Getting Back to Basics – Wait, That’s Boring



Can’t We Also Have Some FUN?


So we’re at the start of the New Year and with it come goals for a variety of improvements. As a soccer player, are goals ever really set for the year? The most common answer is no.  But why not?  Because normal coaches can make it boring for kids.

What about making it out to more pickup games this year? There’s less coaching and just having fun with friends.  But that can also be just “more of the same” game play as in practices. Sure it can be fun, score goals, most goals dictate the winner, and I hope you can create balanced teams because normally no one enjoys an uneven match even in pick-up games.

But what if your goal was to learn new moves this year AND you learned exciting new rules to play by? The problem with practicing outside of practices is that it can be boring. There are gimmick products that are interesting for a week such as rebounding nets, walls that spin balls back at you in an unrealistic manner, nets you put your ball in and kick, and even online skills programs that do little to teach players how to beat opponents (news alert, creating faster footwork alone does not teach how to beat opponents and there is little to no confidence to be gained).

So here’s your Soccer in Slow Motion (SISM) recipe for fun this year. More pick-up games. YES! New exciting rules. YES! Dominate your opponents anywhere on the court/field.  YES! Dominating = Confidence building, CHECK!

  1. Small-sided game play: 1v1, 5v5, 3v2 with changes, whatever the number of players you have works, you don’t need even numbers, just get everyone playing.
  2. Panna Rules: If you put the ball through your opponent’s legs they have to … choose your own challenge. They have to run to the side and do 10 jumping jacks, maybe 10 pushups, or even sit out for 30 seconds! Create fun advantages for a successful panna.
  3. Goals scored are 1 point and pannas are 2 points, or even 3 points (we vary it based on our players skill level – the better the players are at panna skills we use 2 points, for newer players we make it 3 points).
  4. And if you want more touches on the ball you can make use of street soccer arenas that are portable and provide a fun atmosphere to play in. Click here to see the fun with mixed ages and skill levels.

That’s it, Go Have Some FUN!

Coach Louie Mata and the SISM team