Soccer coaching session forcing the shape and direction of play

This session is about reacting to different situations in a mini tournament-style exercise. It helps players to force the shape and direction of play.

Each direction in each game gives the teams different problems to solve in attack and defence. The winning team will be the one that can adapt the quickest.

  • Make sure you have a supply of balls ready in when one leaves play (always remember to roll balls in rather than throw them to avoid head clashes).
  • Ask a parent or assistant coach to help monitor the two games. If you are running the session on your own, you may wish to stand between the two pitches so you can easily feed the new balls to either pitch.


How to set it up

Create a 60 yards long by 40 yards wide area split into two 30×20-yard pitches. One pitch has a full-size goal at one end and an end zone at the other. The other pitch has one mini goal positioned centrally at one end and two mini goals at the opposite end.

How to play it

Split your players into four teams plus one goalkeeper. The teams rotate in order to attack and defend each scoring target, so each team will play the following games:

  1. Defend the two mini goals and attack the single mini goal.
  2. Defend the single mini goal and attack the two mini goals.
  3. Defend the end zone and attack the big goal with the goalkeeper.
  4. Defend the big goal with the goalkeeper and attack the end zone. When attacking the end zone, a team scores a point when the ball is brought under control by an attacking player inside the zone.

You can change the size of goals and number of players to make the games harder or easier.

Making it competitive

Now turn the game into a competition between all four teams at once. The teams must keep a tally of their goals for and against as they move from game to game. The team with the best total result is the winner.

This session was originally in Smart Sessions football coaching plans – they come in advanced and core versions.

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