Big Sun Academy

Brad Cordell is our Academy Director.  Please feel free to contact him with any concerns.  This season we will have our Academy with the U8 and U11 players.  They will have one day per week with their coaches doing the academy drills.  The academy days will be the days that are on field 8 practice area.

Week 1 – Feb 13-16th


15 minutes of scrimmage.  Water break after 7 minutes.

Scrimmage 2: 15 minutes.  Water break after 7 minutes.  Focus on the coaching point of each training activity. Ask your players: How can we use what we learned during our activities and apply it in this scrimmage BEFORE you start.

Week 2 Feb 20-23rd

Week 3 (Feb 27- Mar 2)

Week 4 (Mar 6 – 9)

Week 5 (March 20-23)

Week 6 (March 27-30)

Week 7 (April 10-13)

Begin and end each session with a small-sided scrimmage using the full length and width of your training area. We want to being to ask the players some guided questions about what you are seeing in games they are doing well and not so such. Example: How can we create more scoring opportunities? Answer: By creating 2 on 1 scoring opportunities. Question 2: How do we create 2 v 1? Answer: By getting the ball into or creating attacking space.

Ask them some guided questions before starting the small sided game but do not let them answer. After roughly 5 minutes bring them in and let them answer. Send them back out for another 5 minutes and then ask the same questions. By now they should be full of answers. By doing this we allow them to figure out themselves. Since we know the answers we are looking for, we can guide them to those answers while not just giving them.

Coaching Notes:

Activity 2:

Set up some gates for them to free dribble into; focus on exploding through the gates and into space.

Activity progression: Have defenders shuffle side to side and players will make explosive moves through the gate and by the defender. DEFENDER SHOULD ONLY SHUFFLE AND NOT TACKLE THE BALL.

Activity 3:

We are focused on taking on a defender 1 v 1. We are only focusing on the attacking player this week. Next week we will focus on 1 v 1 defending.


Dribbling vs Running with the Ball:

When there is space to run into behind the defender take big positive touches past them and run into space. When you are close to the defender or goal take smaller touches to keep the ball close and ready to pass or shoot.

Be Unpredictable:

Use body movements and quickly change speed and direction when attacking 1 v 1.

Decision Making:

It can be a hard thing to practice but work on developing your players decision making of when to pass the ball, when we attack a player off the dribble and when to shoot.


When attacking be aware of the angles that we are attacking. We do not want to attack and beat a defender just run into another defender or put ourselves into a tough area to maintain possession or take a shot.

Week 8 (April 18-21)

Begin and end each session with a small-sided scrimmage. Ask players some guided question to get them thinking about what we are doing this week. Our main focus will be the defending aspects 1 v 1 and 2 v 2. Where we talk about creating space on offense we want to take that space away on defense. Soccer is a numbers game 1 v 1 can be difficult because players want to dive in at the ball, below are some points to help prevent that. 

Coaching Points for 1 v 1 Defending

Body Position:

Stay low when facing up to the attacker so you can allow for quick adjustments of your feet. Have a side on stance so you can show them one lane and shut down the other EX: force them to the line.

Make Play Predictable:

Force the attacker onto their weaker foot/side to make there attempts to get past you more predictable and easier to defend. EX: player is right footed; if we force them to the left we know they will want to cut back to get the ball on their right. That is when we can make our play on the ball.

Keep Them Moving Away From Goal:

If you get them moving away from goal, do not allow the turn back towards goal. Apply pressure to keep them turned away from goal.

Don’t Dive In:

Stand up to the attacker to not only delay the attack but not to give up positioning by diving in at the ball and making it easy for the attacker to go by. We can use some body fakes of diving in different directions to force a mistake and force the ball off their foot to make our play. EX: I am being attacked down my line and I know the attacker wants to bring the ball back to goal. I can fake to the line as to cut them off but I know they will want to cut inside. That’s when I make my move on the ball. 

Week 9 (April 24-27)

Week 10 (May 1 – 4)

You are ON YOUR OWN!  Feel free to use past lessons that you think that can benefit your team the best.