PRE- ACADEMY SPRING SESSION 1

WARM UP - SPEED REACTIONS - (5 MINS)

BALL MASTERY - MUSICAL CHAIRS (10 MINS)

Overview:

Setup a square with cones inside the area and players with a ball around the outside of the square. Players have to travel with their ball around the outside of the square, either when the music stops or on the whistle; players have to quickly travel with their ball and stop it on a cone. The last player to a cone is then out of the game. After each round take away a cone and play until there is one player left.

Coaching Points:

Eyes Up: As players travel with the ball around the area, they should be encouraged to keep their eyes up to see the space in front of them as well as where the cones are in the middle of the square. On the whistle players should keep their eyes up to help them get to the cone quickly.

Use of Both Feet: Encourage players to use both feet as they’re travelling around the outside of the area

Surfaces of the Feet: Using different surfaces of the feet such as: laces, outside, inside and sole will help the players explore different ways of manipulating the ball as well as dribbling into the space too. When dribbling, players should try to keep the ball close to their body to allow them to change direction and speed quickly if needed.

Coaching Interventions: Talk through the players how to use change of speed and potentially change of direction.

Progressions:

  • Once a player is out of the game, they become a defender in the middle and have to try and win the ball and dribble it out of the square for oncoming players. Each round is played until all, but one player is on a cone.

SKILLS SESSION - 2v2 CHAOS (15 Mins)

Overview:

Setup a 20 x 20 grid with a goal at each end. Two players from the same team start with the ball and look to attack the other teams goal at the same time in a 1 v 1 duel. When running with the ball aim to keep your head up scanning the pitch to avoid collisions and losing the ball. Alternate the attackers and defenders.

Coaching Points:

Dribbling: When travelling with the ball the attacker should look to move into space and evade the defenders. Encourage the attacker to dribble with the ball on both sides but most importantly keeping the ball on the furthest side from the defender as they travel with it. Smaller touches with the laces will help the attacker to keep the ball close to their body but they may need to take bigger touches with their laces to move into space if it opens up for them to move into.

Awareness: When players are travelling with the ball they should continue to keep their eyes up to see where the best space is for them to travel with the ball into. In addition, players should scan to see what is around them to identify where the defender(s) are in order to evade them too.

Shooting: The attackers should be encouraged to take shots quickly after beating the opponent, or if the goals aren’t being blocked by them. Encourage the attacker to use both feet when finishing, this may require a ‘finesse’ finish with a place/passed finish into the goal.

Progressions:

  • The defenders can tackle either attacker which may cause the attacker to be overloaded.
  • Also, once a goal is scored by one of the attackers, they can assist the other attacker with trying to score.
  • Add a score line that players must get into before they can score or add goalkeepers in either goal.

SHOOTING BINGO - (10 MINS)

Overview:

Setup a pitch with two goals and an area in the middle with all players having a ball each and given a number each. The players are manipulating the ball around the area and once their number is called by the coach, they have to leave their area and score in one of the goals. Once they have had their shot, they get their ball and return into the box ready for their number to be called again. To ensure the players have plenty of repetition make the area small and call multiple numbers at once. To add competition, set up the game to be based around the first player to score with their inside, outside and laces on both feet to win!

Coaching Points:

Eyes Up/Scanning: As players are dribbling around the area, they should be keeping their eyes up and scanning whilst manipulating their ball. When scanning, players should be looking at the best space to move into. Once their number has been called, they should react and look to move the ball quickly outside of the box to be able to score.

Use of Both Feet: Encourage players to manipulate the ball with both feet but most importantly due to the session focus encourage players to use both feet to shoot. To support this, you may put some constraints in place i.e. alternate which foot you shoot with per turn.

Striking Surfaces: Challenge players to try striking with different surfaces i.e. laces, outside or inside when they leave the box. To support this, you may need to position yourself by the goal to help players with their approach to the ball (at an angle) where they place their standing foot (beside the ball and aiming towards the goal) as well as what surface and follow through they go with.

First Touch: Players should look to take their touch out of their feet in this practice to help them to move into space quickly and help them with their approach as they look to get their shot away. If there isn’t much space, players may need to take a smaller touch to get outside of the box to evade other players.

Progressions:

  • Add a defender in front of each of the goals that can win the ball and prevent the attacker from being able to score.

FREE PLAY GAME - (15 MINS)

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