Scoring Goals

Youth Session Plan – Scoring Goals

Objective: To encourage players to take shooting chances.

Shooting Gallery  More often than not most of the players will grab a ball when they get to training and either start shooting at a keeper and blasting the ball at each other over varying distances. So I thought I would start this session off by giving them what they want. In this drill the players get a lot of time on the ball to perfect their technique. when shooting get the players to look at the target on the run up and put accuracy before power.


The players at either end of the shooting lane take turns at shooting, making sure they give the keeper time to turn, Keep at least a 2 yard gap between goals and don’t let players get too close when taking shots. You can make it easier by not using a keeper. You can make it harder by having someone serve the ball to the shot taker. 

Racing through on Goal – The central player passes through one of the gates for the striker to run, control and then shoot into the corner of the goal (across the goalkeeper). The practice works to the right and then left, by ensuring players rotate starting positions they get to work on shooting with both feet


To make it easier use a cone instead of a goalkeeper and to make it harder introduce a defender to chase the striker.

Chelsea Game –  Playing 4v4 or 5v5 in one half of the pitch. one team are trying to combine quickly to score a goal. The other team are trying to play a through ball in order to get a player running through on goal to score against the goalkeeper. Don’t forget to swap over the teams objectives.


Normal Game: Play a normal game with a focus on the skills learnt in the session, giving particular praise to players taking opportunities to score.


Taking on and Beating Opponents

Youth Session Plan – Taking on and Beating Opponents

Objective: To encourage players to take on opponents in 1v1 situations

The set up: Magic Rectangle – The overall pitch size is 40×30 with the central third being 16 yards long.

1v1 Games: The diagram below shows the four 1v1 games which are worked through with the team in order. Try and change the players around before you move onto each new game. If you have more than 8 players just use more of the rectangles.


Game 1- Leg GoalsIn pairs, one player with ball, in each grid. The blue player has ball and must dribble ball around grid trying to kick it into the legs of the red player. The red player must avoid being hit by using quick feet. The blue player gets 2 minutes to get as many points as they can then change over so the red players have the ball.

Game 2 – Keep Ball: The Blue player dribbles the ball and tries to shield the ball from the red player who must either put the ball out of play or regain possession for a point. Play for 2 minutes then change over and make the red player keep the ball.

Game 3 – Line Soccer: Players stand on a goal line opposite each other The red player passes ball to the blue player who must then try to beat the red player and score a point by stopping the ball on the opposite line. How many goals can the blue player score in 2 minutes before the roles are reversed?

Game 4 – 3 Way Goals: The red player passes to the blue player who then has to beat the red player to either of the 3 corners. 1 point for getting to the corner goals 3 points for the goal behind the defenders starting position. Play for 2 minutes then reverse the roles.

4v4 To goal or the corner –The players are then split into two teams, 4v4 or 5v5, whatever suits your group. The four central cones and the small goals used for the previous drill are removed.


The game is played with the use of the whole pitch and the support of extra players and no goalkeepers. Players score two points for dribbling the ball through the goal and one point for dribbling the ball to the corner. You can award extra points for players beating players 1v1, or where they have actively got their head up and looked for the best space to attack.

Normal Game: Play a normal game with a focus on the skills learnt in the session, giving particular praise to players taking on opponents 1v1.

Movement to Support the Player with the Ball

Youth Session Plan – Movement to Support the Player with the Ball

The Set Up: Magic Rectangle – The overall pitch size is 50×30 with the central third being 20 yards long.

Warm Up: Warming up with a ball is important for young players, one way we can achieve this is using passing routines.Here are two ideas for you:

In the diagram on the left three players stand between two cones on the edge of the rectangle, a player passes the ball to a team mate and then moves the to the gap between two cones that no one is standing between, thus recreating movement into space.and passing triangles. The diagram on the right is a simple pass and move exercise for four players. Each player stands on the outer edge of the rectangle, when passing the ball they follow their pass to their team mates line.

Passing Under Pressure – The session would then be progressed by running the same exercises as the warm up but by adding a player to the centre of each rectangle who applies wither limited pressure or full pressure – dependant upon the age and ability of each group. Otherwise known as the Rondo. Play either 3v1 or 4v1 etc and dont forget to roate the player in the middle.

