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How to stop passing teams

Passing and possession are now seen as key to the way most successful teams play. So how do you go about preparing your team to play against a passing team?

You need players who go hunting for the ball, quickly closing down the opposition.

This pressing action makes life extremely uncomfortable for your opponents especially in youth soccer. They do not have the time and space to pass the ball so easily; invariably they will panic and hurry a pass that may well go astray or, indeed, resort to the long ball up the pitch instead, making possession even harder to retain.

Try these sessions with your team to help them cope with teams that pass the ball quickly and stop them overwhelming your team.

Double dare… Use this session to teach players the value of hard working midfielders. They can disrupt even the best passing teams by working in pairs to block any moves through midfield.

Do it yourself… This session helps you coach players to understand that they have to stay close and not let opponents get free or they will give the game away.

In my skills curriculum the under 8 session Block passes by the other side is a great way to develop your players to defend against passing teams. As the title suggests the idea of this game is to stop passes by blocking and cutting off passing routes. Being able to block passes is very important at Under 8 but difficult to work on. This is very good session for social and fun time as well as a good technique work out for this age group.

Also in my curriculum is the under 11 gamed Block passing routes The aim of this game if for one team to keep the ball for as long as possible while the other team blocks passing routes. Players must remember that they have to pass the ball to a team mate within their own zone before passing into the end zone.

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