EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Creative in the box

This is a fast game that relies on individual skill and teamwork to create shooting opportunities. The coaching points rely on the skills of players to be creative around the opposition goal, mirroring the role of skilful midfielders like David Silva, who can conjure up chances at will.

Set up

Set up a playing area of 30×20 yards. We’ve used 10 players: two teams of four plus two keepers. You need balls, bibs, cones and two goals.

How to play

Players pair up within their teams and play a simple 2v2, with one pair from each team at the side of the pitch. The game starts and restarts with the keeper, who isn’t allowed to kick so the ball must be rolled out. Players at the side of the pitch can
be used to pass but must stay off the pitch and are restricted to one touch. Swap pairs with their team-mates at two minute intervals.

Technique

In this session, match-like scenarios provide a good way of encouraging creative passing moves, while the frequent changing of roles is good for concentration levels. Communication and precision are essential because a mistake will almost certainly give the opposition the chance to counterattack.

Score more goals

    1. Play start with a simple 2v2, with one pair of players from each team on the sidelines
    2. Players must link up to try to create scoring chances. Encourage players to try everything, from simple passing to complicated skills

box shooters

    3. In this attack a team-mate on the sidelines is used for a give and go to get past the defending team
    4. The players on the side must keep up with play, giving options to the attacking team. They are not allowed on the pitch and only have one touch

    5. Swap pairs every two minutes so the game maintains a high tempo throughout
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