What I love about my U9s team is that when I come out to warm them up before a match they are all ready and sitting there waiting for me... with a cheer they all descend on the bag of training balls and start warming themselves up. MORE
Waiting for players
This session is set up so that as players arrive they can easily join in without you needing to stop or change the session. The arrival activity shown here is geared towards closing down the opposition in midfield.
You need balls, bibs and cones in an area 20×20 yards. Numbers build up as players arrive.
How to play it
I’ve started with a 20×20-yard space. The space is important – it’s an inclusive activity, so must have an element of realism and your players will need to show the right attitude. In this session I am using nine players and waiting for three others to arrive. I start with a 6v3 – the team of six must try to keep possession for as long as possible. See how many times their opponents can win the ball. If they do win it or it goes out of play, it’s returned to the team of six. Play for 90 seconds then pause. If in that time a new player has arrived, and the overload team are finding it hard to keep possession, the 6v3 can become a 7v3. Alternatively, if they’re achieving the task quite comfortably, change the parameters so this is a 6v4 instead. If no new player has arrived, switch individual players so that each man can experience the different demands involved in being on each side of the overload. Play until all your players have arrived. You can now move on to the main session.
Make sure players get close to the opposition in order to cut out passing lines. Defensive intelligence is essential, and closing down should be done by the player nearest the ball. If that player has support he can show the passer inside towards his supporting player. But if the closing down player is on his own, he must show the attacker outside and away from any team mate who offers a passing option.
- 1. I start the session with 9 players as I wait for the other players to turn up in a 6v3 with a keep ball overload
- 2. The possession team must try and keep the ball from the pressing team using the overload
- 3. With the arrivals of new players you can change the intensity of the challenge… here one player has joined the pressing team
- 4. With the arrivals of new players you can change the intensity of the challenge… here one player has joined the pressing team
- 5. The final players arrive and the arrival activity ends with an 8v4 and a good work out for the players who turned up early