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Space and movement concepts

Don't assume that players know how and where to move when playing soccer and neglect training space and movement drills in favor of kicking, heading and finishing drills. In order to move with confidence and avoid collisions, players must understand space and movement.

Space concepts deal with where to move on the field. Training should include the concepts of open, closed, personal, and general space:

  • Open space is where no objects (players) occupy an area.
  • Closed space is an area occupied by one or more players.
  • Personal space is an area immediately surrounding a player.
  • General space is the entire area in which a player is allowed to function.

Movement concepts deal with how players negotiate space. Developing movement concepts includes training to develop vision, direction, speed and level:

  • Vision refers to looking in the direction of movement while using scanning techniques to improve peripheral vision.
  • Direction refers to the ability to maintain or change pathway.
  • Speed refers to the ability to change the rate of motion.
  • Level refers to the position of a player's body in relation to the playing surface, such as jumping (high level) and sliding (low level).


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