Apply pressure, regain possession and then use the ball in this three-part session. By MICHAEL PHILP MORE
Staying on the ball – Small-Sided Game
WHY USE IT
This small-sided game aims to encourage young players to stay on the ball, giving them opportunities to develop confidence and technique.
Set up a pitch with two mini goals at each end. Pitch is split into thirds and two wide channels. Each section has a gate within it. One player from each team in each section, except middle section which has two from each team.
HOW TO PLAY
To start, players are locked into their zones, so must work to stay on the ball until a passing option arises. If they dribble through the gate in their zone before passing, that is added onto the tally if the attack results in a goal. So, if one player dribbles through a gate and their team scores from that move, the goal counts for two and so on. To progress, players can move between zones when in possession, so a defender could drive into midfield with the ball. End with no restrictions.
Encourage players shielding the ball to keep their body between the defender and the ball, using their furthest foot to manoeuvre it. Players should have an arm out to keep the defender away and look to move into space when possible and look to move into space when the opportunity arises.