EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Midfield surge

England and Chelsea star Ross Barkley is all about beating players and getting past stubborn defenders. This session gives the attacking team a deadline to win the ball and score goals. It also puts the pressure on the defenders to keep hold of the ball and encourages midfield/attackers to win it and score

Set up

Set up an area of 40×30 yards with a goal at one end. We’ve used 13 players in this session including a goalkeeper. You need bibs, balls, cones and a goal.

How to play it

Split your players into six defenders, six attackers and a keeper. The six attackers start at one end, with the defenders in place protecting the goal. Start with four attackers and have two resting for each attack. Change the two resting players each time.
The defenders start with the ball and have to keep it for one minute to score a point. The attackers must win the ball, and if they do win it they have one minute to score a goal. Play for six balls and then swap the teams over.

Technique

The attacking players must use interceptions, pressing and tackling to hassle the defenders and win the ball. Once the ball is won, they need to use it and score a goal quickly.

Midfield attack

    1. The game starts with a pass out from the goalkeeper and the defenders must keep possession for one minute to score a point
    2. Four of the attacking team must try to win the ball before one minute is up

Stop attacks

    3. If the attacking team win the ball they have one minute to create space and make a goalscoring chance. Here a dribble past the defender creates a goal
    4. Teams have 6 attacks to score as many goals as possible and the resting players should change after each attack.

Midfield press

    5. Here the attacker intercepts the ball – get players to press, jockey, intercept and tackle to make sure they win the ball quickly
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