ACADEMY SPRING SESSION 3
WARM UP - GLADIATOR TAG - (5 MINS)
Setup a small area with 6 – 12 players inside all with a bib tucked into their shorts. Divide the group into two teams both wearing different colour bibs in their shorts. Players are trying to remove the bibs from the other team and do this as many times as possible within a set time period. After the bib has been pulled out and dropped, players have to wait 3 seconds before they can put it back in again.
Speed: In this game players will need to show quick accelerations to get away from the player chasing them. They have to react quickly and move into space which is free away from other players who can get them.
Agility: Players when squared up will need to off balance their opponent to lose them and accelerate away. Feints and slowing down and speeding up are great ways to add disguise to their movements.
Awareness: With lots of bodies and traffic, players will have to keep their eyes up and scan for space and other players to avoid collisions and being caught.
Coordination: All the time players will have to be assessing the situation, where the space is and the best way of avoiding taggers.
SKILLS SESSION - 1v1 TO GOALS (10 MINS)
Setup a 25 x 25 area and split the pitch into equal thirds as well as a halfway line and two goals at either end. The defenders start with a ball each next to the goal and the attackers are on the halfway line without a ball. The game begins by the defender passing the ball into the attacker and they then must get into the final third to be able to score. If the defender wins the ball back, they must stop the ball on the halfway line. Rotate attackers and defenders after each turn. To help the attackers get success, encourage them to use the Football DNA 1v1 skills which are both the ‘Chop & L Pull Push Behind’ when going 1v1.
Eyes Up: The attacker when receiving the ball should identify the best space to travel into with their first touch. Once they receive this, they should continue to keep their eyes up as they’re travelling with the ball to see the defender, space as well as the goal. This will prevent players travelling with the ball into areas they cannot finish from and improve the chances of getting into the final third to score.
Speed of Attack: Once the attacker receives the ball, they should look to attack the goal at speed allowing them to get into the final third quickly. In order to do this, players should be encouraged to take a big first touch to move into the space and to run with the ball with larger touches. If the defender presses them, they may be able to beat them with their first or off balance them when going 1v1.
Use of Both Feet: When players receive the ball they should be encouraged to try and beat the defender on either side using both feet. This prevents the attacker from being predictable but also will help to allow them to finish quickly of either foot whilst keeping the ball on the furthest foot from the defender too. If players can use either feet, it will also allow them to adapt their finishing technique based on the area that they’re shooting from.
Finishing Technique: As players are aiming to travel with the ball at speed, they should look at finesse finishing and attempting to place the ball in the corners of the goal. If they are forced wide, they may require attackers to finish across goal into the far post or cutting inside to curl the with a finesse finish as well. If the ball is central, the attackers may use their laces or toes to finish to allow them to get their shot of quickly without the defender and goalkeeper being able to adapt to the attacker’s body shape. Attackers should also be ready to rebound on any saves or blocks.
SKILLS SESSION - 3v3 TO GOALS (10 Mins)
NOTES: USE ALL PLAYERS IN THE GAMEOverview: Setup a 25 x 25 area and split the pitch into three equal channels as well as a halfway line. On the halfway line there should be several footballs which the attackers will look to use to begin the attack. Have two defenders and a goalkeeper by either goal, as well as three attackers in each half. The attacking team must try and score in their goal, if the defenders win the ball they must stop the ball on the halfway line. After each goal is scored, or the ball has gone out of play the attackers must return to the halfway line to get a new ball to begin a new attack. Rotate the attackers and defenders after a set time limit / number of goals or turns.
Coaching Points: Keep Eyes Up, Speed of Attack, Timing of Run, Finishing Technique
CONDITIONED GAME - FINISHING ZONES (20 Mins)
Organise a pitch with two teams and a goal at either end as well as each team too. Add a half way line and split the pitch into thirds horizontally to create wide channels. In this game, each team has to score from each of the zones to win the game. To make this more possible, ensure the pitch is small in length and width to enable players to score from distance.
Eyes Up/Scanning: Players should continually have their eyes up throughout the game to help them to make the right decision when they are in possession of the ball. Players should look to recognise the right time to shoot themselves or pass the ball to a team mate in a different zone.
Use of Both Feet: Players should be encouraged to shoot on both feet to ensure they don’t lose their opportunity to get a shot at goal. Players that are able to shoot quickly off either foot will create more opportunities for themselves and the team to score.
Ball Striking Surfaces: Players should explore different surfaces but also different ways to finish in this game. Each zone will challenge players to finish differently and players should look to make the right decision of what type of finish they may need to try in each of the zones.
Decision Making: Throughout the game players should be identifying when is the right time to pass, dribble or to shoot based on the situation that they are in. Encourage players to find their team-mate in space who may be in a better position to score for the team.