Intelligent possession

Keeping possession of the ball is key to winning games – if you have it your opponents haven’t got it. There are tactical musts that go hand in hand with a possession game. Being aware of where the ball is and where your teammates are is essential so get your players to have a picture in their head of what they’re going to do with the ball before it comes to them.

To accomplish that it involves scanning and moving, watching where your marker is. Vary your movement – run in behind and then come short, or vice-versa. Make your marker feel uncomfortable by running into areas where they don’t want to go. The key is to get a bit of space so you can look for the pass or run with the ball, but once you’ve made a pass don’t sit back and admire it.

Keeping the ball will force your opponents into making rash challenges and getting frustrated that they cannot get it especially in youth soccer. Try the sessions below to get your players to keep the ball and drive the other team nuts:

Possession or score encourages strikers to have rapid shots at goal and to link up in the middle of the park with one-twos and one-touch passing. Defenders can switch play when in possession and spread out to keep the ball from attackers.

One of the key moments in a possession game is being able to use the ball and create goal scoring chances. It is easy to just keep the ball and neglect the principles of attack. In Possession in overloads players get lots of chances to create, and score, goals

In 3v2 transitions the attacking team has an overload but can the defending team use their players to create their own overload and win the ball back so they can score? It is one of my favourite sessions to get a reaction from my players.

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