I was talking to a coach this week about how to control balls in the air, especially when heading the ball in training is off the menu for most clubs. I imagine that there will be much more of a contest to win the ball with a volley once it has dropped from head height. So how do you coach controlling balls in the air? MORE
Go it alone
If you want your players to beat defenders with style, run this session. Getting young players to dribble and beat their opponent in 1v1 situations is vital to getting behind the opposition defence and creating goalscoring chances.
- Set up
Set up an area of 40×30 yards. You need balls, bibs, cones and a normal goal plus four target goals on the corners of the area. You need to place two balls behind each goal. We’ve used 12 players.
- How to play it
Use two teams of six, including keepers. Number the outfield players in each team from one to five. Play a normal 5v5 game with this twist: the coach calls out the colour of one of the teams (“RED”) then a number (“ONE”) and the red number one runs to get a ball from behind one of the goals and attacks the corner goals at the opposite end of the pitch.
His opposite ‘number one’ must defend against him. The rest carry on a normal 4v4 game. If the defending number one wins the ball, he can attack the other corner goals. Once the ball is dead they rejoin the main game.
The nominated players are on their own in this 1v1 and must avoid the main game that is going on around them. Good for technique and for concentration.
- 1. Set up the pitch with six goals and two spare balls at each end. Outfield players should be numbered from one to five
- 2. Play a normal game and start the session with one of the goalkeepers passing out to his team
- 3. The coach calls out a team colour and a number. That player must go to get a ball from behind one of the goals and attack the corner goals opposite
- 4. The player with the same number from the opposition must go 1v1 against the player with the ball
- 5. The 1v1 goes on while the match is being played. Here the number four wins the 1v1 with a skill and scores while in the main game another goal is scored