EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Talking heads

Without communication, a team cannot hope to function well, let alone win matches. Each practice in this session is designed to improve different types of communication when passing or receiving a pass.

What this session is about

  1.  Improving communication.
  2.  Giving information to your team mates.
  3.  Receiving more passes of the ball.

What to think about

  •  Communication between players is not only made by verbally calling for possession.
  •  Making eye contact with a team mate is communicating.
  •  Using a hand signal to show where you would like to receive a pass is also communicating.

Set-up

Use a 30 yards diameter circle for the session and development. Use an area 40 yards long by 30 yards wide for the game.

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Split your players into two groups. One group goes on the outside of the circle as passers and one goes in the centre as receivers. Receiving players use different ways of communicating in order to receive a ball. For example:

  1. The player calls out for a pass.
  2. The player makes eye contact but does not call.
  3. The player uses hand signals to receive a pass (E.G. A hand out to one side means he wants the ball on that side).

The receiving player must then decide whether to turn and play the ball to a new passer or return the ball to the same passer.

Players in the circle communicate where they want to receive the ball from passers on the outside.

Players in the circle communicate where they want to receive the ball from passers on the outside.


Development

Two defenders are added inside the circle. The passing player on the outside now has to communicate when making a pass. The communication options for the passers are:

  1.  “Man on” = pass back
  2.  “Turn” = you have time to turn and dribble.

The players inside the circle listen to the information from the passer so they can make the correct decision when in possession of the ball.

Two defenders go in the circle and now the passers have to communicate with receivers so the defenders do not steal the ball.

Two defenders go in the circle and now the passers have to communicate with receivers so the defenders do not steal the ball.


Game situation

This is a chance for your players to put themselves in your boots. Play a small-sided game in which two players at a time leave the pitch to be the “team managers”.

The manager is at the side of the pitch and gives instructions to the players on his team. This game is a fun way to improve how players communicate, and it works especially well if the players on the field are younger than the “managers”.

In a small-sided game, players have the chance to become the “manager” and communicate with their team mates from the side lines.

In a small-sided game, players have the chance to become the “manager” and communicate with their team mates from the side lines.


What to call out

  •  “Make eye contact”
  •  “Call for the ball”
  •  “Make hand signals”
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