EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Eye spy

Good footballers keep their heads up as much as possible – even when not in possession – to take constant “pictures” of what’s going on around them.

This allows them to make good, quick decisions when the ball comes their way, and stay one step ahead of the opposition.

What this session is about

  • Playing with their heads up.
  • Passing to team mates in space.
  • Making room to receive the ball.

What to think about

  • Observe where team mates and opposition players are before receiving the ball. That includes glancing over the shoulder.
  • Know where the next pass is going before receiving the ball.
  • Players off the ball should move to make sure they are seen by the player with the ball.
  • Communication with team mates.
  • Passing and receiving technique.

Set-up

  • Use 12 players.
  • Use a playing area 40 yards by 30 yards.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes20 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Divide players into two groups with different-coloured bibs (grey and white). Use two balls. Players jog around the area. Grey players pass to white players, and vice versa.

Now add another ball and split players into three groups (black, white, grey). Black players pass to white players, white pass to grey, and grey players pass to black. Make sure players use both feet throughout. This encourages players to keep their heads up.

Split the group into two teams. Players have to keep their heads up and pass to a player on the opposite team. Start by using two balls.

Split the group into two teams. Players have to keep their heads up and pass to a player on the opposite team. Start by using two balls.


Development

Reduce the number of touches each player can have to three. To progress further, play two-touch, and then encourage players to pass first time if the opportunity is there. Also encourage them to try longer passes where there’s an opportunity.

Split players into three teams. Each team member can only pass to one other team. E.g. black to white, white to grey and grey to black.

Split players into three teams. Each team member can only pass to one other team. E.g. black to white, white to grey and grey to black.


Game situation

Two teams join forces, making an 8v4 (white and black v grey) with one goal. Play for two minutes with unlimited touches. White players pass to black, and black players to white. Grey players try to win the ball and score in the goal. Possession goes back to the team of eight after a goal is scored or the ball goes out of play.

Swap teams so each plays as the team of four. Any interceptions earn one point and goals earn two points each.

The team with most points wins.

Two teams join forces to pass to each other while the third team (grey) tries to intercept and score. Swap teams after two minutes.

Two teams join forces to pass to each other while the third team (grey) tries to intercept and score. Swap teams after two minutes.


What to call out

  • “Play with your head up – scan the area”
  • “Be on your toes”
  • “Call for the ball, make yourself available”
  • “You can only pass as quick as you can see”
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