INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

Never been a better time to let the game be the teacher

I have done podcasts with a skills coach, a development coach and a director of sport at a school this month and they all say when the kids have been locked up for ages just let them play games when they do get out.

It has to be the right thing to do, your players love playing the game and they have been deprived of that over the last few months but now the game is opening up again and the players will be back at the club raring to go.

I’ve a few games that I will be playing with my teams and they will soon feel the joy of having a ball at their feet. I won’t coach them for the first couple of sessions I will just let them play the game and be with their friends.

But it isn’t a waste of time. Your players will learn a lot by just playing coaching games because the repetitions and the techniques they will use will help to develop them.

So I’m looking at games that encourage players to assist in creating goal scoring chances when we get back because that is one key technique they won’t have been using for a while.

To get your players to create more chances to score with brilliant assists you need to set up situations in training where they can experience this. Four square provides plenty of opportunities to make clever passes and set up play around the goal area.

A great session to use for helping with assists is The key player which gives you the tools to coach a key player in your team to set up plays and unlock the opposition’s defence. Balls played into space beyond the defenders and into wide positions are encouraged, as are quick passing moves.

Now try this small sided game called 3v3v3 central and wide advantage which will show your team the benefits of having two types of attack – an additional attacker in the centre of the pitch will force your team to work on quick combination play in central areas and additional players in wide areas will force your team to play more wide passes where crosses can be made into the opponent’s box.

A great player who gets lots of assists is Manchester United’s Paul Pogba – he runs the game for his team. Try this game Run games like Paul Pogba to have your players getting points for assists and for scoring goals – it’s a fast game, played at pace and will give your players a good test.

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