Archive for the ‘General Coaching’ Category.
One of our latest books has generated a lot of interesting. Both the hard copy and the eBook version of ‘Training Sessions for the 4-3-3‘ have been a very popular choice of coaches visiting CoachingSoccerTactics.com. The book is a guide that provides exercises, drills and small-sided games that teach players how to perform the roles and responsibilities of each position in a 4-3-3 formation.
Continue reading ‘Training Sessions for the 4-3-3’ »
This is an area that I’m constantly thinking about. Especially with players that are moving from one developmental stage to the next. My focus currently is on my U10 that plays in a U11 division. We have focused on individual technique to the point where they are very confident with the ball. But at times this confidence betrays them because at times they hold the ball with they should pass.
Toward the end of the season I’ve spent more time possession and decision making. We’ve played a lot of keep away games where making the right choice is rewarded and the rules are structured to encourage ball movement. I’ve been careful not to make the rules to restrictive. I don’t want to dampen their enthusiasm or lessen their confidence.
A warm-up game that I’ve often used starts with all of the players dribbling in one half of the area. One defender from each team enters the other team’s area and tries to win the ball or force the players to dribble out of bounds. When a player loses their ball they stay in the area and helps their team mates by providing a passing option. The game eventually because 5 v 1. This is a great warm-up and starts to work on the possession tactics.
A natural progression is to play a focused possession game with limited pressure. My team has done well playing 4 v 2 recently although it didn’t start out smoothly. At first they struggled to play quickly and retain possession. They would dwell on the ball too long and often play back into pressure because they didn’t have they’re body open to the field which limited their options. They have begun to understand the importance of proper body position so they are having more success keeping possession.
At times I limit the number of touches but letting them play with unlimited touches allows for more creativity so I’d rather make the space smaller to provide more pressure.
This transitional game is our next step. The team in possession gets a point for every five passes they make in a row. The defending team starts by sending two player but they add one ever time the attackers complete five passes. This increases the pressure and complicates the decision making. When the defenders win the ball they must move it back to their side of the field before counting passes.
Moving to end zone games gives the game direction but still puts a premium on possession while giving the players a lot of latitude to be create. I like to start with 4 v 4 so that situations can be related back to the 4 v 2 game.
Teaching young players to be comfortable and confident with the ball will mean that they want to express themselves and use their skills beat opponents and score goals. As they mature and the game moves from 6 v 6 to 8 v8 and then to 11 v 11 the challenge is to teach structure without discouraging creativity.
How do you strike a balance between creativity and decision making with your young players?
Have a great day!
This is a portion of an article that appears in the November edition of WORLD CLASS COACHING Magazine. It’s available to all subscribers of the Member Drills Database. The article contains an analysis of the game between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. The author, Stevie Grieve, looks at the factors that lead to an effective transition resulting in a goal.
Direct passes into the striker need willing runners from deep to become effective
As Gundogan receives possession, he quickly initiates a new attack by passing directly into Lewandowski’s feet to hold up play while 2 runners break wide from midfield to offer support on the counter attack.
Note both wide midfielders have dropped deep to cover the runs from Robben and Ribery on the sides.
As Lewandowski receives with his back to goal, he is unpressured and can turn to look for options for a forward pass to attack direct to goal using the speed or the support runners who both have 1v1 races on the outside into the spaces left by the full backs. If Lewandowski can turn, an attack is on.
Lewandowski turns and has 2 options, but chooses the best one – right to the faster and in more space to attack, Aubameyang, who runs through 1v1 against the goal keeper.
The reason this was the best option is because the right of the 2 centre backs is able to intercept a pass between the central defenders into Gundogan on the left, and there is nobody who can do that on the right side. Unfortunately the pass is slightly over hit and Neuer can make the save.
To see the rest of the article log in to the Member Drills Database or click here to subscribe.
Have a great day!
In a post from August of last year entitled, ‘Juggling – Developmentally Important or Just a Nice Trick’ I described a new juggling program we implemented with our club. We set juggling targets for each age group in an effort to give the players a goal to shoot for so that they would be motivated to work on juggling in their own time. I found the question discussed in the post to be a difficult one to answer. I hadn’t seen anything that quantified the benefits of juggling as they relate to balance, touch or ball control.
