EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Create space to receive a pass

By creating space before receiving a pass, a player will avoid immediate pressure, and so give themselves time to make good decisions with the ball and execute them.

What this session is about

  1. Creating time and space.
  2. Losing a marker

What to think about

  • Move away at an angle so the defender follows.
  • Cut back quickly into the space created, leaving the defender trailing.
  • Accelerate into space.
  • Move too soon or too late to receive the pass and the space might be closed down.
  • Communication – verbal, eye contact, movement.
  • Variation – attack space behind defender.

Set-up

  • Approx 10 x 15m area.
  • 3 players – 1 server, 1 attacker, 1 defender.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes20 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

The forward takes up a position facing the server with a defender, who is passive to begin with, marking behind. The forward creates space before receiving a pass from the server. The practice ends with the forward in control of the ball.

Rotate players so everyone practices being the forward.

The receiver makes a move away then checks back to receive the ball in space.

The receiver makes a move away then checks back to receive the ball in space.


Development

Set up a playing area 30 x 20m. Put one server at each corner outside the playing area, with a ball for each. The other players pair up inside the playing area, with one being the attacker and the other the defender. The forward must get free of their defender, receive a ball from any server and play it back without losing possession.

Progressions include the forward taking two or three touches before returning the ball, and returning the ball to a different server. Make sure to rotate players.

The receiver must work hard to move around the area constantly creating the space to receive a pass and return it.

The receiver must work hard to move around the area constantly creating the space to receive a pass and return it.


Game situation

Play 2v2 in an area approx 30 x 20m, with a target player at each end. A team wins a point for moving the ball from one target player to the second one without losing possession. The opponents win possession by tackling or intercepting the ball, or if it goes out of play. Target players can move along their line and should be rotated throughout.

Working in pairs players must use the skill to get the ball from one target player to the other.

Working in pairs players must use the skill to get the ball from one target player to the other.


What to call out

  • “Passing must be good”
  • “Concentrate on your control as well as your movement”
  • “If the defender doesn’t follow, you’ve made space just by moving”
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