Want some soccer games to play with some friends? Bored of just soccer? Impossible you're right. Nevertheless there are soccer games other then the typical your team versus my team on two goals. These games are played even at the professional level, pro teams I've played on play these all the time for a change of pace and fun.
These games incorporate soccer skills such as controlling the ball, distribution from the ground and air using both feet to accomplish such skills. As fun as they may be they also hit on some key areas of the game in terms of skill development. Before practice, after practice you name it these are done at the professional level every day and all over the world and it doesn't take much to play them, just a ball, some friends and you're good.
I’ve always believed that it’s not enough to just work hard, you need to put the work in but at game speed or game like intensity.
What this means is playing these games will get you some repetitions with the ball and so on but until you train certain skills at game like speed you’ll never improve the skill, or definitely not as quickly.
Larry Bird (famous basketball player for those of you who live under a rock) always believed that going out and shooting 100 shots before practice did him no good. He wanted to take 100 game like shots, meaning at speed with intensity. This is what you need to apply to these games even though they are for enjoyment mainly, you can only get out of them what you put into them.
1. Improve Your Skills - Even though they are just fun games they are a great opportunity to improve parts of your game that you need to work on without the pressure of messing up in practice or a game. Use this time wisely to really focus and intentionally work on parts of your game while also enjoying some time with your friends.
2. Create Good Habits - Avoid goofing off too much and doing circus shots that aren't going to serve you well in the long term. Take it as an opportunity to get better that you won't ever get back and reinforce the good habits without creating new bad ones. The more you focus on improving the fundamentals of your game in all that you do the faster rate of improvement you will see in your game.
3. Healthy Competition - There's nothing like some good old healthy competition to get the blood pumping. Like in every drill at training and every match winning matters so don't slack off and not care about who wins. Whether it is the World Cup final or Monopoly with your mom these drills are another good chance to reinforce that killer instinct you should have when playing the game. Now is not the time to take your foot off the pedal and tone down your competitive spirit.
4. Cool Down Day - Instead of using a day to kick a ball around with some friends in place of an intense training session be sure to do these types of games on one of your days off and use it as a light cool down/recovery day.
5. Remind Yourself Why You Love This Game - Sometimes we forget all the fun and beauty about this game through the losses, benching, long days and sprints. Sometimes we just need a reminder of all the fun and joy this game brings to each of us and playing fun soccer games with some friends can do the trick sometimes. Enjoy these games with a smile on your face and remind yourself of why you love to play.
For an even longer list of soccer games you can play with your friends feel free to check out this page, Fun Soccer Games For 12 to 15 Year Olds.
Sure they can, if you approach them the right way. Yes of course the main purpose of playing these fun soccer games with your friends is to let loose, have a couple laughs and get a bit of a sweat in, but why not get something out of it as well? While playing these games think about using the same technique and fundamentals you would in a game for whatever the game is. Not only will you improve that certain skill (first touch, passing, shooting etc.) you will also be practicing good habits that can translate into an actual match. The last thing you want to do is start to create bad habits by only doing back heels, no look passes or other techniques that would do you any good in the long run.
Absolutely!! I can speak from experience that at the professional level with everything you need to deal with off the field that enjoying the game goes a long way. Playing fun games like this is a great reminder of how fun soccer is. Before and after training me and some pals would always play a little soccer tennis or keep away to get loose and more importantly for a laugh.
As serious soccer can be at times (even more so at the professional level) you need time to unwind. Playing soccer games gives you a chance not to think about your coach yelling at you or whether or not you’re getting as many minutes as you like. It’s about friends and having a smile on your face and that’s why you and the pro’s do it.
If you play enough and look to expand your game every time you play some soccer golf, stall and pass or any of the other soccer games then you can benefit plenty. If you just do it at half speed or don't take it seriously then you won't get much out of these games and don't come crying to me when you're the same player as when you first started. For those of you that are serious about raising your game then here are the arts of your game that can improve from these games:
1) Controlling the ball with both feet - These games will force you to develop a sound first touch with both feet that will help you in a game when taking a ball down out of the air or from a pass.
2) Playing the ball quickly - The best players in the world play the game simple at the highest of speeds and these exercises will reinforce that thought process and force you to have to think before the ball comes to you.
3) Non Dominant foot distribution - We can all work a little on both feet and these games will push you to your limits with both feet, remember these games are to push and expand your skill set not frustrate you no matter how difficult they may seem at times.
4) Heading - Something we don't get a lot of reps in is heading the ball both in attack and defence, these exercises will help you understand how to clear and score with your head.
5) Passing and receiving techniques - Whether it's killing a ball dead, passing accurately or receiving a ball and setting up your first touch these soccer games will put you in a position to improve all parts of your passing and receiving tool belt.
Well if too easy or too hard feel free to change the game up to better suit you. I played several of these just as they are written in Europe but if you need to change it up to challenge your self and your pals more feel free.
If you feel these are too difficult for you then use that as motivation and try and improve your game to get to that level where you can do them with ease. Nobody ever became great at anything by taking the easy road so strive to master all the games listed and along the way you will definitely see the benefits to your game.
Thought you’d never ask. It really depended on how many of my fellow teammates were up for a game. If it were just two of us then we’d stick to keep up numbers or a round of soccer golf it there was time. We would always put something on the game too, whether it’s buying lunch or push ups or putting away the gear no matter what we would always add an element of competition and consequence for the loser.
If there were four of us soccer tennis was always the first game we’d want to play. All it takes is a ball some cones and a net, we used a metal net like structure we didn’t have to set up every time. If there were more than 6 or so we’d play keep away. Complete 21 passes and the pair stays in the middle again. Oh and a sarcastic round of applause for their efforts. In an actual training session power finesse is probably the one we played (or wanted to play) the most. Elements of the game such as shooting with power and placement along with competition and laughter never go out of style.
If we are talking larger numbers then world cup/Wembley was always the favourite. 2v2 in and around the 18 yard box elimination, doesn’t get better than that. These games are ideal when either you don't feel like playing a full sided game or if you don't have numbers and just looking to have some fun with some buddies. The good thing about these games is they are practical, functional and most important always good for a laugh. The beauty of these games is you can change them to suit your numbers or what you're working with.
Soccer is supposed to be fun, and this is what it's all about. If it's not enjoyable you shouldn't be playing, and these soccer games just reinforces the "fun" in soccer and why we all play. If you can't find joy in playing all these games then you really need to reassess why you are playing this game, these should bring your joy not just sweat.
We all play the game to be with friends, push ourselves and most importantly because we enjoy it. When playing soccer games such as the ones above remember we do it because of who we are sharing it with.
Although these soccer games are care free and effortless remember to challenge yourself when working on certain skills you may need to improve upon. For example, when playing a juggling game or a crossing game or whichever else game, if you have a weak left foot, use only that foot to improve it for when it really counts, on the pitch. Develop the skill that's uncomfortable now to have a better all around game later, the beauty of getting the reps in now there is no pressure from coaches, teammates or opponents to be judged or perfect so let loose and really work on that part of your game you've neglected for so very long, left foot cough! cough!
Do you have a great story about this? Share it!