Category Archives: Fitness

Illinois Agility Drill

from Amplified Soccer

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Posted by on December 2, 2017 in Agility, Fitness, Footwork, Speed Ladder


Boston Breakers Testing / Diagnostics

Saw this on the Boston Breakers Snapchat and thought it was a kind of cool glimpse behind the curtain, so to speak. Things that we all do on some level, but certainly most of us without that kind of athleticism or equipment (for the record, here’s the company that sells those automatic timers: Fusion Sport; and here’s the specific equipment (they were using the Pro version)).

I wasn’t sure how to capture it, though, but ran across the answer to that very question on, and wrote up the instructions with some screenshots on my Tech-in-Ed blog here.

And here’s the video / captured snapchat:

Untitled from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.


Sigi Schmid – Developing Players Technically [SCCC 17] – Combination Play Warm-up

    • A series of progressions based on a Y-formation of cones
    • Passes should be made first touch if possible but two touch if necessary. Ok to take a touch to get the ball under control but shouldn’t take unnecessary touches.

This one begins with following the pass and moving the ball upfield.

Untitled from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

This next one adds in a drop-off (#2) before moving the ball upfield.

Untitled from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

This next one adds in further combinations, a bigger drop-off (#6) and a run and pass to space (#s 7 & 8).

Untitled from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

And this last one removes the drop-off for instead a lateral pass (dropped off at an angle rather than a square pass) before the run and pass to space.

  • Body positioning is important: focus on being in position to deliver the next pass quickly and effectively without giving up positioning on the field – with #6 above, that run should be angled backwards rather than square not only to better set up the pass but also to allow the receiver to get back on defense if the pass is intercepted. If that pass is square, it becomes much more difficult for the receiver to get back on defense.
  • These can also be used for conditioning, seeing how many can be done in a given amount of time.

Dick Bate – Man-marking Defending – Movement-Specific Conditioning

  • 3 players, 2 with balls in their hands 5 yards apart, 1 in the middle
  • The one in the middle moves between the two holders, touching the ball with his hand
  • Ball should be moved up and down by holders to vary position
  • Focus on quick movements, turning the hips, and strong first steps
  • Should not be shuffling, but turning and moving
  • 2 end players can shift their position to surprise the middle player: shift from side to side, from front to back, so that the player has to react to where the ball is quickly

Untitled from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

  • [could this be done as almost a beep-test kind of thing, or at least a timed activity to see how many touches a player can get in a fixed time?]
  • [this could also be done with four holders in a diamond with the middle player either moving a pattern or with the coach calling out numbers to get them to move randomly]
  • Players do quick feet (‘dance’)
  • Coach calls out left or right
  • Players turn in that direction, focusing on hips and first step
  • Players run to a fixed point (sprint of 10 or 15 ¬†yards)

Untitled from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

  • Initially attacking players ran too fast
  • Bate slowed them down, telling them to jog or even walk; focus on the change of speed
  • Focus is on the defenders, so defenders need to develop that quick first step to keep up with attackers as they change pace
  • Bate added the restriction that only one change of direction was allowed
  • Similar to the catch-the-defender game we already play (with a ball) but in this version no ball; a game of tag
  • Progression: two players have a ball in their hand; they are immune but can and should pass the ball to other players in trouble (this also develops communication)

Dave Hancock – What I Learned About Constructing a Training Session from my Days with Jose Mourinho – The Star Pattern

  • Hancock focuses on the Star Pattern because it is both consistent and flexible and, more important perhaps, because it focuses on game-specific movements: cutting, change of direction, short sprinting
  • Warm-up
  • Stations of different patterns
  • Passing through the star
  • Dribbling through the star: balls in a triangle in the middle, dribble to triangle, stop ball, get another, dribble to another point, turn, and repeat
  • Dribbling around defenders: similar to above, replace triangle with dummies; dribble to dummies and turn / ‘beat’ them through the star

Untitled from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Untitled from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.


Touch Warm-up

At my son’s U12 skills clinic and I like the warm up they just did:

  • In a circle, everyone holding¬†a ball.
  • Feet are moving in a jogging-in-place way (i.e. more than just active).
  • Coach calls out a body part (thigh, head, etc.) and players throw it up in the air and touch it back to their hands under control.
  • This continues. Coach can also call ground, in which case they put the ball on the ground and continue to jog in place.
  • This was only done with thigh and head but I can see foot being included and even punching / catching for goalies.
  • Also, a competition aspect can be added, i.e. as the commands speed up, some penalty for holding the group up: if you make a bad touch and can’t control the ball before the next call, everyone does 5 push-ups, or something similar.

Cone Run 2 Game [source unknown; not mine]

Cone Run 2

This game is designed to improve your players’ fitness and speed of thought. It is suitable for all ages of players but the younger the players, the shorter each game should be as this is a physically demanding activity. U10s, for example, should play for no longer than two minutes with a two-minute rest period between games.

Set up: mark out a 30 yards by 40 yards playing area with at least eight flat cones spread equally along the sidelines. Place a goal at each end.

How to play: play a 4v4 game with one condition. When you blow a whistle, the players have to run round a cone on the sideline before restarting the game.

Only one player can run around one cone. Two players cannot run around the same cone.

The team in the lead at the end of the game is the winner.



Assign each player a particular cone to run round.


Use two colours of cones and call a colour instead of blowing the whistle.


Require your players to touch two cones before re-entering the game.