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 what if your goal was to learn new moves this year AND you learned exciting new rules? The problem with practicing outside of practice 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 recipe for fun this year. More pick-up games. YES! New exciting rules. YES! Dominate your opponent’s anywhere on the court/field.  YES! Dominating = Confidence building, CHECK!

  1. Small-sided gameplay: 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 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 use 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.