EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Always on the look-out

Even when not in possession, good footballers play with their head up to be aware of what’s going on around them. This means when the ball comes their way they can make well-informed and quick decisions and are more likely to make good use of the ball.

What this session is about

  1. Playing with their head up to get a “picture” of what’s around them.
  2. Passing.
  3. Keeping possession.

What to think about

  • Adopt an “open-body” stance. This means, positioning their body so they are always able to see both goals.
  • Observe where team mates and opponents are before receiving the ball. That includes glancing over the shoulder.
  • Know where the next pass is going before receiving the ball.
  • Move to make sure they are seen by the player with the ball.
  • Communicate with team mates.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Set up a 10-yard square. Place a player outside on each side of the square, each holding a differentcoloured cone. Four players inside the square pass and move among themselves. After three passes, the ball is passed to an outside player. When that outside player passes the ball back in, the player directly opposite him holds up the cone he is holding. The inside player receiving the pass shouts out that colour before taking full control of the ball.

Continue for three more passes then repeat. Switch inside and outside players regularly as well as shuffling the positions of the cone holders so players cannot memorise where they are.

To progress, play two-touch – then encourage players to pass first time.

After three passes the ball is passed to an outside cone holder. He passes back and the receiver calls the colour of the held-up cone.

After three passes the ball is passed to an outside cone holder. He passes back and the receiver calls the colour of the held-up cone.


Development

Repeat the session but play 3v1 in the middle. This time the ball can be passed to an outside player after two passes. Switch and shuffle as before.

As before, this time 3v1 and the ball can be passed outside after two passes.

As before, this time 3v1 and the ball can be passed outside after two passes.


Game situation

This time, play 2v2 in the box. One of the cone holders plays for the team in possession, making it a 3v2. The three outside cone holders now have a free side to run into. Inside players can only pass to an outside player if he is directly opposite another cone holder. The team in possession must complete at least one pass before passing to a cone holder and they score a “goal” for correctly calling out three colours in a row.

Play 2v2 with a cone holder playing for team in possession. Ball can only be passed outside to a player with a cone holder directly opposite.

Play 2v2 with a cone holder playing for team in possession. Ball can only be passed outside to a player with a cone holder directly opposite.


What to call out

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