EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Combining in tight spaces

This session is all about combining in tight spaces in the penalty area and creating room for a shot. You want to see a lot of creative work in the box both scoring and creating goals.

Set up

Use the penalty area of your pitch. We’ve used 14 players including goalkeepers. You need bibs, balls, cones and two small goals.

How to play it

Split your players into three teams of four players and two keepers. Two teams are active and one is outside the area but can be used by the team with the ball to set up play. Each ‘match’ lasts for two minutes then the teams switch. Play so each team has three matches and see who has scored the most goals at the end.

Technique

There is a lot going on in the tight space of the penalty area. Attacking players must create space, while defenders must keep tight and try to block shots. You want to seee players passing, receiving and shooting in space they have created.

Score more goals

    1. Split players into three teams of four, with two teams playing 4v4. The other team’s players are positioned on either side of each goal
    2. The game starts with one of the goalkeepers, who plays out into the penalty area

    3. Each game lasts for three minutes – expect possession to change hands a number of times in the tight space
    4. To create space players should use the team on the side to set up play in front of goal

Create goals

    5. If a player sees space anywhere in the penalty area he should surge into it and try to get a shot away
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