EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Perpetual motion machine

Improving your team’s movement off the ball will create space and disrupt the opponent’s defence. The more your players move around the pitch, the more elusive they will be to their opponents.

What this session is about

  1.  Movement off the ball.
  2.  Creating space as an individual.
  3.  Creating space as a team.

What to think about

  •  When your team has the ball, does the player in possession have passing options?
  •  Do players make the pitch big by making runs to create space or to receive a pass?
  • Any movement is better than no movement, so we use the common saying “if the ball moves, you move” in order to educate young players of the importance in moving.
  • Movement disrupts defenders and forces them to leave their position to mark the player which opens up space for the team to exploit.

Set-up

Use a 40 yards by 30 yards area for all practices.

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

The warm up

Split the group into opposite sides of the pitch. Use a ball in each half. The first player passes the ball in one half and then runs into the other half to pass the other ball. This practice works in three sets of three minutes each. The first three minutes has three-touch passing, the second is two-touch and third is one-touch.

The session

Use two teams of six players and a goalkeeper. The teams have three players on the pitch and three servers on the outside of the pitch. The black team starts as the attackers and it receives a ball from the servers in order to try and score a goal.

If the white team wins the ball, it is passed to one of their servers and they begin an attack. The players on the pitch mark an opponent to force movement off the ball to receive a pass. Rotate players every four minutes so they are servers and players in the main area.

Players pass to another player in their half and run into the other half to pass the second ball.

Players pass to another player in their half and run into the other half to pass the second ball.


Development

In a small-sided game, players on each team mark an opponent and can only tackle the player they are man marking. This rule forces players to be on the move constantly in order to lose their marker and receive the ball. When defending you must also be moving all the time to stay close to your opponent and stop them receiving a pass.

Players must lose their marker to receive a pass from a team mate (a server) and then try to score while moving constantly.

Players must lose their marker to receive a pass from a team mate (a server) and then try to score while moving constantly.


Game situation

In another small-sided game, players are free to mark anyone and go anywhere on the pitch. Applaud good movement and make an example of this to the rest of the group. However, if an attacking player is not moving, award a free kick to the opposing team. So the rule for this game is “if the ball moves, you move”.

In a small-sided game, players can only tackle the opponent they are man marking. Everyone must keep moving continuously.

In a small-sided game, players can only tackle the opponent they are man marking. Everyone must keep moving continuously.


What to call out

  •  “If the ball moves, you move”
  •  “Movement creates space”
  •  “Movement disrupts defenders”
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