ACADEMY SPRING SESSION 4

BALL MASTERY - DYNAMIC DRIBBLING - (12 MINS)

Overview:

Setup an area and split the area into four channels with flat markers or cones. Organise players at the beginning of the corridor all with a ball each. Set players work in groups of 4 – next player starts when one in front turns at end of the area.

  1. Dribble to end of corridor, turn and dribble back.
  2. Dribble and visit all other corridors before turning at end of yours and dribble back.
  3. Dribble to end of corridor, turn, visit all others and then back.
  4. Dribble and visit all others, turn at a different corridor and dribble back home visiting all.

Coaching Points:

Eyes Up: As players travel across the area they will need to keep their eyes up to help them to move through the different channels with the ball, but also to avoid bumping into other players around them.

Ball Manipulation: The players should be encouraged to use different types of surfaces and ways of manipulating the ball with both feet. Encourage players to also look at different ways in which they can move the ball i.e. direction.

Speed of Touches: Encourage players to use short, sharp touches to help them to travel with the ball through the channels. Players should look to keep the ball close to their body to help them to take quicker touches of the ball, but also being ready to change direction and change speed to evade other players.

Use of Both Feet: Players should be encouraged to use both feet as they manipulate the ball through all the channels. This will help players to practice with different surfaces on either foot to help them to be comfortable on both sides whilst dribbling/travelling with the ball.

Progression:

  • Add a defender in the channels that can win the ball from players travelling across the grid.

Regression:

  • Players are limited / restricted to travelling with the ball in their own channel rather than moving across channels.

SKILLS SESSION - 2v1 FINISHING (15 MINS)

Overview:

Setup a 40 x 20 pitch and split the pitch into thirds. Organise two goals with a goalkeeper in each of the goals as well as an attack and a defender in each of the end thirds too. You will also need to organise an attacking and defending team in the middle third. In this practice, the attacking team has to maintain possession and play into the attacker in either end third. Once they have passed the ball into the attacker in the end third, they can join to make a 2 v 1 and try to score. Attackers can attack in either direction. If the defender wins the ball from the attack in either of the end thirds, they must simply travel with the ball into the middle third. If the defenders win the ball in the middle third, they can also attack by playing into their team mate in the end thirds.

Coaching Points:

Eyes Up: Players that are able to play with their eyes up in this game will be able to recognise how they can best use their attacker in the end third in order to score i.e. combinations, 1v1 etc. Players should look to solve problems by recognising which direction is best to attack, but also what type of finish is needed to score as well.

Decision Making: Players throughout the game will continually need to scan with and without the ball to help them to identify the best space for them to create goal scoring opportunities. Players may need to adjust the direction of the attack based on whether they can finish whilst utilising the attacking players in each of the end thirds.

Changes of Direction: Attackers should look to use quick changes of direction throughout this game to help them to have success in which direction they’re attacking. If the route to goal is blocked in one direction, a quick change of direction may allow for them to quickly play in the opposition direction before being able to score.

1st Time Finishing: Attackers should be encouraged to finishing with 1st time finishes within this game. As the attacker in the end third receive the ball, they may be able to finish 1st time or by setting the incoming attacking who can finish by running onto the ball. Encourage players to explore using a variety of finishing techniques that will enable them to score quickly.

Progressions:

  • Increase the number of defenders in the middle third to make the numbers equal.

SKILLS SESSION - COMBO TO CROSS (15 Mins)

Overview:

Setup a pitch with a goal at either end as well as a goalkeeper in each of the goals. Split the pitch into thirds with the middle third being narrower than the two wide channels. Set up a 1 v 1 in the middle and organise a 2 v 1 / 1 v 2 in each of the wide areas. The game begins with the attackers playing 2 v 1 in a wide area against the defender where they must combine with one another before looking to cross the ball and finding the attacker in the middle channel who can score. If the ball travels to the opposite channel, the game continues until a goal is scored or the ball goes out of play. Once this happens the other side now start.

Coaching Points:

Combinations: As attackers begin this game and play 2v  1 against the defender they should look to use combinations between them to create goal scoring opportunities. Players may look to use overlaps, underlaps and give and go’s between them to combine with one another. Players can also add to disguise when in possession of the ball to pretend to combine and dribble or run with the ball themselves.

Open Body Shape: Players when combining should look to have an open body shape to allow them to play forwards but also see the player that they’re looking to cross too as well. Players should look to receive on their back foot where possible and check their shoulders before receiving to help them to decide upon when to combine, cross or travel with the ball.

Movement: Players should look to vary their movement as they approach the area to finish the cross, for example they may look to run from the front post to the back or the back post to the front. Alternatively, an attacker may run into the area and then hold their run to finish from a cut back.

Cross & Finishing: The player that crosses from the wide areas should look to keep their eyes up to help them to identify the area they are crossing into or where the attacker is. Based on the type of cross and their position/body shape players should look to adjust the type of finish that they will use to attempt to score. The attacker should look to finish off one or two touches where possible to ensure they don’t lose the opportunity to score.

Progressions:

  • Make the game a 2 v 2 in the middle area rather than a 1 v 1.

Regression:

  • Remove the defenders with players simply working together to attack in directions to try and score.

FREE PLAY GAME (10 MINS)

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