Relight their fire!

Now we are back playing matches and training after nearly four months of lockdown I can certainly notice the difference in my players. It isn’t like when they come back from summer holidays because that is usually just down to a bit of fitness and rusty match play.

This time it is almost like going back to basics with players very unfit and the match we played at the weekend was a shambles! Fortunately this week we have some training camps so I will see my players for three days. We can go over some of our simple training games that give players creative tests to get them back thinking and playing like I know they can.

It is the simple things that need players to use their brains and play passes or beat players then go 1v1 against the goalkeeper. My players normally excel in 1v1s but at the weekend were not moving well and lost the ball in situations they would normally keep the ball in.

Try the different types of skill below to get your players back on track in matches and at training.

Can your Under 9s shield the ball? Use Shielding the ball (Under 9 game) from my curriculum to get them shielding and keeping possession in key areas of the pitch

Putting through passes into attacking areas is a great attacking skill to have. Playing killer passes needs clever work to create space and to see the pass. Line breaking passes is a good example to show your players, then get them to put players through on goal with the session Running onto a pass.

Introduce tricks such as step overs or drag backs, which can help wrong-foot defenders and give them a clear run through on goal. Encourage your young players to use a skill to get past a strong defence or to beat a goalkeeper when they’ve been put through by a killer pass. One of my go-to games is Double jeopardy which pits the striker against the goalkeeper.

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