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6 ways to survive soggy practices


Coaching Advice by Soccer Coach Weekly

If it looks like rain, you don’t have to cancel training straight away. There are a few things you could do to make your wet-weather soccer session a winner...


In most countries, soccer is a winter sport.

But, depending on geography, winter can of course be harsher in some places than others.

Wherever you are in the world, there is every chance you will have to train during a downpour at some stage.

So, whether you are used to stepping out in the heavy rain or suddenly have to adapt to an unexpectedly prolonged shower, here are six tips for surviving wet-weather practice sessions...

01 - BE PREPARED

If the weather forecast is not good, ensure your players are equipped with waterproof jackets and gloves, and are wearing base layers under their shirts. They can also wear caps to keep the rain out of their faces.

Importantly, do not underestimate the amount of fluid players lose on cold, wet and windy days – a quick drinks break every half hour will stop your players from dehydrating.

02 - DON’T STOP RUNNING

Make sure your sessions don’t leave players sitting out or standing around waiting for their go, especially if it is cold as well as wet.

Training in poor weather conditions can present a health risk if your players are standing around in wet kit when it’s cold, so always have session plans to fall back on that involve using all of your players all of the time.

03 - PASS IN THE WET

To keep all your players constantly moving in th e wet, you could involve them in small-sided games like a 4v4.

Give them some simple rules, such as ‘passes make goals’. In this game, the passes made in the run up to a goal are counted as goals too – so if the team makes five passes before scoring they get six goals. Or you could use a ball between two for passing and finishing skills.

04 - MAKE IT THRILLING

Wet-weather conditions are great for practicing 1v1s, with the soft ground and slippy ball making it not only fun, but also a fantastic test of skills.

Put players into pairs with a ball each. Give them four cones and get them to mark out their own area of play.

It gives them ownership of the session, makes them feel a big part of training – and will also take their minds off the inclement weather.

05 - TEST TACTICS

You can practice tactics specifically for the weather. Try playing out with goal kicks so players can learn to make decisions for wet-weather matches.

This will show your team that playing out from the back is not always wise in the wet, as the ball may stick or defenders may slip when receiving the ball.

They will learn that a pass from the keeper into the midfield could be a better option in these conditions.

06 - TRY SWITCHING ON

If the weather forecast is really bad, you could always take along footage of your games - or those played by others - on DVD or similar.

If there is a big downpour that brings the session to either a temporary halt or to a premature conclusion, then find somewhere to show your players all the talking points from those games.

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