I work my players every training session on keeping the ball. Small sided passing games that are opposed in overload situations are a key way to getting players used to keeping the ball by passing and moving under pressure. MORE
Don’t panic under pressure
It’s tough trying to keep calm and pass the ball when the opposition’s defenders are swarming around, but being able to do so will mean your team is less likely to give away possession and so retain control of the ball.
What this session is about
- Maintaining possession.
- Controlled passing.
- Creating space.
What to think about
When trying to retain possession, players must consider:
- Good passing technique – e.g correct pace, timing, accuracy.
- Good receiving technique – e.g. first touch into space, away from the defender.
- What they plan to do with the ball before they have received it.
- Spreading out to make the pitch big. Communication – verbal, eye-contact, signals.
- Adopting a composed attitude when on the ball.
|Warm up||Session||Developments||Game Situation||Warm Down|
|10 minutes||15 minutes||15 minutes||15 minutes||5 minutes|
What you get your players to do
Mark out a 10-yard square and use three teams – each has four players. One team of four (attackers), starts inside the area. The other players (defenders) pair up outside the grid, and will take it in turns to enter to create a succession of 4v2s.
The aim of the drill is for attackers to keep possession for as long as possible, while the defenders try to force the ball out of the area.
To begin, you, or an assistant, pass the first of the six balls to the attackers, at which point the first pair of defenders enters the area and you start the stopwatch. Only when a ball leaves the playing area can the next ball be passed in and the next pair of defenders immediately runs in to defend.
Stop the clock once all six balls have left the playing area and record the time. The drill is then repeated with the other two teams being the attackers. The team able to keep possession of all six balls for the longest time wins.
Mark out an area with a target goal on each side. Split players into three teams of four, but play 4v4 while one team rests.
One team attempts to keep possession while the other team attempts to win the ball and score in any of the target goals.
The passing team has to make six passes to “score a goal”, while the other team gets a goal each time it shoots into any target goal. The ball starts with the team trying to retain possession and also gets possession after every goal. Rotate the teams so each team gets a new role.
Now play the “1-0 game”. The game starts with two teams playing 6v6 (including keepers) trying to score the first goal. Once this goal is scored, the scoring team must follow the instruction: “You are leading 1-0 in a cup final with five minutes remaining. Can you keep possession?”
The leading team must now keep possession for five minutes without trying to score. It must try to run down the clock. If the opponent scores, the roles are reversed and that team now leads 1-0. The team that can score a goal and not concede for five minutes or the team leading for the most time overall, wins.