Football genius Andrea Pirlo has retired – the 38-year-old won 116 caps for Italy and helped them win the 2006 World Cup and had many club honours – he played like a quarterback spraying the ball all over the pitch. Create a Pirlo for your team MORE
Shape out wide
There are many different systems of play, and in all of these wide players are asked and expected to pose a strong goalscoring threat when linking with strikers. This can be the difference in key moments in any game.
Why use it
This session is about wide players making quick, dynamic, well-timed runs, so as to create goalscoring opportunities.
You need balls, bibs, cones and a large goal. Use the penalty area of your normal pitch. We used 9 players in the session.
How to do it
1. Two-touch warm-up
Players start the session by passing the ball and running through poles on their right hand side. This lasts for 10 minutes. The speed of passing and movement should get progressively quicker. The warm-up is progressed by the coach signaling a change of direction – advance this by making it one-touch.
2. Timed runs with a finish
Next, set up in lines – on a half-pitch with mannequins, as shown. Starting with the player at the front of one of the lines, the ball is passed out to the edge, then back inside. The start player now passes past the central mannequin on that side. The wide player makes a well timed run inside the wide mannequin, takes the ball on and finishes. At the end of the move, players join the back of the line to the right.
The key coaching points here are well-weighted passes, the speed of runs and a good overall tempo.
- 1. In the two-touch warm-up, players play a one-two then sprint through the poles to join the back of the other line
- 2. You want to see players passing with accuracy and moving at a high tempo to get to the other side
- 3. In the timed run practice, players begin by playing a short one-two – out to the wide player then back in
- 4. Again you want accurate passing and good first touch from the receiver
- 5. Upon receiving the ball back, the start player lays a pass either side of the mannequin for the winger to run on to