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Keeping hold of the ball

WHY USE IT

This practice is a great introduction to possession and staying on the ball under pressure, for foundation- phase players. Allowing the players to find the solutions to the problem is key.

SET UP

Set up a 10-yard grid for each group of five players you have in your session. Each group has three attackers and two defenders, with one defender always resting.

HOW TO PLAY

The team in possession (reds) begin with every player starting with 10 credits each and set the task that they need to take care of the ball to retain their credits by having pride in their passing and not giving the ball away cheaply. Each time a player loses possession or passes out of play, they lose a credit.

TECHNIQUE

Encourage decision making of when and where to pass, type of pass selection etc and develop the skill of using the sole of the foot to control and retain the ball under constant high tempo pressure.

As a motivation I mention that top teams such as Barcelona use this practice and include the goalkeepers who routinely keep their 10 credits intact. 1. Three Reds aim to keep possession against one defender (White). One defender rests

2. Encourage the team in possession to use as much of the area as possible 3. If a Red player loses possession, they lose one of their 10 credits

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