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Passing Time

Here is my session plan notes from my Academy session a few weeks ago.  The focus was on passing.  I started with basic technique to working in groups of 3 & developing into some free play & a tactical game focusing on the technical sessions.

Warm Up...

I like my warm ups to introduce the ball straight away.  My players know on arrival to get a ball & go for a dribble & have some fun.  You see the main use of a ball net for me is to carry the balls from my van to the pitch.  Unlike other 'coaches' I don't use it to keep all my balls sitting in it as some sort of blackmail that if they listen & do laps for a warm up their reward will to be to open the bag & get a ball!

Barca Keepie Ups

Barca Keepie Ups

Emphasis

Fun game for players to 'show off' their juggling skills!

Set-Up

Split players into groups.  They make a circle & join hands.  One ball per group.  Mark out an area using cones where groups have to start from & finish.

Objectives

Groups must perform keepie ups & move from one side of the area to the other.  They can then race back to the starting point.

The ball must be kept off the ground while performing keepie ups between each other.

Progressions

  1. Rather than move from one side of the coaching area to the other have groups perform in the same area joining hands.  If a player mis controls they leave the circle.  Play until there is a winner.

Coaching

  • Be confident & comfortable on the ball.
  • Keep body relaxed.
  • Keep eye on the ball.
  • Good control over ball.
  • Communication.

Fun & increase the tempo...

After the fun juggling exercise I introduce another enjoyable session (although without a ball - shock!) that helps to get your players switched on & increase the tempo & concentration...try this & even join in for a bit of fun!

Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction

Emphasis

Fun warm up concentrating on speed of thought & reaction speed.

Set-Up

Vary size of grid but generally 20 x 20 yard grid is nice size.

Adapt depending on your squad size.  The diagram is based on a squad of 14.

Objectives

Players should inter link arms in groups of 3 to create chains.  In the diagram you can see 4 chains of players leaving two players free in the middle.

Player 1 tries to get on the end of a chain before player 2 catches them.  If player 1 links onto player C from the red chain then player 2 tries to catch player A from the reds before he reacts & then they try to join another chain.

Progressions

  1. Introduce a ball.

Coaching

  • Speed.
  • Reaction.
  • Communication.

The technical bit...

We started with the basics with this boring drill but is great to remind young players how to pass a ball.  For older players it's nice to offer something simple for them to touch & pass the ball many times.

Passing / Receiving Through Targets

Passing / Receiving Through Targets

Emphasis

Passing accuracy.

Set-Up

One ball between two players.  Players should face each other 5-10 yards away from each other with a mini gate set up in the middle.  The gate should be approx a yard wide.

Objectives

X1 passes to X2 through the gate placed in between the players.  X2 controls the ball & passes it back through the gates to X1.  Players count how many passes go through the gates successfully in the time limit.

Progressions

  1. Condition passing foot.
  2. Players have to control with the left & play with right foot & vice versa.
  3. Reduce time.
  4. Increase the distance.
  5. If players miss a gate - there score returns to zero - keep count.

Coaching

  • Use inside of the foot.
  • Lock ankle square to the target.
  • On toes to receive a pass - move into line with the ball.
  • Communication - call partners name.
  • Try to be quick but maintain accuracy.
  • Help partner with straight passes.

Develop to...

This allows players freedom for passing combinations to having some fun with long range passing & being able to 'ping' a ball to one of their team mates.

Combination Play

Combination Play

Emphasis

Combination passing.

Set-Up

Players spread out over half a pitch.  1 ball between 3 players.

Objectives

Players begin with playing any combination of passes to each other & moving anywhere through the half of the field.

Progressions

  1. 1 player must now play a series of give-and-go with the other 2 players.
  2. Once a player has performed a give-and-go, 1 of the other players does a takeover (1 play dribbles the ball toward another player & then leaves the ball for the other player to take.)  This will alternate the passer each time.
  3. Players make the following combinations; short pass, long pass, take-over.
  4. Finish with players being given free roles & allowing to make / receive a pass from anyone.

Coaching

  • Communication & understanding.
  • Players should use 1 or 2 touches only & use both feet.
  • Speed of play.
  • Quality passing, weight & accuracy.

The Tactical bit...

We take what we have worked on from the technical sessions into a game scenario.

5 Goal Game

5 Goal Game

Emphasis

Possession & combination game focusing on changing the point of attack.

Set-Up

2 equal teams play on half a pitch.  5 mini goals / gates are set up within the area using poles or dome cones.

You can adapt the size of the area & the amount of mini goals set up to suit your group.

Objectives

Teams combine to score a point through dribbling through the gates, passing through the gates or score a bonus point by playing a 1-2 / give-&-go through the gates.

Players are not allowed to score back-to-back goals in the same gate.

Progressions

  1. Add more mini goals / gates.
  2. Colour code certain gates, i.e. gates on the wing to encourage good width.

Coaching

  • Good first touch.
  • Quality passing.
  • Movement & work rate on / off ball.
  • Don't force it through gate, look to open up & switch.
  • Always receive ball side on.
  • Awareness.
  • Communication.

Free Play...

Allow time for your players to finish with a small sided game at the end of the session.

Cool Down...

Football Tennis

Football Tennis

Emphasis

Fun cool down concentrating on control & first touch.

Set-Up

6 v 6 on a 30 x 20 yard grid with tennis net in middle or series of 6ft spiked poles. Obviously change the numbers / grid size to suit your group.

 

Objectives

Fun game of footy tennis. One team serves the ball out of their hands from the back of the grid. The ball is allowed one bounce before it has to be returned to the opposition.

Players can combine with each other before returning to the other side of the grid.

Can use any part of the body apart from your hands.

First team to 10 wins.

Progressions

  1. Players must juggle the balls a certain amount of time before returning.
  2. Certain amount of players must touch / combine before returning the ball.

Coaching

  • First touch.
  • Control.
  • Keep eye on ball.
  • Keep body relaxed.
  • Work as team.
  • Communication.

Coaches, always adapt.  My diagrams above will show a certain amount of players but if you don’t have enough – adapt!  Adjust the size of the pitch too.  Insure your players enjoy the training but demand a lot of hard work from them at the same time.

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