Incorporating the outside defenders in attacking situations through combination and wide play.
Attacking in the Back Third U15-18 Elite 18 Playing the ball out from the goalkeeper to defenders to empower them to create opportunities from short passing.
Attacking in the Front Third U15-18 Elite 18 Improving the connection between midfielders and forwards in the final third of the field on and off the ball.
Attacking in the Middle Third U15-18 Elite 18 Playing the ball from back to front through the middle third of the field. Working on passing efficiency and possession for a purpose.
Attacking with the Front Two U15-18 Elite 18 Improving the movement of the front two; working together to be able to receive the ball and finish more effectively.
Balls over the top U13-14 Advanced 16 Playing balls in the air as a technical skill and understanding when tactically to use it in the game.
Balls Over The Top U15-18 Intermediate 16 Helping teams to understand when and how to play flighted balls in behind defenders and how to take advantage of it.
Beating Opponents for Penetration U13-14 Elite 16 Using small-sided games to help players learn to win 2v2, 2v3 and similar numbers.
Beating the Defender U11-12 Advanced 16 Using moves and combinations to beat a defender in a 2v1 or higher situation.
Building From the Back U13-14 Elite 16 Teaching goalkeeper and defenders how to transition and effectively play a ball out from the back.
Central Finishing U13-14 Elite 14 A session with hundreds of opportunities to finish on goal from central locations. High intensity practice with good rhythm and flow.
Changing the Point of Attack U11-12 Any 14 Working on switching the ball when a better outcome can come from it. Adapted from the U15-18 version of this practice.
Changing the Point of Attack U15-18 Elite 18 Recognizing when to penetrate and when to switch the point of attack. Teaching reading the field and patience when appropriate.
Channel Play U13-14 Elite 16 Movement and combination of players in flank areas to get ball into the final third.
Combinations U11-12 Advanced 14 Teaching combinations players can use to beat defenders when they have equal or greater numbers.
Combining to Finish U11-12 Advanced 16 Working in pairs to beat defenders and get a chance on goal. Starting facing opponent in central locations.
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