EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Get in the box

Making runs into the penalty box and reaching the ball from crosses is key to any team’s chances of scoring goals. This session will improve your team’s ability to attack effectively.

What this session is about

  1.  Improving the team’s build up play.
  2.  Midfielders running into the opponents’ penalty box.
  3.  Scoring from crosses.

What to think about

  •  When moving the ball into wide areas it is essential you have players running into the box to score from the cross.
  •  Your players need to make runs to the near post, far post and centre of the goal in order to cover the whole box and give your team the best chance of scoring.
  • Players unable to make it into the box should wait on the edge for any clearances.
  • Taking a gamble by running into the box can often be repaid with goals, if the ball doesn’t come to you, then opponents still need to make up the full length of the pitch in order to score so it’s worth the gamble.

Set-up

Create a pitch, 40 yards wide and 50 yards long with a channel along each side and a goal at each end.

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Split the group into three teams of three players, outside of these teams nominate two neutral wide players.

A goalkeeper throws the ball to any of the three players. The three players combine and pass wide to either winger. The players now make unopposed runs into the box in order to score from the winger’s cross. Swap teams and work the opposite way up the pitch.

A team of three combines to pass the ball to a neutral winger and run to attack his cross. After an attempt, a new team comes on to the pitch.

A team of three combines to pass the ball to a neutral winger and run to attack his cross. After an attempt, a new team comes on to the pitch.


Development

The teams are now in competition. The game works in a wave motion with a team defending a cross 3v5 and then building up to attack a cross 5v3 and then resting.

The coach serves the ball to the first attacking team which combines to launch an attack at goal from a cross. After a shot or block, the defending team race forward to receive a pass from the coach and play is continuous.

The practice is now opposed. Once a team’s attack ends, the defenders become the attackers.

The practice is now opposed. Once a team’s attack ends, the defenders become the attackers.


Game situation

In a small-sided game, each team has two wide players. The wide players must stay outside the pitch until one of them has the ball. The wide player should look to cross into the box quickly. The opposite wide player must run towards the far post should the cross reach him. One attacker runs to the near post and the other targets the central area should the ball reach either of them.

To encourage these forward runs, goals scored directly from a cross are worth double.

Each team has two players who can cross the ball in for the attackers. The winger who is not making a cross can run in to attack the far post.

Each team has two players who can cross the ball in for the attackers. The winger who is not making a cross can run in to attack the far post.


What to call out

  •  “Get the ball out to the winger”
  •  “Can you get into the box?”
  •  “Cover the four zones (near, far, centre, edge)”
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