EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

4 Games, 1 Pitch

Set the pitch up at the start of the session and you won’t need to touch another cone until you pack up. The initial setup allows the session to progress smoothly from warm-up through to game.

What this session is about

  1.  A pitch that includes 4 games to improve the team’s work in small groups.
  2.  This practice builds teamwork, passing and movement off the ball through small sided games.

What to think about

  •  Look at how effectively the groups work together and communicate.
  •  All four games give a hint towards the next game and lead to effective team play.
  •  Encourage short, sharp passing.

Set-up

40 x 30 yard area – 2 rows of cones form a central zone. Set up is unchanged for all 4 games. See diagram 1 (right).

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes20 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Run each game for a set period of time.

  •  Game 1 – Head tennis
  •  Each player is allowed three touches of the ball.
  •  The ball is only allowed to bounce once on each side.
  •  See how many consecutive returns can be
    made.
  •  Game 2 – Half-field possession
  •  The coach serves the ball to one team who must pass 3v1 in their own half.
  •  If they make five passes a 2nd defender enters to make it a 3v2 and so on.
  •  If possession is lost then the player who lost the ball must run into the other half and defend 3v1. This is a continuous game.
  •  Game 3 – Handball
  •  Players must throw and catch the ball.
  •  Players must not run with the ball and can only win possession by intercepting a thrown pass.
  • To score you must serve a team mate for a header at goal.
The initial set up allows you to progress smoothly through a variety of games.

The initial set up allows you to progress smoothly through a variety of games.


Development

Warm up with a game of head tennis before progressing to a possession game.

Warm up with a game of head tennis before progressing to a possession game.


Game situation

Game 4 – 2 Goal game
A normal game of 3v3 with the only rule that the
ball must not go above waist height.

Add an attacking element with a game of handball before finishing with normal 3v3.

Add an attacking element with a game of handball before finishing with normal 3v3.


What to call out

  • “Always be able to receive the ball”
  •  “Move for each other”
  •  “Work for each other”
  •  “Communicate”
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