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Warm-Up Skills & Activities for Soccer

Warm-Up Skills & Activities for Soccer

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Get specific warm-up progressions that sharpen players' physical actions, reactions and decision-making
  • Build your players' technical, tactical, physical and psychological preparedness
  • Get layered warm-up and activation drills that progress from single-player ball work to whole-team engagement
  • Discover goalkeeper-specific warm-ups that provide all players with a meaningful technical challenge

with Ian Barker,
Director of Coaching Education, NSCAA;
21 years of college soccer coaching experience at Macalester College and University of Wisconsin;
served for 10 years as the director of coaching and player development for the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association (MYSA)

Ian Barker demonstrates 13 warm-up drills that allow variation and progression with economy and fluidity. Coach Barker works with men and women (separately) to model attacking, defending, transitioning and even goalkeeping activation drills. The drills emphasize a blend of technical and physical demands with team communication.

Coach Barker's drills lend themselves to rapid decision-making and variability potential to suit your preferences. You'll see how to move players efficiently and intensively through single-player technical ball touches, as well as partnered work that moves up the body to thigh, chest, and head touches and on to passing line and full-team drills.

Warm-Up Activities

There are 11 activities in this section that will get your players up and moving. They are designed for athletes of all levels and each drill progresses into the next. The activities include:

  • Mirror Activity - Great activities for shadowing and movement within a fun and competitive drill. You can use this as a drill to activate movement or it can be tied into training as part of 1v1 defending.
  • Scramble - This section can be looked at as chaos with a purpose. Coach Barker uses some cues that all coaches can steal and use in their own training sessions.
  • Knock and Move - Helps players understand how to stay onside and move wide to get into position to receive a lead pass. Keeper Warm-up - Trains the keeper's need to recognize the type of pass coming to them and handle it the proper way. A great way to get everyone involved in the warm-up.
  • Ladder - Coach Barker uses ladder agility drills to teach multiple movements and agility while finding the ball or getting touches on the ball once athletes have changed direction.
  • Technical Circles - This section takes all of the skills an athlete has and puts them together in different phases to get lots of touches on the ball. Partners will work in a whole-team framework. The premium placed on communication and blend of individual footwork, passing, and rapid decision-making synthesizes the fluid components of the game played at high levels.

You'll see Coach Barker instruct players on points of emphasis, singling out specific player movements or decisions for praise or critique at appropriate moments.

Coach Barker models and explains over 70 minutes of progressive warm-up and activation drills that work for beginning and advanced players. The wide variety of activities allows players to work their way intensively and efficiently into peak technical, physical, and psychological readiness.

77 minutes. 2016.