Posts tagged ‘Passing’

Barcelona Passing Pattern

I’ve seen this setup credited to Barcelona but I can’t verify it. Whether it comes from them or not I like that movements and the fact that the players have to read each other’s movements before deciding where they should move.

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A ten-yard box has a player on each end. A line of Continue reading ‘Barcelona Passing Pattern’ »

3 v 2 Defending

This week’s post is from Don Herlan, author of Smedley’s Drills Volumes 1-4 and Smedley’s Defending 20.

This is a drill that I stole from the men’s basketball coach at St. Francis University back when I coached there. He was working with his players on defending the fast break, and I thought that I could use this same drill to work on tandem defense. And it worked great. To me, this is a classic example of what makes for a good drill—there is enthusiasm, there is learning, and there is a total involvement on the part of the players. And like all effective drills, the longer it runs, the better it gets.

‘Numbers down’ drills like this one will get the defenders a ton of repetitions with 3 v 2, 2 v 1, and 1 v 1 situations. And it is essential that they learn how to deal with the dilemma of being a man down until help arrives. Also, they will get to see all kinds of looks and combinations from the attackers—overlaps, takeovers, switches, thru runs—while having to go 1 v 1 with the dribbler at the same time. When this drill is run at top speed, it becomes incredibly game-like and valuable for the defenders.

*Note for the coaches: It takes a little while to get this drill set up and organized, and a few of the players may be a little confused at first about switching in and out of the Continue reading ‘3 v 2 Defending’ »

Different Diamond Passing Drill

Teaching players the technical skills of the game is the most important job of a coach who is working with young players. Finding new and creative ways to help the players groove passing technique is one of the more challenging things to do. The players need hundreds of repetitions of the correct technique before their muscles can repeat the motion accurately. There’s only so long that two players can stand across from each other and pass the ball back and forth before they’ll grow bored and loose focus. But if you move too quickly into competitive passing and possession games, which are fun and engaging, then the players won’t use the correct technique and they’ll end up repeating poor passes. Remember, practice doesn’t make perfect; practice makes permanent.

So new ways to present the same technical challenge becomes the objective. One of the variations I’ve used is from a session that I found in our, ‘Training Sessions of Europe’s Top Teams‘. It’s a session that Jan Prujin of Ajax F.C. Continue reading ‘Different Diamond Passing Drill’ »

Relating Diamond Drills to the Game

I use diamond passing drills as often as possible in my sessions because of how closely they resemble the shape of the game. They relate to every age and and every level of the game.

They are the most powerful when you’re able to connect the passing movements in the drill with the movements on the field in a game situation.

This progression of exercises increase in complexity and finishes by putting the patterns on a field using the formation the team will be using in the game.

Diamond Drill – Passing & Turning
In the following diagrams, five players are lined up in a diamond formation 20 yards apart. Each drill begins with X1 starting with the ball.
• X1 begins by passing to X2 and follows the pass
• X2 moves away, first to create space in front, and then checks back
• X2 turns with the ball around the OUTSIDE of the cone
• X2 then passes to X3, and follows the pass
• X3 moves away and then checks in
• Repeat sequence

Diamond Drill Passing &Turning – Variation
Players must now Continue reading ‘Relating Diamond Drills to the Game’ »

Five Goal Warm-Up Game

Lately I’ve begun many of my training sessions with a game. Not necessarily as a Whole – Part – Whole practice progression but just as a way to engage the players from the start and get them energized and excited to at training.

This is a game that I’ve used as a warm-up and in the main part of the session. I like it because of how many different things you can coach depending on your focus. As with most small-sided games, the kids really enjoy playing it so they get a lot out of it.

Here is how the field is set up:

The size of the field and goals can vary based on the Continue reading ‘Five Goal Warm-Up Game’ »

Train Midfielders and Defenders to Pass to Feet or Space

With only two practices per week with my teams I’ve found that it works best to focus on a technical topic (Running with the Ball, Dribbling, Control, Shooting) during our first practice of the week and then Passing and Possession progressing to a small-sided game during the second session. We also do one shooting exercise toward the end of practice just to keep a focus on that before the weekend.

I’m always looking for variations on possessions games to focus on different aspects of possession and to keep the practice fresh. I was reminded of one recently when I was looking through one of our best selling books, ‘Players’ Roles and Responsibilities in Systems of Play‘. By creating target areas in each corner Continue reading ‘Train Midfielders and Defenders to Pass to Feet or Space’ »

Improving Possession Play

Getting our players to make runs off the ball is difficult if they don’t know where or how to run. Giving the players options to choose from will take some of the decision making out of the process.

