Essential Equipment for Soccer Passing & Finishing Drills

Developing Great Soccer Passing & Finishing Drills, Requires External Cueing & The Right Equipment 

Cueing can be classified as either external or internal.  Internal cueing is when the athlete focuses on their body parts and how they move in relation to the task or objective. An example of internal cueing would be to focus on keeping your ankle locked and toe up when performing a soccer push pass with the inside of the foot.  External cueing is when the athlete focuses on the outcome of the movement or action, but not on the movement itself. An example of external cueing would be to focus on the outcome of the soccer push pass itself and not the specific technique, did the pass hit the designated target? External cueing is proven to increase athletic performance results compared to internal cueing, but internal cueing still serves in an important purpose in the learning of new skills. The researcher Gabriele Wulf, considered an expert in external and internal attentional focus, came up with the ‘constrained action hypothesis’ to explain the factors behind external and internal attentional focus.  “Wulf et al. (17) defined the hypothesis, stating that focusing on body movements (i.e. internal) increases consciousness and ‘constrains the motor system by interfering with automatic motor control process that would ‘normally’ regulate the movement,’ and therefore by focusing on the movement outcome (i.e., external) allows the ‘motor system to more naturally self-organize, unconstrained by the interference caused by conscious control attempts.’” (Wulf 2007). An internalfocus occurs when the athlete is thinking about one of their own body parts or one of their specific movements during execution of a movement task. An externalfocus of attention occurs when the athletes thinks about the effectof their movement while executing a performance. Internalrefers to the performer’s body part movements and external refers to the movement’s effect.”  Wulf’s research tells us that athletic performance is enhanced with the use of external cues, so the next logical step is to integrate external cueing into soccer training sessions.

Below is a video of how Marcelo Belsa uses external cueing in many of his trainings. Forward the video to 17:30, it shows coaching poles used as gates (external cueing), and mannequins used as external cues for finishing in the box. The pass through the gates, or the cross into the box is measured successful or not by its location, did it travel through the gate, did it arrive in between the mannequins? I am not sure Belsa is aware of the science behind his training, but the equipment uses science to produce better performance results.

Essential External Cueing Soccer Equipment

I recommend all soccer coaches to consider the following equipment to increase performance. These pieces of equipment can be used for external cueing training sessions.  Click on images to purchase 

Uber Poles – Quality set of coaching poles to create external cueing exercises. These poles are ideal for all grass fields. Click on images to purchase

Champion Passing ArcPassing Arcs that create external cueing targets. Youth and Adult players find these very motivating and challenging to use. Click on images to purchase

Adult Soccer MannequinSoccer Blow-up Mannequin that inflates quickly and very portable. Perfect for creating external training sessions, especially for in the box finishing. Click on images to purchase

rubber bases soccerRubber bases for coaching poles on turf fields. Click on images to purchase

skilz net The ultimate in external cueing for finishing practice. The focus is on the outcome, not on the internal. Click on images to purchase

Be sure to check out my online soccer coaching school at www.dibernardosoccerschool.com 

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