Master your soccer skills and track your progress
Thursdays, in conjunction with the national Youth Soccer Month celebration, are "Training Days". Youth Soccer Month emphasizes fun, family, fitness and friendship. Each Thursday during September a new training activity will be highlighted. The activities are a fun way to have your friends and family help you master your soccer skills and improve everyone's fitness.
To print a handout with all four training days including a chart to track your progress, go to .
To further improve your training and motivate you, visit one of the many Youth Soccer Month events taking place at colleges and MLS games. For a complete schedule, go to /soccermonth/events/Events.asp
For coaches and parents, help your players with additional training activities online and a subscription to Success in Soccer. Subscribe to US Youth Soccer's Coaches Connection /coaches/Coaches_Connection.asp
Tap Dance: With the bottom of your foot, tap the soccer ball for 30 seconds. Now spin around while still tapping the ball! How many taps can you count while keeping the ball under control?
Try tapping with your left foot and then your right foot.
Super challenge: Alternate feet as fast as you can.
Trainer Tip: Keep your eyes on the ball.
Knock Out: Set down a dozen cones over a wide area. Shoot the cones and keep track of the number you successfully hit. Reset any cones you knock down and keep passing.
What's the highest number you can shoot without missing?
Super challenge: Try the same game using your weak foot.
Trainer Tip: Keep your toe down when passing.
3. Receiving Balls
Double Receiving: Work with a friend, alternating between being server and receiver. One player serves the ball to the other, who should receive the ball on his or her foot, thigh or chest.
Within one minute, how many different parts of your body can you receive the ball under control? Can you beat that score?
Super challenge: Increase distance or use your non-dominate side to receive. Can you maintain your accuracy?
Trainer Tip: Align yourself in the path of the ball.
Keeper: Work with a friend, alternating between shooting and playing goalkeeper.
Stay about 10 yards away from the goal. How many shots can you make between the gates in one minute? Try not to hit the gate.
Trainer Tip: Point your shooting foot toe down.