Before moving onto the next part of the session move the four central cones to a make a 20×20 playing area.

Mourinho Drill 21 – Players pay either 3v3 or 4v4 in the 20×20 playing are with 2 unopposed neutral fullbacks in the outside channels. Teams can only score by playing the ball into someone who gets the ball under control in the end zone. Players cannot dribble into the end zone themselves, or arrive before the ball is passed to them.


Progress the drill above by  giving each team a different objective, the White team are looking to get the ball forward to the Striker for a shot at goal. The centre back, right back, left back and striker for the White team play unopposed outside the central area. The Blue team play 4v2 or 5v2 (depending on the number of players you have) their objective is the same as the previous game, to get the ball into the zone the White teams Centre back occupies, by playing the ball into someone who gets the ball under control


Take the opportunity to switch the objectives around so each team gets to play both roles and switch player roles around too.

Normal Game: Play a normal game with a focus on the skills learnt in the session, giving particular praise to players moving to support the player in possession.

Receiving On The Back Foot

Youth Session Plan – Receiving  On The Back Foot

Objective: To encourage players to receive the ball on the foot furthest away from pressure

Back Foot  In a grid wider than it is long to suit the ability of the players set up as per the diagram below. The players at the North and South point of the diamond pass the ball at the same time to the players on their right. The players at East and West receive the ball on the back foot and having checked that the player on their right is ready they pass the ball to them. Players should follow their passes and move to the next cone.


Playing to a target  – Split the players into groups with a ball each and ask each team to move the ball from one target area to the opposite target area (playing unopposed) but they should try to receive every pass on the “back foot”. Players should be moving into the target area to receive passes rather than having someone permanently in the target area.


Five v Three – Using the same set up as the previous game the game no becomes directional. Split the group up into two teams one with an overload.


The target players are restricted to their areas. Each team attempts to get the ball to their target player. The ball must be controlled inside the target area for it to count as a goal. When a team gets the ball to their target player the target player plays the ball out to the opposing team with a free pass. Rotate the players so that they all get to experience the overload. Make sure the grid is wide enough to encourage players to create space. If players spread out and take the ball on their back foot they should be able to play forward quickly and get plenty success. If you have extra players use them as support players on the sidelines.

Normal Game: Play a normal game with a focus on the skills learnt in the session, giving particular praise to players receiving the ball on the back foot.

Dribble or Pass?

Youth Session Plan – Dribble or Pass?

Objective: To develop the decision-making of the player in possession, when to dribble and when to pass?

The Set Up: Magic Rectangle – The overall pitch size is 40×30 with the central third being 16 yards long

Xavi, Iniesta, Messi Passing  – Having watched this Coerver Coaching video on the FourFourTwo Performance website, this is a variation I came up with to make it easier for younger or less able players to play using one ball.


The outside players are restricted to simple short passes, like in a Rondo, but the player in the middle could be creative with their pass (using back heels, Ronaldo chops etc).

The player on the outside passes the ball to the player in the middle and the outside player moves to the space between the two cones that is empty. Each player was given about a minute in the middle before they changed with another player, ensuring everyone gets a turn in the middle. Repeat the exercise but removed the restriction on always passing to the player in the middle, so the player makes a pass outside they feel an outside player is better placed to receive the ball than the player in the middle.

2v1 Line Soccer – Using the rectangles in the centre of the pitch pair up players to create 2×1 games, if you have odd numbers have some of the better players play 2v2. Can the players use some the creativity from the previous exercise to create opportunities to get passed the defender? No restrictions are put on the players insisting they pass, let them decide what works and what doesn’t.


Swap the players around so that each pair plays the role of the defender.

Lane Soccer – In this small sided game the channels running the length of the pitch are used. Each team must have at least one player in each of the three zones. They can receive, pass and dribble but can’t go out of their zone. Goalkeepers can be used if required. The diagram shows the game with different cones, if you use the magic rectangle set up, there is no need to change cones as the channels have already been created. As well as creating lots of 1v1’s and opportunities to switch play, it also has the added benefit of preventing younger players from bunching up. Each team must have at least one player in each of the three zones.


For older players, if they leave the a zone empty they concede a free kick wherever the infringement took place. After a few goals, swap the players to a new zone.

