EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Midfield rotation

Finding time and space in a crowded midfield will help your team retain possession and create chances. Rotating positions is a great way to do this and, with this session, you can teach your players how.

What this session is about

  1.  Rotating positions through movement.
  2.  Ability to create space.
  3.  Ability to pass and receive in tight areas.

What to think about

When defending, teams like to get into their set formation and keep the ball in front of them so they keep the opponent away from goal.

Teams will also often a man-marking system in midfield where they match up 3v3 or 2v2 to put the opponent under high pressure.

Teams do not like opposition players rotating positions or players who are constantly on the move to adjust their position in order to receive a pass. So, if your team can perfect rotation movements with players interchanging positions to receive, it will be a very hard team to play against.

Tip… If your players can’t make a forward pass, get the midfielders to rotate positions and space will open up.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Mark out a 25-yard square and place a server on each corner and three midfielders in the area.

To start, one server passes the ball to the server diagonally opposite him.

As this pass is being made, the three midfielders must quickly rotate positions in order to intercept the pass. The midfielders quickly combine and pass the ball outside to a different server.

Three players in the area move around constantly to intercept passes and pass to each other before passing out to a server.

Three players in the area move around constantly to intercept passes and pass to each other before passing out to a server.


Development

Now use the centre circle of your pitch and use two teams. Each has four players on the edge of the circle and three inside.

The aim for each team is to keep possession by constant midfield rotation and using outside players

Use these possible restrictions:

  • Outside players are limited to one touch.
  • If you pass to an outside player, you go out and the outside player dribbles the ball into the area.
Two teams try to keep possession in the centre circle and use their team mates on the edge to help do so.

Two teams try to keep possession in the centre circle and use their team mates on the edge to help do so.


Game situation

Mark out an area with a goal at each end. Use two teams. Each team has two defenders in its defensive zone, three midfielders in the middle zone and one forward in the attacking zone.

A neutral player is placed on each side of the middle zone, and play for the team in possession, to create an overload situation.

The aim is to pass the ball from your defenders through midfield and up to the forward to score a goal.

One player is free to join the next zone when attacking.

No players are allowed to drop down a zone and defend. The team that scores most goals wins.

Teams build up play through the zones to shoot at goal. Neutral players (N) help the team in possession.

Teams build up play through the zones to shoot at goal. Neutral players (N) help the team in possession.


What to call out

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