Running a Summer Practice

How important is a summer practice?  many teams and coaches call them play days but believe it or not they can be essential to your teams season.  Your week-long team camp acts as the start to your pre-season but the summer practices before must lead your players into pre-season.

Basics of a summer practice:

1.5 hours is long enough – Even if during the season your practice will be 2 hours for the summer practice 1.5 hours is long enough.  The players concentration levels and focus are lower due to school being out, then you have the heat.

As mentioned above the concentration levels are low.  Players attending practice at 6pm have very little concentration left during the summer months – Split you practice in 3 x 30 minute sessions

Technical (first 30 minutes)

Have all the players with a ball at their feet – touching the ball is their favorite part of the game!  build up their confidence with the ball at their feet for the long season ahead.  Improve their dribbling skills with various games of knock-out, Soccatag Body part, sharks and minnows.  This can save a lot of time the first day of camp.  Go over the 10 basic turns and ensure they all have the idea of when to use them in a  game.

Movement (fitness) (second 30 minutes)

Any movement can be classed as fitness during the summer practice.  It may as simple as a game of tag.  for the younger ages groups you do not want poles and cones for this but the older ones should be doing working on ploy-metrics and Speed stamina.  This gain will insure your payers get the most out of the pre-season camp as they will be able to work for longer.  It will also come in handy in the championship game on Sunday afternoon after playing four games over the weekend and 2 players injured so down to two subs – we’ve all been there

Games 3 v 3 (last 30 minutes)

During the summer players are itching to play, so let them, that game can sometimes be the best teacher.  Small-sided game allow players for touches on the ball and the time and environment to practice the 10 turns and technical aspects worked on in the first 30 minutes.  Make the 3 v 3 a tournament and have them leave excited about the next practice.

Stay away from to many passing drills and players doing a lot of running in them

Enjoy the practice with them, it’s the coaches chance to really get in and play

If the players do not enjoy the summer practice and already start to think urgh practice it is going to be a long season for everyone involved .