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Soccer coaching

Why a possession-based game works

in Email newsletters, Tactics

As coaches we are all obsessed with keeping possession of the ball... of course we are the best teams all do it and if you've got the ball the opposition can't score. And there is just that other coach called Pep Guardiola who swears by it... MORE

players training

Dominate your opponents

in Email newsletters, Tactics

Fast is a word I like to use when my teams are attacking. Do it with speed and watch the opposition shrink away from it. It makes life difficult for your opponents and helps your team to dominate when in possession of the ball. MORE

Tactics and formations

Sort out your match day tactics

in Email newsletters, Tactics

The season has suddenly taken off again after 4 months of Coronavirus lockdown. I've been coaching for 14 hours for the last two weeks in an attempt to get the players back into some kind of shape for playing matches. It has its benefits but also it has a downside. Two of my players picked up injuries, one an ankle injury and the other had what he called "tired legs". Find out how we got on... MORE

Go forward or switch

in Attacking, Tactics

Players need to be able to create space to either play forward or switch play. It helps them to set up positive attacking options. Moving the ball quickly with both long and short passes gives teams the chance to create 1v1 situations or overloads which are key situations for exploiting the opposition. Knowing when to... MORE

Play wide, play fast

in Email newsletters, Tactics

I've watched every game that Leeds United have played under Marcelo Bielsa in the Premier League this season, and boy is it fast! It is a game played with fluidity right across the pitch at speed – crosses fly into the penalty area. And if you lose the ball to them they counter attack in an instant, a great tactic for youth teams. MORE

How to coach pack attacking drills- part 1

Hunting in packs

in Advanced Skills, Practice plans, Team Management

When trying to pressure opponents, it’s important that players don’t work alone as they will be outnumbered and simply played around. The key to regaining the ball quickly is for players to work together and hunt aggressively in small groups. MORE

Coach like the man behind Rangers title-winning season

in Email newsletters, Team Management

Rangers have won their 55th Scottish Premiership title and my congratulations go out to the Head Coach and mastermind of their win Michael Beale. I met Michael way back when he was a coach at the Chelsea Youth Academy in Cobham. We used to meet up and he’d give me sessions to use in Soccer Coach Weekly and that led to him writing a number of youth coaching books for Soccer Coach Weekly. MORE

Coaching the false 9

in Email newsletters, Tactics

I was asked this week "how do I coach the false 9?". The false 9 is very much back in fashion as we can see lots of teams have gone back to playing 4-3-3 where the attacking players can switch positions in the attacking third of the pitch. MORE

Out of possession tactics

in Defending, Tactics

Out of possession teams can control the game by forcing play into areas of the pitch that are easier to control. With positional play opponents can be forced into areas that are less dangerous to the defending team MORE

Transitions: react to change in possession

in Attacking, Defending, Tactics

Transitions are a vital part of match play - players must react quickly to winning or losing the ball because in these instances games are won or lost. It is vital that as soon as the ball is won or lost teams react instantly. An attacking team that has lost the ball must work hard to immediately win it back and a team that has won the ball must attack at pace. MORE

Move in possession

in Passing, Tactics

Possession is key with players tactically keeping position in the midfield focal point of the pitch. Movement is key to keeping the ball and fast breaks will result. MORE

I pulled a muscle by not warming up

in Email newsletters, Fitness and Diet

I keep fit pretty much all year round due to being outside coaching most of the time. And with the enforced lay off in the UK due to the coronavirus pandemic I've been keeping myself fit in other ways. However, being fit and having muscles ready to play sport is on a different planet. MORE

Individual skill: deadly dead balls

in Email newsletters, Set pieces

Perfect set pieces can be a thing of beauty... but they can also spell disaster. Think of how many times you see a free kick sail over the bar or a corner put your team from attacking to defending a counter attack. Dead ball situations are an individual skill from the player taking the set piece but also they encompass a whole team working to take advantage of the situation. MORE

Simple fitness drills for all ages

in Email newsletters, Fitness and Diet

During lockdown or anytime you find you cannot get your team to training for a period of time you should make sure they are doing things to keep fit. They need things that they will find are fun and things that they will want to do because it is a competition. Without matches they are missing that competitive edge and that will add to their boredom when they cannot get out and play. MORE

The art of the keepy uppy

in Ball Control and Footwork, Blog

This week during lockdown we’ve set up a league at our club where boys in age groups challenge each other to beat the keepy uppy record – keeping the ball in the air with different parts of the body but mainly the foot. It helps to get them to try to do as many as possible because they want to win the league. MORE

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