EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Keep ball, switch play

This session is a good example of a fun activity that works on a number of levels. You can use it for possession and switching play practice, while it also works the defenders who must move quickly between zones when the ball is passed.

Set up

Set up an area of 25×10 yards that is split into three zones: the outer zones are 10 yards and the middle zone is 5 yards. We’ve used 12 players for this session. You will need balls, bibs and cones.

How to do it

Split the group into three teams of four players, with one group in each zone. The defenders are in the middle zone. Begin the game with one of the teams in the outer zones. You can advance the session by having one or two touches.

Technique

It is great game for possession and passing/receiving skills and good for getting players used to switching play away from danger. You can also coach players in defending when outnumbered and support play. Tell one defender to go and press the ball and the other defender to cover the space.

Possession fun game

    1. The team must make four passes and then try and get the ball to the opposite outer zone
    2. Two defenders can try to win the ball from the team in the outer zone. The other two must try and block any passes through their zone

Switch play possession

    3. With a successful pass to the opposite zone the defenders must get back into their zone and the other two must try to win the ball
    4. Because the defenders have to get in and out of their zones, if the passing teams are quick they can get a couple of passes in before the defenders get close enough to win the ball

Match day skills

    5. If the defending team win the ball and play it back into their zone, they swap with the team they won the ball from</ol
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