INSPIRED, CONFIDENT & EFFECTIVE COACHING

Offside made easy

The offside law is difficult to explain and requires a lot of patience on the part of the coach. However, use this simple set of drills regularly to reinforce the basic principles and it won’t be long before your players start to get the hang of it.

What this session is about

  1. Teaching forwards when they’re offside.
  2. Learning the laws of the game.

What to think about

There are several aspects to the laws of offside but this session concentrates on the most basic of those.

There must be at least two opponents (one can be the goalkeeper) between the goal line and the receiving player at the moment the ball is passed forward. However, just standing offside is not an offence – it only becomes an offence if the ball is played to that player.

Set-up

  • Use an area 25 yards long by 15 yards wide.
  • You need at least four players.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Play two attackers against a defender and a goalkeeper. Attackers must play a pass to try and beat the offside trap and then attempt to score a goal. The defender wins points for catching one of the attackers offside or for dribbling the ball over the line at the opposite end from the goal.

Attackers restart from their own goal line after each attempt and defenders cannot go past the 15-yard line to start their defensive duties.

Tell the defending players to shout: “Offside”, when they think a player is guilty of the offence. You make the final judgment and explain why.

The defender has allowed the forward to go past him before the pass is played, so he is offside.

The defender has allowed the forward to go past him before the pass is played, so he is offside.


Development

Repeat the drill, but increase the playing area to 30 yards long by 20 yards wide. Add an extra attacker and an extra defender.

When the defending team wins the ball, it cannot make more than three passes in a bid to take the ball to the opposite end of the area to win a point.

Points are also gained for catching attackers offside. The team with most points after five minutes wins. Swap teams so everyone has an attempt at defending.

The attackers’ pass is not offside because the receiving player is level with the second last defender.

The attackers’ pass is not offside because the receiving player is level with the second last defender.


Game situation

Increase the playing area to 35 yards long by 25 yards wide, but this time with a half way line. Play a five-a-side game. Both teams score bonus points for catching the other team offside.

Play a small-sided game with bonus points for catching opponents offside.

Play a small-sided game with bonus points for catching opponents offside.


What to call out

  • “If you’re level with second last defender you are onside”
  • “You can’t be offside from a throw-in”
  • “You can’t be offside in your own half”
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