PRE- ACADEMY SPRING SESSION 3

WARM UP - GLADIATOR TAG - (5 MINS)

Overview:

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.

Coaching Points:

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.

BALL MASTERY - DRIBBLING & AWARENESS (10 MINS)

Overview:

Set out a square of 30 x 30 yards with a 10 x 10 yards square in the middle with small gates scattered inside the larger area. Every player has ball and starts by dribbling through the gates as a warm up getting used to the ball. To progress players now must dribble through the middle square after going through each gate. Players can be challenged to how many they can go through in one minute. The next stage is to go towards a gate and then turn away using different moves. To make it more competitive and challenging place a tagger in the middle square with a football. If players are tagged they lose a point. Add another tagger in the middle square and taggers in the larger area too.

Coaching Points:

Dribbling Technique: Keeping the ball close to the body using both feet throughout will help players manipulate the ball and keep it under control. Using different parts of the feet will also allow players to change direction and the position of the ball whilst keeping their head/eyes up. Players should use a variety of turns experimenting different ways of changing direction with turns like the inside,outside cut, cruyff turn & stepover for example.

Decision Making: Where is the space to dribble, can i dribble through that gate or is someone already there? Is there enough space to move through the middle square without being tagged? These are all key decisions that will need to be made within this practise.

Awareness: Players must dribble with their head/eyes up always scanning for the space to move into or avoiding potential collisions with other players. Being aware of the positioning of taggers too is important recognising if they are trying to tag someone else allowing space to drive through.

Speed: With challenges in place, players need to dribble with the ball as fast as possible while keeping it under control to change direction easily. When they turn away from a gate, acceleration is needed to replicate match movements of getting away from a defender.

BALL MASTERY - RACES TO GOAL (10 Mins)

Overview:

On the coaches’ whistle players at the front of each of the four lines must race with the ball to the halfway line before performing a turn and shooting into the goal. Points are awarded to the first player who scores. As soon as players have had their turn, they return to the back of their group.

Coaching Points:

Ball Manipulation: Players should look to use different parts of their feet as they travel out with the ball but also change direction. Players should also explore using both feet to help support them in being the first player to score.

Speed: Encourage players to push the ball out of their feet and travel with the ball at speed. Players can take larger touches to help them to move quickly but will need to adjust the speed of their touches as they turn but also when they are about to finish too.

Change of Direction: Encourage players to use the turning moves to help them to change direction quickly. Players should be encouraged to try a wide variety of different turns on both feet. Moves such as the inside, outside cut, Cruyff and drag back would be ideal for this.

Finishing: As soon as each player has turn, they should look to shift the ball out of their feet and aim to get their shot away quickly aiming to hit the target with a strong surface area such as the laces for power or side foot for control.

CONDITIONED GAME - WAVE GAME (15 Mins)

Overview:

Setup a pitch with two goals and two teams and split the pitch into two halves. Organise each time beside their goal with a goalkeeper in each of the goals. The game begins with one team attacking 2v1, as soon as they score, or the ball goes out of play; one attacker and one defender join the game to create 3v2. Continue to add one player from each team until all players are in the game. If the defending team wins possession, they should look to score in the opposite goal. Once the game has finished, rotate which team attacks with the overload.

Coaching Points:

Checking Shoulders / Scanning: Throughout this game players should be continually scanning and checking their shoulders to help them to make good decisions. Players should look to identify how they can create an overload both with and without the ball. Without the ball, players should look to move into areas where they can exploit space or create overloads. With the ball, players may need to stay on the ball as they look to exploit spaces or find passes to exploit overloads.

Receiving Skills: Players should look to receive between the lines to play forwards and find ways of receiving where they can create overloads. Encourage players to receive with an open body shape to help them play forwards but also see the full width of the pitch. Encourage players to attack quickly if they receive in a situation where they’re in an overload or isolated 1v1.

Weight of Pass: A firmer weight of pass will help the attackers to exploit spaces that have been left between, beyond and around by the defenders to enable them to exploit any potential overloads. Players may use a slower weight of pass to draw defenders in to free space into other areas.

Speed of Attack: Encourage attackers to play quickly when in an overload situation either through quick combinations or players travelling with the ball. Players should look to be decisive with their decisions to exploit space and opportunities that have been created. If a player is isolated in a 1v1, they should look to attack quickly to try and beat their opponent to create a goal scoring opportunity for their team.

FREE PLAY GAME - (10 MINS)

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