Training when space is tight

I’m one of the lucky ones. Where I coach there is acres of space to do sessions that need big spaces to work in. But then again I rarely use big spaces when I coach! I like to work in tight areas.

You can use tight areas to mimic the spaces that the game is often played in during matches. With my U9s team I work with them in small games like Rondos and passing squares. It helps them to play a possession game and to win 1v1s and 2v1s when faced with them in games they play.

I realise that for some coaches they miss being able to spread play or switch play but there are benefits to coaching in tight spaces. Here is my advice and activities for coaches who have limited space – but they can also benefit all coaches.

Start with my blog on Coaching in tight areas and what coaches can hope to get out of week in week out using small areas to train in. Even if you have a whole pitch to yourself you will benefit from coaching players to keep possession when space is tight.

Good sessions that work in tight spaces puts the right kind of pressure on players looking to receive and pass. Box to box helps players work on the quality of the pass, and also first touch to get the ball into a position to pass in the right direction.

Of course if you are looking at coaching a possession based playing style then you will want to coach some sessions in tight spaces to help perfect the tactic. Tight targets is a game with pressing, movement, support, skills and accurate passing. It’s brilliant for possession and to teach players how to move the ball quickly in a small area.

You may have to coach on an area that is very thin as well as small. This means you have to adapt your coaching session to fit the space. No problem with that! Triangles – one-touch play uses a thin pitch which you can alter to fit your area in length as well as width. it’s a session aimed at getting midfielders to play off each other in order to bring attackers into the game and provide support in attack, taking shooting chances when they are created. Great for counter attacking too.

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