When a team mate is under pressure give him support

It is vital to encourage your young players who don't have the ball to get into positions to support the player who does. The following tips and soccer drill will boost their awareness.

When you hear the shouts: "Coach he's not passing to me!" you have to find out why – often it's because the player is not making himself available for the pass.

The skills you are looking for in your players – and you're the coach so you need to find these in them – are:

  • Communication – calling out names letting everyone know where you are.

  • Taking a position that allows the player on the ball to see you.
  • Being in a good position to see what is going on.
  • Good first-touch skills.
  • Good ball position skills.

Set up support play drill

Set up an area 30 x 20 metres and play four attackers against two defenders. Put a target player at each end of the pitch – they must stay outside the pitch behind the back lines.

image for drill focusing on support play with players passing to target player up the pitch

Soccer drill tips

The aim in the soccer drill is for the attacking team to get the ball from one target player, up the pitch to the other target player.

An important soccer coaching tip is that the ball must stay below waist height – the offside rule applies 10 metres in front of the second target player. The ball cannot be passed back to the first target player.

Once the attacking team has reached the second target player, the game begins again, this time playing towards the first target player.

During this soccer drill you are looking for your coaching points and skills – support, communication, control and body positions.
You need to shout to your players:
  • "Make yourself available."

  • "Call for it."

  • "Make an angle."

  • "Pass and move."