EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Possession play

Developing a calm and composed attitude when in possession of the ball will help your team. A great way to learn how to do this is with fun, small-sided games.

What this session is about

  1.  Keeping possession of the ball.
  2.  Being composed in possession.
  3.  Possession with a purpose (to build attacks).

What to think about

When keeping possession of the ball each player in the team plays an active role to help create passing options by finding space.

Players must try to make the earliest and most simple pass.

Players must make a run after passing in order to receive a return pass or to drag opponents away from the ball so space is created.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Mark out an area with cones, which is split into three 10-yard squares, as shown in the top picture.

The ball starts in the bottom zone with a 3v1 situation. The passers must complete at least three passes and then one passer dribbles the ball into the middle zone to create a 2v1 situation.

In the middle, the two passers have to combine to beat the defender and, again, one of the passers dribbles into the next zone to create a 3v1.

The practice continues but in the reverse direction.

Defenders hold a bib and rotate with any passer that they win the ball from.

One team passes to keep possession while moving through the zones.

One team passes to keep possession while moving through the zones.


Development

Use six players as passers and three players as defenders, as in the middle picture.

The passing team tries to keep possession of the ball by working it from one safe zone to the other. The passing team cannot be tackled in the safe zones.

When receiving a pass from the safe zone, the team cannot pass back. It must be positive and head towards the opposite end zone to score a point.

The defending team wins a point by regaining the ball and dribbling it into one of the end zones. The first team to five points is the winner.

The passing team of six tries to keep the ball by moving from end to end against three defenders.

The passing team of six tries to keep the ball by moving from end to end against three defenders.


Game situation

Set up an area with a goal at each end and use two teams plus one neutral player.

There are two games, each lasting seven minutes, that you can use.

Game 1 – Team A is leading 1-0 and cannot score a goal until team B scores. Team A can use either goalkeeper and the neutral player to keep possession of the ball. If team B regains possession, it can score in either goal. If successful, the rules are reversed and team B is now winning 1-0.

Goalkeepers are not allowed to be tackled inside their zones.

Game 2 – Play a small-sided game and use a neutral player, who plays for the team in possession. Teams win a point for completing 10 passes.

Teams also win a point for scoring past the opponent’s goalkeeper. They are awarded double points for completing 10 passes and scoring past the opponent’s goalkeeper in one phase of play.

The 1-0 game forces the winning team to try and keep possession of the ball while the opposition cannot concede if losing.

The 1-0 game forces the winning team to try and keep possession of the ball while the opposition cannot concede if losing.


What to call out

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