EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Angles of attack

This session tests a number of developmental characteristics in players, from the technical – multiple and varied touches and passes of the ball, position-specific work and handling pressure – to tactical linking with players in similar positions and game understanding linked to rules and conditions.

Why use it

The session stimulates learning and confidence that can be played out in much ‘bigger’ match situations.

Set up

You need balls, bibs, cones and four small goals. Set up an area 30 x 30 yards with a central area 25 x 25 yards. We used 14 players.

How to do it

Split your players into two teams of 6 plus 2 neutral keepers. The teams play in the central zone with the keepers starting at the sides with goals Players stay in their zones. The team in possession must attempt to visit each keeper (in their end zone, using their feet) in order to score a point with the ball returned to the team that has scored. Once this has been done the keepers get into each goal straight away, with the team that has scored then looking to revisit one keeper (the choice being theirs) and score past the other. If successful, keepers return to the end zone and the process restarts. Extra challenges include the use of the offside line and an allowance for players to enter the keeper zone.

Technique

In this practice we’re looking at the keeper’s detail of pass, support options and ability to defend the spaces in front of him. We want to see defenders’ receiving skills and body shape to play forward, good midfield play (positioning, support, rotating, receiving), and similar for strikers (timing of runs, finishing skills)

Battle for possession

    1. One of the keepers starts the session by passing out to one of the teams who must link up inside the central zone
    2. The team must try and get the ball from the keeper to the keeper on the other side of the pitch
    3. If the keeper at the other receives the ball then the team wins a point but that team also retains possession

Battle for possession

    4. Now that both keepers have touched the ball they move quickly to the goals
    5.The team with the ball must pass to one of the keepers then attack the opposite goal and try to score
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