INSPIRED, CONFIDENT & EFFECTIVE COACHING

Keep it on the deck

Retaining possession of the ball by passing it along the ground in all areas of the pitch requires courage and good technique, but as Spain has proved in recent tournaments, it can be a blueprint for success.

What this session is about

  1. Passing with accuracy.
  2. Maintaining possession of the ball.
  3. Receiving a pass.

What to think about

  • Passing technique – sidefoot through ball’s horizontal midline and use correct pace, timing, accuracy and follow-through.
  • Know where pass is coming from and going to.
  • Pass early if possible.
  • Creating space.
  • Attacking principles – e.g. spread out.
  • Receiving – e.g. first touch into space.
  • Good verbal and visual communication.

Set-up

Use an area 30 yards long by 20 yards wide with end zones for the first session and an area 55 yards long by 35 yards wide for the development and game.

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Play a small-sided game with no goalkeepers. Once teams have passed the ball to a team mate in one end zone, they change direction and try to pass to each other, making their way to the opposite end zone.

Only one attacker is allowed in an end zone at a time, and then only for five seconds. Teams earn a point for each time they pass to a player in the end zone. Award a free kick to the other team if a pass goes over knee height.

Two teams try to pass the ball up the pitch to the end zone and back, earning a point for completing a move to each end zone.

Two teams try to pass the ball up the pitch to the end zone and back, earning a point for completing a move to each end zone.


Development

Play 6v6 in an area split into three zones. Each team has goalkeeper and plays a 2-2-1 formation. Each part of the team – defenders, midfielders, attackers – stays in their own zone.

Only when a team is in possession can a player from an adjacent area enter a different zone, e.g. a defender can move into midfield to create a 3v2, a midfielder can join the attacker to create a 2v2, a midfielder can join the defenders to create a 3v1.

Players cannot dribble across zones and the ball can only move through one zone at a time. Keep the ball on the ground at all times, except for throw-ins and shots. When a team loses possession, it returns to its 2-2-1 formation.

In a 6v6 game, each team has a 2-2-1 formation but, when in possession, a team can push a player forward or backwards by one zone.

In a 6v6 game, each team has a 2-2-1 formation but, when in possession, a team can push a player forward or backwards by one zone.


Game situation

Continue playing a 6v6 game but this time there are no restrictions on players’ movement throughout the zones, but award three points for a team that scores after passing the ball from defence through midfield and into attack. The ball must not go above knee height except for throw-ins and shots.

Players are not restricted to stay in zones but points are awarded for scoring after a passing move through three zones.

Players are not restricted to stay in zones but points are awarded for scoring after a passing move through three zones.


What to call out

  • “Keep the ball moving”
  • “Call for the ball”
  • “Get a picture of what’s around you before receiving the ball”
  • “Fake to disguise direction of the pass”
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