Although it seems SKLZ Pop-up Goals and small Kickster Nets might be appropriate for small soccer players, they have a lot of uses for players of all sizes and ages. Here are a few easy to set up, fast-paced skill drills you can run during your practices with just a couple small goals and your usual practice field.
1. One v. ones- Position the small goals opposite each other about 30 yards apart. Give one player the ball and let them scrimmage one on one. The limited space and small goals force the players to use their space wisely, try out moves they've been practicing and take quick shots.
VARIATION: For a whole team of players, set up several 30 yard fields. Rank the fields from Kings court on down to the Bottom Bucket and time 3-minute mini-games. If player wins, they move up a field, if they lose, they move down a field. Reigning champion stays on the Kings court. This really ramps up the competition and is fun for players because the dynamic is always changing with a different opponent every 3 minutes. This can also be done 2 v 2 for larger teams.
2. Offense v. defense- Use your regulation sized goal on one end of the field with a goal keeper, and two small goals opposite it, set up on the outer flanks of the playing field (see diagram). Defense defends the large goal and offense defends the small goals (no keepers). This teaches the defense to clear to the outside of the field and maintain accuracy while doing so. It also teaches the defense to switch the ball to the other side when one side gets crowded. The offense, in the meantime, is learning to start at the sidelines of the field and work their way inward for good shooting positioning. This drill works for any number of players, just remember to adjust the size of the field accordingly.
3. Accuracy shooting- One of the most difficult places for a goalkeeper to stop the ball is on the ground in the corners. Train your players to aim for the bottom corners by placing small goals there. Then play equal sided games with no goalkeepers. Points are only tallied when the ball goes in one of the small nets.
VARIATION: Use this drill as a pre-game warm-up with no defense at all. Players line up in two lines in the middle of the field. The two people at the front of each line dribble forward together, pass back and forth and shoot for the corners when they're within range.