Allow your players to develop confidence and technique in this three-part session. By HANNAH DUNCAN MORE
Strength in shielding
Keeping hold of the ball while under pressure from a defender is one of the most important skills your players can have. Knowing they can shield it from danger means they won’t lose possession and it will give them the confidence and time to execute other skills.
What this session is about
- Protecting the ball from a defender.
- Building confidence.
What to think about
Players attempting to shield the ball must:
- Place their body and legs between the ball and the defender.
- Be side-on, with one shoulder pointing at the defender.
- Keep the knees bent, the feet shoulder-width apart, the bottom lowered and the arms out for balance.
- Control the ball with the foot farthest away from the defender using the inside, outside and sole of the foot. Also use rolls, pullbacks, etc.
- Keep the head up.
|Warm up||Session||Developments||Game Situation||Warm Down|
|10 minutes||10-15 minutes||15 minutes||10-15 minutes||10 minutes|
What you get your players to do
Mark out a five-yard square and use two players. The attacker starts with the ball inside the square while the defender starts outside.
When you give the command to begin, the defender enters the playing area to try and steal the ball from the attacker, who has to shield it for a count of five.
Alternate who begins with the ball and get players to use both feet to control the ball.
Now make it a game. Each player gets five consecutive goes at shielding the ball. They get a point for each successful attempt and the player with the most points wins.
Expand the area to a 10-yard square and use four players. Two servers (S) start at opposite ends and there’s a 1v1 in the middle.
The drill begins with the first server passing to the attacker, who tries to keep possession of the ball for a count of three while facing the first server, and being pressed by the defender.
He then tries to turn past his opponent and pass the ball to the server at the opposite end.
Repeat the drill from the opposite end. Make sure all players swap roles regularly.
Mark out an area with no goals and play a 4v4. Each player has a specified marker and can only be tackled by that player.
The team in possession earns a point for keeping the ball for 20 seconds but when an attacking player receives the ball, he must touch it at least three times before passing.
The team that scores most points wins.
To progress, remove the individual marking restriction so attackers can be tackled by any of the defenders.