All posts by Paul van Veen

Triangle Soccer Drill by Louis van Gaal

Louis van Gaal is the coach of Manchester United and former coach of clubs like Ajax and Barcelona. During the World Cup 2014 he finished 3rd with the Dutch national team. One of the most well known soccer drills of Louis van Gaal is known as the triangle, as shown in the diagram below. Even if Louis van Gaal is not the coach anymore of the Dutch National team, they still do this exercise regularly. In this article we will discuss this soccer drill and four variations.

driehoekvangaal1a

In this drill we have 2 players at cone B and C and players with ball at cone A. Player 1 passes to player 2, player 2 controls the ball and passes to player 3, who controls the ball and dribble back to the starting position. Please make sure to do this soccer drill clockwise too (so players have to pass with theur left foot)

Variation 1
From this drill we can have several variations. The first variation is to play a 1-2 combination between players 2 and 3 at cone C. Instead of moving outside (like in the original drill), player 3 will move towards the ball now.

driehoekvangaal2

Variation 2
The second variation is to play a 1-2 combination at cone B as well. Again notice that player 2 is now moving towards the ball too, instead of outside. After the pass back to player 1, player 2 has to run around the cone (to make space for the pass that completes the 1-2). The video also shows this exercise.

driehoekvangaal3

Variation 3
Instead of a 1-2 combination at cone B, player 1 now plays the ball directly to player 3. At cone C we still have the same 1-2 combination as in variation 1 and 2.

driehoekvangaal4

 

Variation 4
In the 4th variation we play a 1-2 combination at cone B and then we play a through pass to player 3 who dribbles the ball to the starting position.
driehoekvangaal5

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How to avoid waiting time in your soccer shooting drills

I think most soccer coaches have seen the soccer shooting drill which is shown below in a training session. All players have a ball, they pass the ball to a player in front of the goal, they get the ball back and can shoot on goal. They collect their ball and get back in line and have to wait about 2-4 minutes for their next turn.

Clearly, waiting times like this is not something you want to see in your soccer drills. But, on the other hand, every player likes shooting drills, so you want them to your session. In this article I will give you some ideas to deal with larger number of players in your shooting drills.

shooting1
This is not something you want to see in your soccer shooting drills

The first important tip is that in the exercise above, you – as a soccer coach – can never be the blue player, because the blue player is getting the most touches of all people on the field. You want to improve your players (and not yourself), therefore the blue player has to be a player. Of course it is a good idea to swap the blue player every 2-3 minutes.

Dribbling through cones
dribbling
To avoid waiting time, you can put cones in the way as shown in the diagram above. Instead of just collecting the ball and get back in line you tell players to dribble as fast as they can through the cones as possible. This way you also improve the dribbling skills of your players. It is important to challenge players in the dribbling, because otherwise the dribbling has no effect.

Two goal shooting
2goals
If you have the luxury of having 2 (or more’ goals, you can add another goal to split the group. If you don’t have 2 goalkeepers, it is no problem to put a player on goal and switch that player regularly. After shooting twice on the left goal, you go to the right goal and the other way around. This way every player will shoot twice as much as the original situation.

Possession game
possessiongame2
Another possibility to avoid waiting times is to split the group in 2 and let the other group perform a simple drill. In this diagram a number of players play a possession game (e.g. 4 versus 1 in the diagram above) and the other players are performing the soccer shooting drills. After a set time the groups swap.

More passes before shooting
addingpoints
In the drill above we have changed the shooting drill a bit. We added 2 extra cones and have put 2 players at each cone. The first ball is played as in the diagram above and all players move up one position. While the first ball is still in play, we already start with the second ball. We can continue quickly, because at every cone there are 2 players. In this drill players won´t shoot more than in the original drill, but they will not have to wait in line all the time.

I hope that with this article I have given you some ideas to avoid waiting time in your soccer shooting drills. Especially with soccer shooting drills it is good to pay attention to it. Of course, there are a lot more possibilities.

If you like the article, I would appreciate that you share it.

 
07Jan/15

25+ top soccer passing drills

Every coach is always looking for ideas for new soccer drills for their training session. This article will give an overview of more than 25 top soccer passing drills which you can use in your training session. Not all drills will be suitable for your team, but I am sure you will find some that will improve the passing skills of your team!

Players: 2
Age categories: U15

Players: 10-12
Age categories: Adults, U19, U17, U15, U13

Players: 22
Age categories: Adults, U19, U17

Players: 16
Age categories: Adults, U19, U17, U15

Players: 16
Age categories: Adults, U19

Players: 8
Age categories: Adults, U19, U17

Players: 8
Age categories: Adults, U19, U17

Players: 8
Age categories: Adults, U19, U17

Players: 8
Age categories: Adults, U19, U17

Players: > 2
Age categories:

Players: 6
Age categories: Adults

Players: 3
Age categories: U19

Players: 5
Age categories: Adults, U19, U17, U15, U13, U11, U9

Players: > 2
Age categories:

Players: 2-12
Age categories: U13, U11, U9

Players: 8-12
Age categories: Adults, U19, U17

Players: 20
Age categories: Adults

Players: 20
Age categories: Adults

Players: 20
Age categories:

Players: > 2
Age categories:

Players: 10
Age categories: Adults

 

Soccer passing drills in 7 different shapes

If you are looking for variations of soccer passings drills for your training session, there are a lot of possibilities. In this article we cover several shapes you can use to offer your players new and challenging soccer passing drills every training session.

