ACADEMY WINTER SESSION 1

WARM UP - NO GOALS GAME (10 MINS)

Overview:

Setup an area with two teams situated inside the area without any goals. Teams have to work together to keep the ball between them play freely without any scoring system. If the ball goes out of play, players can either pass or dribble in. There is no offsides in the game and is not played as a directional practice.

Coaching Points:

Passing & Receiving Skills: As this game is played without any direction and any scoring system, this will encourage players to identify the best space to receive the ball and keep it within the team. Encourage players to look to adjust how they receive the ball based on what they’re trying to achieve which can be supported by them scanning to see their surroundings. Players will also need to adjust the type and weight of pass based on what they are trying to achieve.

Staying on the ball: Encourage players to stay on the ball to create space for themselves or their team mates. Players may need to take smaller touches in tight areas to help them to shield and protect the ball, similarly, when they have space, they can take bigger touches to move into the space with the ball.

Movement: Players should look to make movements to help them to get onto the ball and create space for themselves or their team mates. As the game isn’t a directional game, this will encourage players to scan and identify the best spaces that can support the team in keeping possession of the ball.

Defending: Encourage defenders to work collectively together to win possession of the ball back from the opposition team. Defenders may need to press to win the ball, or to drop and force play a particular way as they then look to set a trap to then win possession of the ball.

Progressions:

  • Encourage players to come up with a scoring system or new ideas on how the game can be adapted.

SKILLS SESSION - 2v2 WITH CHANNELS (15 MINS)

Overview:

Setup a 25 x 25 area with a goal on either side with a goalkeeper in each of the goals with two teams organised in pairs with a ball between two. Split the pitch into thirds both horizontally and laterally, players must be in the final third to score and will also receive double points if they score from a cross from a wide area. Each team are to attack and defend in pairs, if the attackers score, they then stay on and defend against the opposite team who bring on two attackers. If the defenders win the ball back, they can score.

Coaching Points:

Eyes Up: Players are to keep their eyes up to recognise the best area for them to attack and whether they can move into the wide area. If a player is in the wide area, they should look to lift their eyes up to look for a teammate for a cross.

Speed of Attack: Once the opposition score, the attackers should look to attack at speed to try and score quickly. If they slow down in their attack, this will allow for defenders to recover.

Timing of Run: If the ball is in the wide area, players should look to hold their run and not run in advance of the ball. To support this, you may talk to players about making a double movement i.e. running to the front post and then to the back etc.

Finishing Technique: Players to select the appropriate finishing technique depending on what part of the pitch they’re finishing within. As they have to be in the final third, encourage players to try and finish in one or two touches.

Progressions:

  • To progress this practice further you can limit attackers to only be able to score from wide areas which will increase the number of crosses.

Regression:

  • Make the pitch area smaller will increase the number of chances that players have but you may also wish to make it unopposed initially getting players to attack in pairs without opposition.

CONDITIONED GAME - 5v5 WITH CHANNELS (20 Mins)

NOTES: USE ALL PLAYERS IN THE GAME

Overview:

Setup a 25 x 25 area with channels as well as two goals at either end with goal keepers. Organise two teams of 5v5. Both teams can move into the wide areas as well as the middle of the pitch, if a team scores a normal goal, they get one point, if they score from a wide area, they are to get two points. Encourage the defending team to defend within the middle area to be compact and prevent the opposition from playing through them.

Coaching Points:

Decision Making (finding the overload): In this game players must try and keep their eyes up to identify when and where to move into the wide areas which will help create more crossing opportunities. However, whilst this gives players the opportunity to get double points they can also score through the middle of the pitch too and should recognise when this is the best option to do so.

Speed of Attack: In transition, there will be opportunities for the team that has won the ball to be able to attack quickly by playing forward and running forwards. Players should look to join the box if the ball is moved into a wide area ready to score from crosses.

Timing of Run: If the ball is in the wide area, players should look to hold their run and not run in advance of the ball. To support this, you may talk to players about making a double movement i.e. running to the front post and then to the back etc.

Finishing Technique: Players to select the appropriate finishing technique depending on what part of the pitch they’re finishing within. As they must be in the final third, encourage players to try and finish in one or two touches.

Progressions:

  • To progress this practice further you can limit attackers to only be able to score from wide areas which will increase the number of crosses.

Regression:

  • Lock a wide player from each team into a wide channel creating a 1v1 in each wide area, only those players are in the wide areas at any time creating a 2v2 in the middle of the pitch.

FREE PLAY GAME (10 MINS)

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