EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

How Do I Get My Players To Make The Right Decisions?

How Do I Get My Players To Make The Right Decisions.

Question:

I coach a team of Under 10s – a few of them are very comfortable with the ball at their feet and love to dribble. They are now getting to the stage where they are acknowledging that sometimes passing as opposed to dribbling may be better for the team but are finding the decision making process difficult. I.e. when is it best to pass and when is it best to dribble? Sometimes they are caught in two minds and lose the ball cheaply in dangerous positions on the pitch. We have always been keen not to tell them from the sidelines when to dribble or shoot/pass and are keen to continue this but its starting to hurt in games! Have you got any drills to help with this?

Answer:

A player decisions are one of the hardest things to coach but some games do make that easier. I hate to hear coaches and parents shouting Get Rid Of It! from the sidelines during matches but that does happen a lot. Basically it is down to lots of practice so players are recognising the trigger signs that tell them there is space to run into or that there is better space on the other side of the pitch for another player to have better possession of the ball.
Here is a great session to help you to coach this.

Dribble or pass forward

Set-up

Play 5v5 on a 22×30-yard area. Set up a mini goal and gated goal at both ends as shown in the top picture.

How to play

The aim for each team is to score in the mini goals with a pass or by dribbling through the gates marked by poles
or mannequins. The team in possession must constantly switch play from right to left and vice versa to create opportunities to score.

Technique

  • Composure on the ball.
  • Play with head up to scan the pitch and assess options.
  • Good dribbling skills to beat direct opponents.

dribble or pass forward

player movements
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