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
Turn and score
When the route to goal is blocked players need to be able to turn into space and go a different way to find a route to goal.
Use an area of 20×20 yards with five-yard shooting zones and two goals on each of three sides. We are using 11 players including a server. You need balls, bibs, cones and six target goals.
How to play it
Use six defenders and four attackers. Place two defenders on the sides of the area with the goals and a row of attackers on the side without. On your call the attacker passes the ball to the server and receives a pass back. The server receiving the ball is the trigger for the defenders to get across and cover the goals on their side of the pitch. The attacker has to quickly decide which goal to shoot at and using the U-Turn get into one of the shooting zones to score.
This is a vital skill for any player who wants to keep possession and get into advanced areas. Clever attackers will use speed to get to the ball and into a shooting zone before the defenders react by turning away and moving in a different direction.
1. Play starts with the attacker passing to the server, who passes back into the centre of the area for the attacker to run on to
2. At the same time the defenders must quickly cover the goals on their side of the pitch to force the attacker away
3. Here the attacker’s first touch takes him towards the defender immediately opposite where he started
4. A good use of the U-Turn has fooled two defenders and the attacker claims his prize in the shooting zone
5. Here the defender had spotted an opening and used the U-Turn to great effect scoring quickly in the goal