Posts tagged ‘Technical’

Giving Players Confidence to Go 1 v 1

I’ve seen coaches run sessions that work on executing fakes and moves. Then when I watched the team play there was no sign of any moves. Why bother working on them if the players aren’t going to use them in the game?

If you ask players why they don’t try the moves in games they’ll tell you that they are afraid of making a mistake. That tells me that the coach has not built confidence to actually use the moves into his or her session.

It’s not complicated or difficult to build the confidence needed to use the moves in the game but as with all confidence it must be built on success.

This simple progression will help your players become more Continue reading ‘Giving Players Confidence to Go 1 v 1’ »

Motivation to Score

I’ve always had a standing challenge to my teams (U13 and below), if they score a headed goal, I buy ice cream for the next practice. It’s been a way to encourage the players to try and score with their head if they can. This has been most successful with the girls teams I have coached. The extra incentive has become something that the team rallies around.

After spending a few weeks working on our combination play to score we played very well in our next games. Two of our three goals came from combinations in the middle of the field.

Another area that I’ve wanted to address Continue reading ‘Motivation to Score’ »

Fast Footwork Between Two Cones

I like to use fast footwork exercises and games at the beginning of the season to get the players focused on mastering possession of the ball individually. There’s no sense in working on passing drills and possession play if the players can’t control the ball well individually.

I’ve found that matching the players up in cone ‘gates’ about three yards wide is a great way to organize them. Working between two cones with a player on each side of the gate presents the picture of a defender even if that player is not allowed to tackle them. It also allows you to Continue reading ‘Fast Footwork Between Two Cones’ »

Changing Your 4v4 Games

Small-sided games are an excellent way to give your players a lot of touches while retaining the core elements of the game. In my opinion the 4 v 4 format is the best of all. It has everything the full sided game has but it allows for a lot more touches and opportunities for each player to contribute to the game. There’s no where to hide in a 4 v 4 game.

Obviously, different methods of scoring drastically change way your players approach game. I like to challenge the players with different environments that challenge them to come up with solutions to the problems the game presents.

We have three different books that I look to for new ideas when it comes to small-sided games. One of them is ‘Coaching Soccer Champions‘. The author, Terry Michler, is the winningest high school coach in the country. He’s been the Head Coach Continue reading ‘Changing Your 4v4 Games’ »

Competitive Shooting Activity

When WORLD CLASS COACHING conducted a tour of Dutch club a few years ago I was fortunate enough to attend. While visiting the Ajax Academy I watched a session presented by Robin Pronk, coach of the U17 Boys Academy team. The focus of his session was on passing combinations but after going through a number of progressions that lead to a small-sided game the team then moved to a series of shooting competitions.

Shooting Game
The teams from the 7 v 7 scrimmage are used for this Continue reading ‘Competitive Shooting Activity’ »

Running with the Ball

Everyone does dribbling exercises but you don’t see many coaches teaching their players to run with the ball. It might seem like this doesn’t have to be ‘taught’, players will just do it on their own. But their is a when, where and how to running with the ball.

This is an example of a session on running with the ball that was presented by John Shiels who was a coach with the  Manchester United Soccer Soccer. The session is part of our two book set, ‘Technical and Tactical Practices of the Pros

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Running with the Ball

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Play 5 v 2 with the objective of keeping possession.

Pass the ball around and look for good movement off the ball and good communication.

Can you split the defenders and pass through the middle, so taking out two players with one pass?

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Can you run the ball through the defenders?

Coaching Points
• Decision making
• Be positive
• Good first touch
• Accelerate through the middle

Emphasize points of either passing through defenders, or by your movement, encouraging defenders to come close to create space.

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Play two 5 v 2 games of keep-away. Organize the players to make X amount of passes. Once achieved, one player can run the ball across the middle area into zone B and start again.

Work as a team to get players to escape zone A.

Try to make a quick break. “A” zone players support escaping player by pushing up. “B” zone players support escape player by spreading and using space.

Escape players need to ensure they carry the ball at speed and be composed to make the right decision when entering zone B.

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Now introduce phase of play game. Play open game waiting for the ball to be fed into GK from wide player A. As the ball is caught by GK, midfield players move to clear area in front of the defense

Defenders spread the width of the field, with wide players prepared to receive, central players also ready to receive. As the ball comes from the GK’s left, they should bring the right back into action utilizing the entire width of the pitch.

The worst case scenario would be 4 v 3, but normally be 4 v 2. Fullbacks look to run the ball into space provided by midfield pushing on. Run with speed and keep head up as practiced in technique and skill sessions.

Coaching Points
• Work on running with the ball; teammates creating space for their own players
• Let players play and get the right attitude to run the ball into space
• Utilizing good technique – ball out of feet, balanced body, at speed, head up, awareness of options
• Let players gain confidence then talk about decision making when, where, how, why
• Keep asking open questions to assist the players’ understanding of the situation and develop their skill

Have a great day!

Tom

 

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

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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

 

Breaking Down the Technique of Shooting

A player’s shooting technique is a bit like a golfer’s swing; there is a generally accepted way to shoot a soccer ball but there are also individual differences that can exist without a negative effect on the final product.

Even though there we can accept individual difference, I think it’s important to give young players a template to work from. This session is designed to give a player the key points so that they check for breakdowns in these areas if they are not hitting the ball with the kind of power or accuracy they are looking for.

Volleys in Pairs

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I start with volleys and focus on Continue reading ‘Breaking Down the Technique of Shooting’ »

Dynamic and Active Warm Up Variations

A good pregame warm-up should get a team physically and mentally prepared to play from the first whistle. You can look for some patterns that may point to a need to change how your team warms up before matches.

Does your team often have a slow start or go down a goal early?

Does your team always play better in the second half?

If you answer yes to these question then the issue may Continue reading ‘Dynamic and Active Warm Up Variations’ »

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’ »