EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

The skill channel

Find your team’s Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo with this session. It will improve your players’ dribbling ability in order to attack and run past defenders in 1v1 situations. “The skill channel” develops changes in speed and direction, plus using an individual skill to beat the defender.

What this session is about

  1.  Learning to change speed and direction when dribbling.
  2.  Learning a skill to go past your defender.
  3.  Creating goal scoring opportunities.

What to think about

  •  There are many different ways to beat a defender. This can be achieved by using pace, a change of direction, a skill, or passing and then running to receive a return pass in space.
  •  Encourage your players to use these different skills. This will make them more elusive.
  •  However, explain to your players that they cannot always dribble. Once they have beaten the first defender, they should lift their head up and look to make a pass.

Set-up

Create three 10 yards by 10 yards boxes next to each other as in the top picture, followed by a 40 yards by 30 yards small-sided games pitch as in the bottom picture.

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

The skills channel provides your players with a number of tasks.

  1.  The dribbling player must increase their speed in each zone.
  2.  Players alternate their speed in each zone.
  3.  Players complete a different ball skill in each zone.
  4.  Players dribble to zone 2, turn and dribble back to zone 1, turn again and dribble out of the area.
  5.  Players dribble at top speed through zone 1, complete a skill in zone 2 and a turn in zone 3.
Players complete a number of tasks in each zone.

Players complete a number of tasks in each zone.


Development

Add a defender to each zone. They have to stop the attacker getting past them and into the next zone. The attackers are awarded one point for each defender they beat. If the attacker is tackled, they become the defender in zone 3, with this defender moving forward to zone 2 and so on. The defender in zone 1 joins the queue of attackers. It’s worth asking the players who is the hardest in the team to tackle and why? (speed, disguise, skills used etc).

With a defender in each zone, attackers aim to beat their opponent and progress through the channel.

With a defender in each zone, attackers aim to beat their opponent and progress through the channel.


Game situation

Now play a small-sided game where both teams attack and defend end zones. The players score a goal by dribbling into these zones. Encourage players to go past the defenders at every opportunity, but to then raise their heads in order to make a good decision on whether to continue to dribble or pass.

In a small-sided game players have to dribble into the end zones to score goals.

In a small-sided game players have to dribble into the end zones to score goals.


What to call out

  •  “Attack the defender.”
  •  “Can you show disguise with your dribble.”
  •  “Make the most of beating the defender by lifting your head and passing or shooting.”
Share this

Follow us