The goal of any soccer coach is to run an efficient practice. Since there are usually 30 to 40 athletes practicing together, a huge challenge for even the biggest coaching staff is to remain synchronized, especially since training can move players to all parts of the field. The key to remaining organized during those vital hours is to use mobile training equipment. If you want to run a better practice, make sure you always have the following gear on hand.
These are fundamental inside the field, so make sure you have more than 100 in different sizes—small, medium and large. You can use them to create a small field for technical training—e.g., change of direction drills such as the S-drill or Zigzag drill.
Line acceleration drills for powerful hip and leg drive are the basis of athletic performance in soccer; and sleds are extremely efficient for acceleration drills. For a big group of players, you’ll need anywhere from six to eight sleds, plus a few plates for each sled. Watch Demaryius Thomas’ Weighted Sled Drive exercise.
The agility ladder is probably the most essential tool for improving agility, balance and coordination on the pitch. At the professional level, you’ll need four ladders for practice. Ladder drills like the Icky Shuffle, Zigzag and Crossover (in and out) are very soccer-specific. Build out your practice through our Ladder Drills page.
These are important for speed training in soccer. A professional team needs about 40 mini-hurdles to work four lines of 10 players. Drills such as Run Strikes, Run Strides and Run Throws should be done during every practice session to work on proper mechanics and technique on field.
For balance training, I encourage the use of trampolines. You can mix technical movements in and out to create soccer-specific drills that are fundamental to stimulate the proprioceptive system and prevent injuries. Usually four trampolines will work well.
Mats are important at the beginning and end of every session for core stability work like Planks, Bridges and Pillars, as well as for stretching and static mobility drills. You’ll need one mat per player.
Learn more about how to run better practices through our Coaches and Trainers page.