I recently came across the study below which looked at Continue reading ‘Juggling Study’ »
This is one of those sessions that I read or saw another coach present but I can’t recall where. I wish I could give the coach credit because I’ve found it to be a very useful session to teach players how to make runs for their teammate with the ball.
The three runs that this session focuses on are checking, drifting and Continue reading ‘Teaching Three Runs to Create Options’ »
This is the second part of an article that will appear in the October issue of WORLD CLASS COACHING that is available to Member Drills Database subscribers. Here is a link to the first part that was in our Coaching Advanced Players blog post last week.
This is the way a session would be organized using the progressive method taught by US Youth Soccer.
Up, Back and Through
The passes and runs follow the pattern inthe diagram with each through ball being laid off to a supporting player for another through ball. The final player dribbles through a set of flags before passing back to the start of the line.
Phase of Play
6 v 5 + GK
Six attacking players combine to get behind five defensive players. The attacking team is encouraged to use the patterns established in the previous exercise.
Six players for each team work to play a through ball for an attacking player to run on to in the endzone.
The players are limited to two touches in their defending half and unlimited touches in the attacking half.
There are three methods of scoring: dribbling or pass into the endzone or complete ten passes.
After a goal the coach quicky plays a ball to th other team to force a quick transition.
The session ends with a 9 v 9 game where the coach evaluates whether or not the players have learned from the exercises.
Member Drills Database subscribers should check out the October edition of WORLD CLASS COACHING magazine for the organization of this session using a Whole / Part / Whole methodology.
Have a great day!
I sat down to plan my U8 and U10 practices the other day and while going through my old sessions and thinking about previous games I realized that it would be a great day to just let them play. We didn’t have any games the following weekend and there hadn’t been a practice this season that I just let them go at it.
I regularly have the boys play various 1v1 games and we always finish with a small-sided game at the end of training but every once in a while I like to plan an entire session around playing competitive 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 games. This gives the players a break from the usual format and gives them a chance to use all of the skills that we’ve been working to improve. They love it because Continue reading ‘Just Let Them Play’ »
This post is a follow up to a previous post called, “Developing Confidence in Young Players” from our Soccer Conditioning Experts at SoccerFITAcademy.com. This post advances on those ideas.
“Things are hard when you HAVE TO…but become easy if you WANT TO…”
- Alan Stein
What motivates younger players? Not surprisingly it is the same things that motivate all of us when we are placed in an unfamiliar position or situation. In the beginning, it all comes down to three simple things that have total control on our confidence to get involved… Continue reading ‘Finding the Motivation to Try’ »
Every weekend you can go to a soccer complex and stand in between the fields while games are being played and just wait. It won’t take long and you’ll hear, “Heeeeyyy!” or “Refereeeee!” It’s not coming from the player or the parents (although you’ll hear it from them but that’s another post) but from the coach. I’m as guilty of this as the next coach. It’s almost a reflex for me by now. This weekend I caught myself and started really thinking about it.
I can shout quicker than the referee can get his whistle to his lips so it’s a bit unfair because if the referee calls the foul there will be someone that says he gave it just because I shouted. If he doesn’t then he knows I’m going to be upset because I’ve already indicated that I thought it was a foul.
At a certain level of play with experienced, adult referees then I don’t Continue reading ‘Should Coaches Appeal for Decisions in Youth Soccer?’ »
When the game isn’t going our way and what we’re trying to do just isn’t working, I look for ways to change the game. There are a few things that I look at and will discuss here but there are countless ways that changes the coach and players make can alter the game.
The first thing I look at is tempo. Is the other team stopping us and creating attacks of their own because they are playing more quickly than we are? Are they putting us under pressure because they are keeping possession longer and building up against us? Are there one or two areas on the field where they are just quicker than we are and we need to change who is playing in those areas?
If the other team is just working harder than we are and investing more into the game we need to raise our game match their intensity. I don’t believe this is often the whole problem. Coaches who just Continue reading ‘Changing the Game’ »