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
This session aims to bring an individual skill into a game context. Skills usually happen as players run with the ball and meet an opponent. Getting players to use the skill unopposed is key to the session.
Set up a 30×15-yard area split into three: the top channel is 10 yards, the middle channel is 15 yards, and the bottom channel is 5 yards. At the end of the middle channel place a couple of two-yard gates as in the diagram. We’ve used nine players in this session.
How to play it
Split the players into three groups. All players run down the central zone. The centre player runs to the far cone and does a skill that takes him through one of the gates. The other two players go left and right, using a skill to turn and another skill to get past the cone. All three groups go. On the next sequence players must touch each side of the central zone. For the final run through try adding defenders they have to beat. The session is continuous and players go as soon as the channel is clear
This session can be used to practice a number of skills. For the side step skill they need to do this running at the cones.
1. Players run in threes, showing good control through the centre channel
2. The centre player goes straight to the far cone choosing which gate he will go through
3. In the next run the players must take the ball side-to-side down the central channel without hitting each other
4. Note the thin channel which makes it much harder to perform the skill than in the wider top channel
5. Adding defenders makes the session more realistic – can any of your players get past the defender in their channe