Normal Game: Play a normal game with a focus on the skills learnt in the session, giving particular praise to taking players on or passing to create opportunities for their team.

Using One Twos or Wall Passes

Youth Session Plan – Using One Twos or Wall Passes

Objective: To improve players ability to execute combination passes

The Set Up: A square pitch appropriate for the number of players. The triangle in the centre is 10 yards long, its advisable to use different coloured cones in the triangle to aid your description of what the players have to do.

Triangle Passing – The player on the orange cone starts with the ball and passes it to the player on the blue cone and runs to join the queue behind the blue cone.  As the ball is passed the player at the blue cone they should check his shoulders and TRY to pass the ball to the player on the yellow in cone with no more than two touches, after passing they then go to the queue at the yellow cone. The player on the yellow cone, checks his shoulders as the ball is passed to him, then controls the pass and dribbles it over to the player at the front of the orange cone and the sequence continues. Once players are used to the sequence you can then introduce the use of one twos, to move the ball around the triangle.

Depending on the space and number of players you have, you could use more triangles with less players at each cone.


3+2 v 3+2 – The yellow team play North to South and the Red play East to West, it can also be played with larger or smaller numbers in the middle or even an overload. The objective for the players in the middle is to do a wall pass or one to two, with one of the two members of the team on the outside of the playing area. For each successful wall pass or one two, they get one point. You will quickly see players looking for space and for the players in possession to be looking for team mates in space. Allow players to dribble to find spaces also. Defensively players quickly learn that they need to quickly close down any player that makes a pass to a team mate on the outside to prevent them getting a point.

You can make it easier by giving the player on the outside all the time they need, in terms of number of touches to make a return pass. You can make it harder by limiting the outside players touches.


The Arsenal Game: Arsenals play is made up of lots of quick short passing with plenty of movement off the ball. They use wall passes a lot. The game is a standard game, except that the neutral players on each side can be used. The neutral players play with the team that have possession. They take any kick-ins from their side. Having the neutral players encourages plenty of give and goes. The players should also be encouraged to play at a fast tempo. Change the neutral players every few minutes.


Normal Game: Play a normal game with a focus on the skills learnt in the session, giving particular praise to players using wall passes to create scoring opportunities

Changes of Direction in 1v1 Situations

Youth Session Plans – Changes of Direction in 1v1 Situations

Objective: Focus on being able to change direction in 1v1 situations both with and without the ball.

Ball Work – As players arrive they are asked to get a ball, find some space on the pitch and individually practise their dribbling and juggling skills – Fifa street style. Then players where asked to demonstrate for the rest of the team any new skills they had taught themselves.

1v1 to Two Goals: Split your players into two groups, defenders and attackers. The defending group will each start with a ball.


The defender passes the ball accurately across the area to the attacker and runs forward to defend. The attacker must attempt to get past the defender in order to score in one of the target goals, by using trick feints or speed to beat them. Rotate the players the by getting them to go to the opposite line after each attempt.

Lose Your Marker – Split players into four groups. One group will be the attacking player, one group the defending player and two groups will be the passers (each one of these should have a ball. Goalkeepers are optional).


An attacker and a defender stand opposite each other, 3 yards apart, the defender has their back to goal. The attacking player has to make a run to lose their marker in order to get a first time shot at goal.They can get the defender off balance by moving left or right behind the cones. The defending player cannot move until the attacker makes their run between the two cones. The attacker has to call the name of the player they want to receive a pass from as the make their run and  we are looking for a first time shot on goal.. Rotate the players through the positions regularly as this game can be get quite tiring.

Multiball Game: Pick two teams, one attacking and one defending and place a quantity of balls in the middle of the pitch. You will need more than the number of players in the attacking team


The defending team defend the goals but are not allowed to act as keepers or permanently stand in the goals. The attacking team continuously  take a ball from the middle and attempt to beat defenders or take advantage of space to score goals, until all the balls have gone. If an attacking player misses a shot they have to collect their ball and return it to the middle. Once all the balls have been used the teams change roles. The team which scores with all the balls in the quickest times wins.

Normal Game: Focus on the skills learnt in the session, giving particular praise to players taking players on opponents.