EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

How to be creative with the basics

According to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola: “If you don’t try to be creative, if you don’t ask, ‘why do we have to do it that way, why can’t we do it another way,’ then humanity doesn’t exist”

Being creative can be the winning difference for your team and make match days just that bit more special.

Here are four ways to be creative with basic soccer skills that can give your team a winning edge:

One of the best ways to get the ball into the penalty area in different ways is to give your players freedom on the wings. Crossing is one of the harder skills that wingers need and it helps them to catch out defenders on the counterattack without stopping or slowing the attack down. Try Crossing to help you coach it.

Practising individual techniques at free kicks is something players can do on their own during a break in training or when they are in their back yard at home. When he was at Manchester United David Beckham would spend a lot of time practising his free-kicks from just outside the box. Lots of goals come from free-kicks but accuracy is more important than power in youth soccer because the goalkeeper will struggle to get anything in the corners – Free kick practice is a great way to do this.

Winning the ball when defending a corner is not only important defensively, it can also spark your team into a fast counter attacking move that catches opponents still upfield. To achieve this, your team must organise and capitalise on clever positioning of players. Try Corner rebels to get your players winning the ball and counter attacking against their opponents.

You need a good small sided game to let your players loose and show you their creativity – don’t worry about mistakes just let them play. Creative in the box is a fast game that relies on individual skill and teamwork to create shooting opportunities. The coaching points rely on the skills of players to be creative around the opposition goal, mirroring the role of skilful midfielders like Manchester City’s David Silva, who can conjure up chances at will.

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