EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Win the ball

This session is all about staying calm when under attack and reading the through ball. As this game progresses good tackling is needed as the danger changes.

Set up

Set up an area 25×10 yards with a central zone of five yards, and a cone five yards in on either side at each end. We’ve used six players for the session. You need bibs, balls and cones.

How to play

Players must stay in their zones, with two in each end zone and one in the centre. The server stands outside the area and plays the ball to one of the pairs in the end zone, who must try to pass to the players in the other end zone – but the passing player must be behind the line of the five-yard cone. Play is continuous until the centre player wins the ball and then the server plays a new ball in. To progress the session the server becomes a player in the middle zone and they attack one end to try to score between the cones. If they fail or lose the ball, the defending team takes their place and attacks the other end.

Technique

A great way to get defenders to read the game initially by working alone to win the ball by reading the pass and then playing in pairs to stop an attack.

Intercept the ball

    1. Play starts with a pass into one of the pairs in the end zones. These players only have two touches each
    2. Players must be behind the cones near the back of the zone to play a through ball to the other end zone

Clear the ball

    3. The player in the central zone must read the pass and get into a position to intercept the pass
    4. The end zone players can be limited to two or three passes if they are taking too long to play the though ball to the other end

move to block

    5. Advance the session by getting the server to join in as one of the central players, attacking one of the end zones using the cones to make goals
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