EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Midfielder’s pass to striker’s feet

Creating shooting opportunities is the only realistic way to win matches. A pass from a midfielder to a forward is one of the best ways your team can do this – and here’s how to teach them.

What this session is about

  1. Creating space to receive a pass.
  2. Passing.

What to think about

When looking to receive a pass, a forward needs to:

  • Often play with his back to goal.
  • Move away at an angle so the defender follows and cut back quickly into the space created, leaving the defender trailing.
  • Communicate – verbal, eye contact and movement.
  • Think about variation – i.e. turning and attacking the space behind the defender.

A midfielder must:

  • Concentrate on the quality and timing of his pass.
  • Play with his head up.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Use four players in each area. One stands at each end as a target man, with a ball, and the other two play a 1v1 attacker/defender game in the area.

The attacker receives a pass and returns it to the same target player, before turning and repeating the exercise at the other end.

The defender can add pressure and intercept but cannot challenge for the ball. Encourage attackers to try and lose the defenders with runs.

Make sure attackers, defenders and target players all switch roles regularly.

An attacker (A) plays passes to target players at each end while a passive defender (D) adds pressure.

An attacker (A) plays passes to target players at each end while a passive defender (D) adds pressure.


Development

Play 2v2 in the area with a target player at each end and one ball. The defenders are active and can challenge for the ball.

Attackers try to move the ball from one target player to other and back again. Once a target player has passed the ball, he can join in to make a 3v2 overload.

Once the ball is passed, blocked or goes out of the area, the target man returns to his line.

Target players can move along their line. Make sure attackers, defenders and target players all switch roles regularly.

Two attackers (A) face two defenders (D) while trying to pass to target players.

Two attackers (A) face two defenders (D) while trying to pass to target players.


Game situation

In a larger area, use a full-size goal at one end and three target or mini goals at the other. Mark a 20-yard zone at the end with the target goals. Use 12 players. Play a 3v2 in this area and a 2v3, plus a keeper, in the larger area. The final attacker acts as a server at the end with the smaller goals, as shown in the bottom picture.

The attacking team tries to score in the full-size goal, while defenders try to score in the mini goals.

Play begins with the server playing an uncontested pass to an attacker in the 20-yard zone. If the attackers in the 3v2 successfully transfer the ball to their team mates in the larger zone, one of them joins that area to create a 3v3.

Make sure players and teams rotate roles and have equal playing time. The team that scores most goals wins.

Attackers (grey) try to score in the big goal, while defenders (white) try to score in the target goals.

Attackers (grey) try to score in the big goal, while defenders (white) try to score in the target goals.


What to call out

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