EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Surprise tactics

Speed of play can be vital when a game kicks off and the opposition are intent on making their mark. Surprise and quick movement can catch out the best teams and the underdog will come out snarling so teams must beware of being too casual and thinking they will win easily.

Set up

Using a full-size pitch and mark out four 10×10-yard boxes, two on the touchline at the halfway line and the other two at the front of the penalty area. We’ve used eight players. You need bibs, balls and cones.

How to do it

Split players into two teams of four. You need two players from each team in the centre circle making a 2v2. The others should be target players, one each box. The game starts with the four centre players passing the ball to each other between teams until one player breaks out of the circle and the game becomes competitive. Teams must try to score by either passing to their target players through the front of the box or by dribbling into it.

Technique

This is all about taking the opposition by surprise and the opposition reacting by turning the tables on the team that broke out of the centre.

Take the opposition by surprise

    1. Players start passing the ball between the two teams in the centre circle
    2. Using the element of surprise and communication with their team-mate, one player breaks out of the circle and the game becomes competitive

Fast breaks

    3. Here the breakaway has caught the opposition by surprise but one defender gets back to hold up play and win the ball
    4. The opposition players must then make use of the ball to counterattack

tactics against a strong team

    5. In the diagram a good pass out to a team-mate quickly moves play to their own target player where a point is scored
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