Conditioned soccer games to improve player IQ

The idea behind including conditioned soccer games in your session is to promote what you have been coaching throughout the session in a game realistic environment.

By slightly altering the setup and rules as a coach you can help players see the game in a different light and give them a better idea of what your coaching concept should look like in a game scenario. In some instances, you can even keep the setup the same but by changing the rules you can give the conditioned game an entirely different outcome.

If you would like these drills as a downloadable PDF then head to the bottom of the page

Here are my top conditioned soccer games set up with adapted rules for different outcomes.

Its important to include different routes to success but reward the players more if they can achieve success through the rules and adaptations of the game.

If you want to speed up the development of your players, the best way for you to do this is to improve your knowledge as a coach. Here are some soccer coaching books I would recommend.

A conditioned soccer game with 2 channels

Make sure you have all the soccer coaching equipment you need for the games before starting.

Set up:

  • Set up an area 60 yards by 40 yards
  • Created a line of cones 10 yards in from the sideline that runs parallel to the sideline
  • 2 goals (Goalkeepers optional)

conditioned game attacking from wide areas

Rule:

  • If players can score a goal where the build-up starts from a wide area, whether it’s a player receiving in the channel or dribbling into the wide-area reward them with 3 goals instead of 1.

Coaching points:

  • If we have the ball can we get the ball as early as possible
  • If we don’t have the ball can we create an option in a wide position
  • Receive the ball on the back foot

Questions to ask players:

  • Why do we want to play wide?
  • Where can we move to help support players in wide areas?
  • Do always need to force the play?
  • Can we try and switch the play?

conditioned soccer game for transitioning

Rule:

  • The team that has possession of the ball can use the whole width of the area
  • The team that is not in possession cannot go into the wide areas
  • Once a team has lost possession of the ball they have 5 seconds to win the ball back, in these 5 seconds the team that has lost possession can use the full width of the area. If they don’t win the ball back within that period then they must step out of the wide areas.

Coaching points:

Attacking team

  • Can we attack quick
  • Get wide as quickly as possible when attacking
  • The first thought should be forward

Defending team

  • Stay compacted and organized
  • Cut off passing lines
  • communication

Questions to ask players:

Attacking team

  • Can we attack quickly when we win the ball?
  • Where should players look to move to so we can attack quickly?
  • What can we do to drag defenders out of position?

Defending team

  • What areas should you force players to?
  • When is a good time to step and win the ball?

Conditioned soccer game split into thirds

Set up:

  • Set up an area 60 yards by 40 yards
  • Divide the area into thirds horizontally with each area being 20 yards in length
  • 2 goals with goalkeepers optional

Conditioned soccer game for passing and moving

Rules:

  • To move forward from section to section the ball must be passed
  • Players can move through the sections while dribbling if they are going towards their own goal
  • Players can move anywhere in the area
  • Can only score in the final section (optional)
  • The coned lines can also act as an offside line/breakout (optional)

Coaching points:

  • Passes need to be in front of players for them to run onto
  • Create angles to receive the ball
  • First, touch away from pressure towards space
  • Receive on the back foot

Questions to ask players:

  • What can we do to create space for ourselves either to receive a short or for a pass in front of us?
  • where can we go to create options for players on the ball?

Conditioned Soccer game for dribbling

Rules:

  • To move from section to section a player must dribble with the ball
  • Players can move through the sections bypassing if they are going towards their own goal
  • Players can move anywhere in the area
  • Can only score in the final section (optional)

Coaching points:

  • Be confident
  • Keep your head up
  • Slow down when you approach a defender
  • Small touches
  • Quick skill
  • Change of direction
  • Accelerate

Questions for players:

  • If you cant dribble past a player what can you do?

Conditioned soccer game for playing out from the back

Rule:

  • If a team can start a phase of play starting from the section closest to the goal they are defending their goal will be worth 3 goals instead of 1.
  • Players can move freely

Coaching points:

  • Defenders drop and create angles out wide
  • Receive on the back foot
  • Check shoulder/keep head, you should know where your first should take you before you receive the ball

Questions for players:

  • What have you got to do before you receive the ball?
  • Where is a good position to receive the ball if you are a defender/midfielder?
  • How can you create space for yourself?

Conditioned game for player awareness

Set up:

  • Create a 40 yard by 40-yard box
  • Place 2 goals opposite each other running parallel vertically and 2 opposite horizontally
  • 2 Balls

Rules:

  • 4 teams playing in the same area
  • 2 teams will be playing horizontally and the other 2 teams vertically
  • 1 ball per 2 teams

Coaching Points:

  • Keep head up
  • Be aware of other players/teams
  • Move into space

Questions for players:

  • What do you have to be aware of?
  • When is a good time to pass/dribble?
  • Where must our first touch take us?

Conditioned game for Switching play

Set up:

  • Set up an area 60 yards by 40 yards
  • 2 teams with 1 ball
  • place 4 goals in each corner of the area opposite each other vertically

Rules:

  • The normal game however teams must defend and attack against 2 goals instead of 1

Coaching Points:

  • Receive on the back foot and open body up
  • Options to go forward as well as back
  • Switch play when it becomes too compact

Questions to ask plays:

  • Where can you go to help support play going forward/backward?
  • What can you do to create space for yourself and your teammates?
  • What position should a support player take up if they want to switch the play?

Click here to see a full session plan you can use this conditioned game in

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If you like the soccer drill animations check out my 2 favorite soccer coaching software to use.

Related posts:

Recommended Soccer Coaching eBooks

Conditioned Soccer Games PDF

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