EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Quality control

Being able to control the ball is one of the most fundamental techniques. Try this drill to get players familiarised with the basic principles.

What this session is about

  1. Receiving the ball.
  2. The importance of a good first touch.

What to think about

Make sure players:

  • Use “checking” movements to create space.
  •  Get in line with the ball.
  •  Are half-turned in the direction they want to go.
  •  Let ball travel across their bodies to the “back foot” – the inside of the foot furthest from passer.
  • “Cushion” the ball to keep it close.
  •  Communicate with team mates.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Five players are equally spaced around a circle with one player working in the middle. The player in the middle calls for the ball from one of the outer players, controls it then passes to the next player in the circle, then calls for the ball again, moving clockwise around until the circle is complete.

He repeats the activity but goes anticlockwise. Once complete, the middle player swaps positions with one of the outer players. Make sure all players use both feet.

To progress, repeat, but players can only take two touches (control and pass). The middle player can pass to any outer player but can’t pass to the same person twice in a row.

A player in the circle receives a pass and gives a pass, working clockwise around the outside players.

A player in the circle receives a pass and gives a pass, working clockwise around the outside players.


Development

Make one of the outer players a second middle player.

The two players in the middle of the circle (A and B) are working together.

A receives the ball from an outer player, controls and passes to B, who passes to a new outer player, who passes to A to continue the exercise.

Swap the middle players regularly.

To progress, split the players into two teams. Both have a player each in the middle.

Each team’s players are arranged alternately around the circle. The two middle players (using one ball each) must complete as many passes as possible to their team mates in one minute.

Each middle player must take a minimum of two touches (control and pass), and they cannot pass to the same team mate twice in a row.

Two players in the middle work with each other and pass to outside players.

Two players in the middle work with each other and pass to outside players.


Game situation

Use a circle and 12 players, play a 3v3 in the circle. Each team has three receivers positioned on the edge of the circle.

Teams score a point by either:

  •  Central players successfully completing three consecutive passes.
  • Passing out to an outside player, who makes a successful and positive first touch into the circle and, at the same time, switches roles with the player who passed the ball.

Play for five minutes and add up the points to see which team has won. Swap players around to create new teams and play twice more.

In a small-sided game, teams try to retain the ball and make passes between themselves and their team mates outside the circle.

In a small-sided game, teams try to retain the ball and make passes between themselves and their team mates outside the circle.


What to call out

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