Y-shape
The first shape is the shape I covered in my last article, the Y-shaped passing exercise. This is one of the most popular soccer drills for improving passing.

Y shape passing drill Basic
Square
The second shape is passing using a square. It is very easy to set up and you can start very quickly. Some coaches claim that you shouldn’t play too many straight passes, but it is still a very good soccer passing drill.

Soccer passing drills in a square

Triangle
To avoid passing straight, you can use the triangle for one of your soccer passing drills. Below is an exercise which is done a lot by Louis van Gaal of Manchester United. This exercise is also still performed by the Dutch National team, even now Guus Hiddink is the new coach.

Soccer passing drills in a triangle

Rectangle
If you make the square longer on one side, you will get a rectangle, as shown in the diagram below. In the drill shown below we use two passes of about the same length, but you can position the center player closer or further away to match the style you play in.

Soccer passing drills in a rectangle

Circles
Using circles as one of your soccer passing drills is possible too. In the diagram below I give a possibility to use the circle as the shape for your drill. Please make sure you have enough players for this passing drill, because otherwise players will spend too much time waiting for the next ball.

Soccer passing drills in a circle

Line
The final soccer passing drill in this article is maybe the most basic one, but it is very easy to set up and perfect for using as the first passing drill of your session. Of course there are several variations to this drill possible as well.
Soccer passing drills in a line

More soccer passing drills

In this article I gave you several shapes to use as one of your soccer passing drills.
Because each shape can again be done in several varations, so this will give you tens of new soccer passing drills.

Further reading
Y-shaped soccer passing drills variations
50+ soccer passing drills

 
01Jan/15
Y shape soccer passing drill Variation 1

Y-shape passing drill Variation 1

Y shape soccer passing drill Variation 1

– We set the cones in the shape of an Y.
– At both far cones we have a player without the ball
– Two players without a ball at the middle cone
– All other players at the starting cone with a ball.
– The ball is passed to the center player, who passes the ball back to the starting player.
– The starting player passes the ball to the player at the far cone, who controls the ball and dribbles at speed back to the starting position.
– Each player moves up one position. The next ball will go the left, etc.

 
31Dec/14

Y-shape passing drill Basic

Y shape passing drill Basic

– We set the cones in the shape of an Y.
– At both far cones we have a player without the ball
– Two players without a ball at the middle cone
– All other players at the starting cone with a ball.
– The ball is passed to the center player, who turns with the ball and plays the ball to the player at the far cone
– Each player moves up one position. The next ball will go the left, etc.

 

 
Y shape passing drill Basic

Y-shape passing drill in 5 variations

In this soccer drill we use the Y-shape to practice passing and receiving the ball. For the coaches who don’t know the drill, the diagram below shows the basic form of this drill. We set the cones in the shape of an Y. We have a player without the ball at each of the far cones, two players without a ball at the middle cone and the rest of the players with ball at the starting cone. We pass the ball to the center player, who turns with the ball and plays the ball to the player at the far cone. Each player moves up one position. The next ball will go the left, etc:

Y shaped soccer passing drill Basic

For a video of this exercise, see (bad audio):

The first variation of the drill is that instead of turning the player at the middle cone plays a wall pass and the starting player now plays the ball to the player at the far cone:

Y shaped soccer passing drill Variation 1

The second variation is that the player at the far cone plays a 1-2 combination with the middle player at receiving the ball:

Y shaped soccer passing drill Variation 2

The third variation is to add a scoring opportunity to the drill. We add 2 goals with goalkeepers and we add two players without a ball in front of that goal to play a wall pass:

Y shaped soccer passing drill Variation 3

Finally, the fourth and final variation we cover in this article is to change the drill if you have a lot of players (more than 12). Then it is a good idea to add two extra cones, so we can work on both sides simultaneously:

Y shaped soccer passing drill Variation 4

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26Dec/14

3 versus 1 possession game with 3 defenders

This soccer drill is very suitable to keep a defender aggressive in a 3v1 possession game.

stage

– We have a square of about 8×8 meters
– We have three attackers in the square, three defenders (each with a ball) outside the square
– It begins with a defender passing the ball to one of the attackers.
– The three attackers try to keep possession of the ball under pressure of that defender
– If the defender touches the ball, the defender has reached his goal and the next defender is up
– The previous defenders collects the ball and gets back to the starting position
– We play for 5 minutes, then the attackers become defenders and vice versa

 
26Dec/14

3 versus 1 possession game with middle square

This is an excellent drill to learn you players to move in a possession game

stage2

– Make a square of about 8×8 to 10×10 meters
– In that square put another square of cones of about 6×6 to 7×7 meters
– Three attackers, one defender
– The attackers try to keep possession of the ball under pressure of the defender, but the attackers are not allowed to play the ball in the middle square
– We play for 1 minute, how many times can the defender touch the ball in that time limit
– After the minute, one of the attackers will be the next defender

 
26Dec/14

3 versus 1 possession game basic

stage3

– This is the most basic versus of the 3 versus 1 possession game available.
– Make an area of about 8×8 to 10×10
– Three players try to keep possession of the ball under pressure of one defender
– When the defender touches the ball, the defender gets one point
– After 1 minute, switch the defender with one of the other three players
– How many points does the defender score within 1 minute?

For a good example, see: