Breaking down an opponent that is organized and compact can prove difficult for many teams; it requires passing ability, dribbling ability, awareness, quick decision-making etc. On the reverse side; coaching players to remain organized and compact while defending is also crucial for success. The following activities / session develops both the attacking concepts as well as the defensive concepts of a 4-man midfield.
Here is an excellent large group training game recently choreographed by John van’t Schip at the inaugural TOVO coaching course last month in Sitges, Spain. Following an 8v8+2 position specific rondo and prior to an unrestricted 11v11, this 10v9+ Target game is perfect for training against a very compact opponent.
Here is an alternative look at a high paced finishing activity. Play is initiated with a penetrating ball to the center forward #9 and joined by wide players and a trailing midfielder coming on to the play. Plug in your personnel to customize your objectives and provide plenty of game related repetitions for your defenders and attackers.
These activities emphasize quick ball circulation and movement in order to move and disrupt the defensive block to create space to attack.
This session utilizes football activities to develop certain ‘Football Fitness’ characteristics.
Here is an excellent session from Stuart Sharp, Head Coach of the U.S. Paralympic Men’s Soccer Team, that focuses on the shadow striker. The shadow striker can be one of the two strikers in a twin striker set up, or it can be the #10 attacking midfielder that often finds himself making penetrating runs into the opponents back line.
This session develops the understanding and ability to break the opponents line. It begins with an unopposed passing activity to rehearse and repeat the player movements and options to create attacking opportunities. The session then builds to include opponents / defenders to create a more game-realistic environment.