EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Control away from pressure

Controlling the ball quickly, away from defenders and into space will give players more time to assess their options and execute their next technique, whether that is a pass, shot or dribble.

What this session is about

  1. Improving the ability to maintain possession.
  2. Creating more possession time.
  3. Increasing the team’s speed of play.

What to think about

  • Know where your opponents and team-mates are.
  • Body half-turned in the direction they want to control the ball.
  • Ball travels across body to the back foot.
  • Contact the ball’s horizontal mid-line or above.
  • “Cushion” the ball to play it again without having to chase or reach for it.

Set-up

  • 1 ball and 4 players in a 10 x 10 metre area.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15-20 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

  • 2 players stand one behind the other on one side of the square, with the other 2 players lined-up opposite.
  • The first player passes the ball across the square, where the player receiving controls it – using the inside, or arch, of the foot – and passes it back, ideally with their second touch.
  • Once a player from either side has played a pass, they turn behind the second player in line, who repeats the drill.
  • Keep the ball moving.
  • Use the right foot to control to the right, and the left to control to the left.
    Stress the importance of good passing.
Receive the ball, control it and make a good pass to your opposite number.

Receive the ball, control it and make a good pass to your opposite number.


Development

  • This time, the first player follows their pass, but runs to the right of the player receiving.
  • The player receiving responds by controlling the ball to their left, away from the pressure.
  • Players join the back of the line at the opposite end to where they started.
  • Reverse the direction, so players are forced to take the controlling touch with the other foot.
Now follow your pass and put the opposite player under a little pressure.

Now follow your pass and put the opposite player under a little pressure.


Game situation

Play 3v1 keep-away in a 10 x 10 metre grid. Award a point to the attackers for completing a specified number of consecutive passes. The defender gets a point for stealing the ball or knocking it out of play, or if the attacking team hit the ball out of bounds.

Progressions include limiting the number of touches each member of the attacking team has, reducing the number of attackers, increasing the number of defenders, or increasing the number of consecutive passes the attackers have to make.

Can you use your controlling skills to keep the ball away from a defender?

Can you use your controlling skills to keep the ball away from a defender?


What to call out

  • “Move into line with the ball”
  • “Stay relaxed, balanced, head steady and on your toes to receive the ball”
  • “Use both feet”
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