I’ve started to teach my young players three different runs that create the foundation of our player movement. They are also somewhat progressive so that if one doesn’t create an option then they can move to the next one or the one after that before coming back to the first one again.

This concept is from David Goldstein’s Improving Your Team’s Possession Play.

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The three runs that this session focuses on are checking, drifting and Continue reading ‘Improving Possession Play’ »

Using a Tag Progression as a Warm-Up

This week I want to share a warm-up that I’ve used with every age group I coach. It’s a fun and dynamic game that can be used to prepare for many different types of sessions.

It’s based on a simple game of Tag. The first thing I do is have all of the players give me their ball and move into the penalty area. I give one player a scrimmage vest to hold with instructions to just play ‘Tag’. This is a game that every kid is familiar with and requires little or no explanation. THey know that the person holding the vest is it and they need to stay away from them while staying in the area. There will be players that start to ask questions and I usually just say, ‘Play Tag’.

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I have the ‘It’ player hold the vest so that they can hand it to the person they tag but I’ll show the ‘It’ player as a different color in the diagrams for clarity.

I ask all of the players to at least be jogging even if the ‘It’ player is not  chasing them. If there is not enough pressure on the players I will either make another player ‘It’ or limit the space to only half of the penalty area.

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Next, I’ll have the players each get a ball, including the ‘It’ player. They play the same game with the same rules but now they are each have to focus on controlling a ball. This makes it much harder for the players who are ‘It’. I emphasize that the best way to avoid being tagged is to change direction away from the pressure because you’ll be able to move faster than the ‘It’ player since you know where you’re going and they don’t.

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I increase the pressure on the dribblers by taking the ball away from the ‘It’ player. Now they try to touch the ball with their foot rather than tagging a player with their hand. This means that they dribblers are avoiding the pressure just as they would in the game. I encourage them to face pressure and beat the ‘It’ player if they can or turn and protect the ball by shielding it if the ‘It’ player is too close.

With less experienced players I will give them a move that they can do to make them immune from being tagged if they try it. This is great to use with moves or fakes that the players may have learned recently. They know they will be safe if they try it so there’s no fear of making a mistake. As they improve I’ll say that the ‘It’ player can catch them in the middle of the move but if they complete it they can’t be chased. That means that they have to perform the move early and explode away from pressure.

Another option is to require the ‘It’ player to ‘take’ the ball, not just touch it. This encourages the players to fight to keep the ball even if the defender touches it. It also forces the ‘It’ player to win the ball and not just poke it away.

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As a final progression I’ll designate two ‘It’ players to work together and try to win the ball and pass it to me. If they do this the ball is out of the game but the player who lost it stays in the area to help their teammates by showing for a pass if they are under pressure. I emphasize that they need to help players who are under pressure and not just pass the ball with a player when their is no defender around.

This naturally progresses from individual possession to a game of keepaway where you can talk about passing the ball to the player with the most space  and always moving it away from pressure.

Can you suggest any additions or changes that you would make to teach other techniques or tactics? Please share them in the comments section below.

Have a great day!

Tom

 

The Top Clubs in Europe Do this in Training ….Do You?

This week’s post comes to us from Bob Warming, the Head Men’s Coach of Penn State University. Warming ranks third among active NCAA Division I coaches with 441 wins. He has been voted Big 10 Coach of the Year for two out of the last three years.

Coach Warming has traveled the world examining the training methods of the top teams and coaches. The innovative training system he describes below is something that most of us don’t use and will certainly help take your team to the next level. 

First of all, don’t feel bad if you haven’t been doing this type training. And…if you are not doing this…don’t feel alone! In my experience, very little of this type training is being performed in American soccer training sessions. It’s not being taught in our coaching schools and yet it is prevalent throughout top teams in the world. If the academies and first teams at major clubs are doing this type training…shouldn’t we be doing this type training in the USA?

I believe that we can add an important component to our youth training in America. I have seen this training develop quicker feet, quicker minds, and a transformation on my own players about thinking, combining and playing in Triangles. I only wish my players had started doing these type exercises when they were younger! And that is the main reason for this article.

Since we began using this methodology as part of our training, we have Continue reading ‘The Top Clubs in Europe Do this in Training ….Do You?’ »

Combination Play Exercise

A large part of teaching combination plays is teaching timing. The challenge is that timing is developed through an understanding of the basic principles and then getting the number of repetitions necessary to get a feel for the timing.

It’s best to first teach the patterns of movement and basic principles of each combination play separately. The ones I focus on with young players are the give-and-go, overlap and layoff.

Once these have been learned and understood then I like to combine them into a pattern that allows for a lot of repetitions on both the left and the right side.

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This setup is one that can be used for many passing activities from Continue reading ‘Combination Play Exercise’ »