Positional Group Play
Field size: half field
Number of players: full team with players grouped by position; four versus four or five versus five, depends upon how many players you have at practice
Age range: 14-16
Description: Working with the midfielders, the defenders and the forwards in groups - get them used to playing with one and by having them join up and play together on a team.
This way the players learn to play with one another and understand one another better. Where they like the ball played. What types of runs they like to make.
Setup two goals about forty yards apart with the winning group staying on. This drill can be done with big goals and keepers or small goals.
Play for five minutes or until a goal is scored and then switch - bring on the team on the sidelines. The team on the sidelines retrieves any balls that go out of bounds when they're not playing.
At times, you want to mix up the groups you put together and try to balance out the teams so you have more competitive games. However, at the same time, sometimes you want to put your best players or starting players together, so they get used to playing with one another and so the other players have a goal to strive for - to play with the top group.
Extra: What's interesting is how many times forwards turn into defenders when they get older. In youth soccer players should get some exposure playing other positions so don't lock one player into a position, let them try other positions if they want.
Equipment needed: Cones and practice vests.