Archive for the ‘New Books and DVDs’ Category.

Winter Outdoor Training

With more and more turf soccer fields being installed around the country an increasing number of coaches are training their teams outdoor during the winter months. This provides a great opportunity to continue to focus on playing ‘Real Soccer’ when we used to be limited to practicing and playing small indoor versions of the game.

The challenge is that while the surface allows us to train outside we are often still dealing with cold temperatures. This makes it difficult for the players to focus if we use these sessions to try to teach too much. I’ve found that they get the most out of the session if we have a very active warm-up, like the one I described in last week’s post, followed by a series of small-sided games focused on a particular topic. This allows me to reinforce the key points of the chosen technical or tactical subject while keeping all of the players active and engaged.

This is also an extremely easy session to motivate the players for because it’s fun. I also add to the competitive atmosphere by having consequences attached to the results. It may be as simple as having the losing team put the equipment away or fitness based where the winning team has to complete one repetition of a fitness activity but the losing team has to complete four reps.

The small-sided games that you can use for this type of session are limitless but I like to put the players into some new training environments so I look for games that we didn’t play in the last outdoor season. My favorite resource for innovative small-sided games is is Brazilian Training Games.

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The book contains more than 100 small-sided games. There are some very unique and interesting games that will be different from any games you’ve used before. Here are a couple of examples.

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Heads Up

Organization: 4v4 to 9v9

Description: A regular game is played without vests. All players wear a swimming cap. Female players can wear head bends instead of swimming cap.

Coaching Points:
– Heads up/better vision
– Communication

Equipment: Ball, discs, cones, swimming caps.

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Vests with Numbers

Organization: 6v6 to 10v10

Description: Game is played will all players wearing vests with numbers on. All rules will be determined by the numbers.

Examples: #1 to # 4 play 2 touches , the rest are free (unrestricted)
– Just # 5 to # 8 can score, the rest must assist
– Even numbers play weak foot rule and odd numbers are free

Coaching Points:
– Speed of thought
– Cognitive development
– Communication

Equipment: Ball, discs, vests with numbers

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Color Ball

Organization: 2 teams of 4v4 to 8v8 + goalies

Description: Game played with 3 different colors ball. Each color means the number of touches on the ball.

Ex: white = 1 touch, black = 2 touches and gray= free touches

Coaching Points:
– Speed of thought
– Communication

Equipment: discs and balls with different colors

Your options for small-sided games are limited by your experience so I would suggest searching out new ideas like those in Brazilian Training Games.

If you have an interesting format for a small-sided game please share it with other coaches by describing it in the comments section below.

Have a great day!

Tom

Coaching Team Shape in the 4-3-3

We’ve recently released the third edition of our books on Coaching Team Shape. The first one covered the 3-3-1 for playing small-sided games. The second in the series looks at  the 4-2-3-1. This edition focuses on the 4-3-3 formation.

Coaching Team Shape in the 4-3-3 shows you how to give players the positional discipline they may be lacking with grid based training. Not only do grids force players to maintain team shape, but it also helps to improve their decision making, passing angles and gives them a deeper understanding of how to move the ball quickly up the pitch.

This excerpt of the book covers the movements of the central midfielders and striker.

Central Midfielders & Central Striker

The reason we will look at the central striker and the central midfield together is that the striker takes their position from the movement of the midfield. They should work by moving in a rotation to create angles for each other and cause headaches for the opposition. We will look at their movement depending on which area of the field the ball is in.

When the Defensive Midfielder has Possession Deep:
The most important factor for the 3 midfielders and CST is to work together and be a successful unit by rotating to constantly make diamonds with their movement and positioning. This gives passing options at different angles and depths to penetrate the opposition’s lines. The CST takes their position off the CM’s.

4.0 Continue reading ‘Coaching Team Shape in the 4-3-3’ »

Creating a ‘False 9’

This excerpt is from one of our most popular titles, ‘The False 9‘. This is a unique offer of both an eBook and videos that compliment each other very well. Detailed diagrams and descriptions from the eBook are followed up with video analysis that present a complete picture of the techniques and tactics that are necessary to create a dynamic False 9.

This section is from the chapter on Functional Skill Exercises. These types of exercises are important to use in whichever system you use but the ones presented here are especially useful in training the skills necessary to play in the False 9 position.

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How to Create a Functional Skills Exercise

Functional Skills Exercises are passing exercises and drills that work the individual technical action. These are exercises that work specific actions within different size grids to create repetition with the technical action.

Functional Skills exercises are used to zoom in on a specific technical skill to create more repetition on that Technique. This could be players working with a ball, passing in twos or threes, or a full team with a number of balls passing and moving whilst repeating certain technical actions. Functional Skills Exercises are not built within tactical shape – they’re designed around, and are expected to focus on, a specific action.

Functional Skills Exercises are limited to 15 minutes and should not be used for a full session. These exercises are based on repetition and unless the session is progressed the learning outcomes are often poor. By progressing the session the player, will have opportunity to try out these skills progressively by receiving more pressure. The failing with using Functional Skills alone is the player can look technically sound but often they cannot reproduce the skill under pressure. If we progress the session, the player will also develop tactical knowledge. This will assist them in their movement, positioning and when to practise the given technical act or skill.

My reason for including Functional Skills is to not isolate many technical trainers who prefer using this type of training. I do however, recommend this is not over-used and is just a starting point to the training session.

