EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Blindside runs

Developing blind side runs in the final third is important because it creates a lot of scoring chances. Goals come from the movement and creativity of the players who are making the runs – and by receiving the ball in areas of the pitch where they can shoot or set up a team-mate.

Set up

Use half the pitch and focus on the area in front of the penalty area. We’ve used nine players in this session but you can use up to 16, as it’s a fast moving game. You need bibs, balls and cones.

How to do it

Two defenders and two attackers are in front of the penalty area ‘D’. Put a wide receiver either side of the pitch to set up the attackers making the blind side runs. In the first part defenders are passive and cannot tackle but this changes as the session advances and players are confident with what they are doing.

Technique

The session needs to be high tempo, with players making clever runs with good angles of play, timing, decision-making and weight of pass, as well as providing a clinical finish, much like Wayne Rooney does when he is on song for Manchester United.

Making runs in the final third

    1. The session starts with a pass from a server to one of the wide receivers, who dribbles onto the pitch ready to set up blind side movement.
    2. The defenders are passive the first few times you run the session, running with the movement but allowed no tackling or blocking.

Runs in the final third

    3. The blind side run has been covered by the defender, so the attacker must get a pass into one of his team-mates to take advantage of the 3v2.
    4. After making the pass the wide receiver must support play by making a run, helping to pull the defence apart as defenders attempt to cover them.

Final third creative

    5. When players get used to the session, allow the defenders to tackle and block, making it harder for the runners to create space and score goals.
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