I'm not bragging when I tell you my Under 9 team scores lots of goals – they do but that's down to their hard work on the training pitch. And that is not to say they are all perfectly formed with a good shot on the player's favoured foot. My players use both feet... sometimes just to guide the ball into the net with their less favoured foot MORE
One man army
Improve your players’ close control skills with these easy-to-set-up drills which place the emphasis on the individual. Each player can become a “one man army” if he can keep the ball away from opponents.
What this session is about
- Dribbling with the ball.
- Improving close control and retaining possession.
- Shielding the ball from opponents.
What to think about
Dribbling – keep the ball within playing distance. Use the inside/outside of both feet. Take quick, small steps. Keep the head up.
Shielding – keep the body and legs between the ball and opponent. Be side-on to the opponent. Use a crouched, but balanced, body position with the arms out. Control the ball with foot farthest from opponent. Use the outside and soles of feet. Remain strong throughout.
Use the centre circle. Place eight cones, an equal distance apart, 10 yards outside of the centre circle to create an outer circle. Use eight players or increase/reduce the number of cones and balls you use depending on how many players you have.
|Warm up||Session||Developments||Game Situation||Warm Down|
|10 minutes||10-15 minutes||15 minutes||10-15 minutes||10 minutes|
What you get your players to do
Each player has a ball and dribbles at jogging pace inside the inner circle.
The players perform a command that you shout out at regular intervals, such as: “dribble at full speed”, “turn” (the players perform a turn), “all right/left foot”, “step over’ (do a step over) and “cross” (cut across to the other side of the inner circle avoiding other players).
To progress, players dribble their ball within the inner circle without bumping into each other. Give commands as before but add, “break out”, where the players dribble at pace around one cone in the outer circle and back again.
It is one player per cone, so each player must find an unused cone. The first player back to the centre with their foot on the ball wins.
Using seven balls, form a small circle in the centre of the inner circle. The players run around within the inner circle and on command take control of a ball by placing a foot on it.
The player without a ball has 30 seconds to steal possession from one of the others, who must dribble and shield it. Repeat the drill when time is up or if the player wins possession.
To progress, players with a ball can kick other players’ footballs out of the area. Players with a ball in the circle after one minute get a point.
Play 4v4 in a 30-yard square with five “gates” (five pairs of cones) in random parts of the area.
Teams score points when their players dribble through the gates.
What to call out
- “Keep the ball close”
- “Be light on your feet”
- “Head up”