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Functional Skills – Circle Passing

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Objective:
Timing of movement and explosive actions.

Exercise Description:
This game starts with 1 ball then we can add up to 3 balls. This covers a straight pass into 9 with a one-touch through ball and explosive actions. Outside player to move towards the ball and the player on their left will explode and receive the pass.

Coaching Points:
• Speed dribble – Head up with lots of small touches
• Striking the ball – firm pass side-foot into selected end player
• Drop-off Pass – Move towards the ball and strike through the ball into the path of the runner

Explosive run – Break quickly, do not slow down, keep looking at the passer so you can see the pass.

Functional Skills – Creating opportunities

148 Functional skills session creating opportunities diagram

 

Objective:
Improve passing options, ball speed, game tempo, timing of movement.

Exercise Description:
1. Players passing straight lines and follow the pass
2. Players pass to the diagonal cone and follow
3. Players pass a straight pass, bounce back then up

Coaching Points:
• On the balls of their feet
• Move towards the ball
• Slow down to cushion ball
• Standing leg slightly bent
• First touch out of the body
• Move towards the ball
• Head up and strike the ball back to teammate

This is only a very small part of a comprehensive look at the False 9. The eBook and videos go into great detail on the history of the position, the players that have made the most of the role, the teams that use it and how they use it as well as the training sessions and methods you can use to create this same success with your teams.

Whether you want your team to play with a False 9 or simply want to train players to be as versatile and dangerous as the most notable False 9 like, Cruyff, Messi, Fabregas and Eriksen this book will provide you with the blue print.

Have a great day!

Tom

 

From Futsal to Soccer

Rather than standing in lines and running around cones, it’s through playing futsal that many elite level players, particularly in Brazil and Spain, developed their silky ball skills, smooth passing and lightning quick decision making. Players love small sided games, and the benefits are obvious. Players get more time on the ball, more touches and the intense nature of futsal puts them under more pressure to be perform. It’s a wonder it’s taken so long for coaches to realize the benefits of harnessing futsal in their training programs.

From-Futsal-to-Soccer-sidexside-500 Continue reading ‘From Futsal to Soccer’ »

Coaching Team Shape in the 4-2-3-1

One of the biggest challenges when coaching young players is getting them to stay in position. Time and again, you see them charging for the ball, before huddling around it in a clumsy effort to get a kick. Even senior players can succumb to over enthusiasm, creating huge gaps for the opposition to exploit and break through on goal.

Coaching Team Shape in the 4-2-3-1 provides a grid based training system that solves this problem. Firstly, it introduces your players to the key principles of keeping team shape before providing a progressive series of drills that improve their Continue reading ‘Coaching Team Shape in the 4-2-3-1’ »

Position Specific Training

I think that much of our time as coaches is spent teaching all of the players the same thing. There is obviously a place for this at the younger ages when they just need to learn the basics. But in my opinion, as the player get to be 12 and 13 there is a place for position specific training.

Learning the roles and responsibilities of a particular position will allow the players to apply the technical skills that they’ve learned to the place on the field they will be playing. The options are different for a wide midfielder than they are for a center midfielder and the more comfortable we, as coaches, can Continue reading ‘Position Specific Training’ »

Goalie Wars

Goalkeepers have often been overlooked and under appreciated. In recent years, a competition that focuses on the special skills of goalkeepers has become increasingly popular. Goalie Wars tournaments started as a part of Goalkeeper camps but have started to be held as stand-alone events.

The rules are simple, two goalies are positioned 20-30 yards apart and they shoot, dropkick, throw or punt the ball to try to score on the other goalkeeper. They play two halves of three to five minutes.

Here’s a example Continue reading ‘Goalie Wars’ »

Coaching the Principles of Soccer

When you coach young players, it can be difficult to know where to start. Some coaches will focus onlyon developing technique without teaching the key elements of the game. But this can just stunt a young player’s development. When they don’t understand the game’s core principles, they won’t know where they need to be and why so they can use their  technique to create chances to score. To solve this age old problem, two experts in youth coaching have created Coaching the Principles of Soccer – Attack and Defense. This book presents a structured approach to developing an understanding of how the game is played and to provide them with a solid base on which they can develop.

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The drills in Coaching the Principles of Soccer – Attack and Defense will Continue reading ‘Coaching the Principles of Soccer’ »

Coaching Team Shape in the 3-3-1

How many times do you hear coaches yelling, “Spread out, create space!” And how often do you see the players look around and not move much?

This is a sign that the players don’t know where to go or how to move in relation to their team mates. This ability is not a natural one for most players. They need to be shown where to go to support their team mates while keeping proper spacing between themselves and their team mates.

A new book called, ‘Coaching Team Shape in the 3-3-1’ by Sean Pearson contains Continue reading ‘Coaching Team Shape in the 3-3-1’ »

Team Defending – New Hi Def Video

When we launched the WCC Video Library our first task was to get most of our DVD collection uploaded and included. Once that was complete (it’s almost done), all of our new stuff will be high quality Hi Def videos.

So I’m pleased to announce that we have now started uploading more Hi Def videos…AND we have tons more to upload regularly over the coming weeks and months.

For those of you that subscribe to the Video Library, you can see the new videos when you log in and just search for “Team Defending in Four Stages” by John Walker.

GOOD NEWS…If you don’t subscribe to the Video Library, you can see the the first video right here for free.

Check out our latest Hi Def video here…for FREE!

 

 Click here for more info on the WCC Video Library