EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Take the ball on the safe side

This session will help you teach your players how to improve their ability to receive the ball while under tight pressure and be able to use disguise to turn away from the opponent without the danger of losing possession.

What this session is about

  1.  Receiving the ball on the “safe side”.
  2.  The ability to turn away from your opponent.
  3.  Creating space to shoot.

What to think about

When receiving the ball, a player must try to increase the space between himself and the opponent by taking a side-on body stance.

Taking up this side-on position will naturally place one foot closer to your opponent and one foot farther away.

The foot farther away from the opponent is the best foot to receive the ball because it will allow a player to protect possession.

This is called “safe-side receiving”. Now the player has the ball, he can use a good turn or skill to lose the opponent and shoot at goal.

Remember, if the turn is completed with the ball well away from the defender, possession is less likely to be lost.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Mark out an area and position two receivers next to two mannequins/flags. At either end of the area, a server stands ready to pass to a receiver.

To start, both receivers adopt a side-on position to accept a pass on the left foot (and safe side) away from the mannequin/flag, the players now turn and pass the ball to the opposite server.

Then each server passes back to their receiver to their right foot (safe side) so he can turn (safe side) and pass out again.

Players receive a pass on the outside (safe side) of the mannequins/flags, turn away from danger and pass to the opposite server.

Players receive a pass on the outside (safe side) of the mannequins/flags, turn away from danger and pass to the opposite server.


Development

Mark out an area, split into three zones, with a goal at each end. Use two teams. Each team has a keeper, a midfielder (M), two defenders (D) and two forwards (F).

To start, the midfielder is free to pass to his forwards, who must combine inside the busy zone to receive and turn safely, beat the defender and shoot at goal.

After each attack, the forward that received the initial pass swaps position with the midfielder.

While this happens, a new attack starts in the opposite direct with the other midfielder.

Midfielders (M) pass to forwards (F), who try to prevent defenders (D) intercepting the ball then shoot at goal.

Midfielders (M) pass to forwards (F), who try to prevent defenders (D) intercepting the ball then shoot at goal.


Game situation

Use the final third of your regular pitch for this small-sided game, which uses two teams and one keeper.

Each team has four players inside the cropped and crowded penalty area.

Three neutral players (N) surround the playing area and are limited to two touches on the ball. These players are not allowed to score.

To start, a neutral player serves a ball to a player on the attacking team, who receives and turns on the safe side then combines with team mates to shoot at goal.

If successful, that team is awarded a second ball to repeat the exercise.

But if the opposing team wins possession, it can rotate the roles in the game by quickly playing out to the neutrals and become the new attacking team.

Players in this game should be encouraged to receive safe side and choose to turn and shoot or pass to a team mate/neutral. Communication is vital and the team that scores most goals wins.

Neutrals (N) pass the ball into a crowded area and the attacking team tries to retain possession and score.

Neutrals (N) pass the ball into a crowded area and the attacking team tries to retain possession and score.


What to call out

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