It is vital that players learn to create and exploit passing channels if they are to be effective; especially in congested and compact areas of the pitch. Players must develop an understanding of the key spaces to exploit: Between-the-lines of the opponent, away from the opponent, in-front of opponent etc. Players must also understand and rehearse the correct Positioning, Moment / Timing, Direction and Speed of movements to be most effective.
Building through Midfield areas requires effective communication, decision-making and a high level of technical execution; this central area of the pitch is usually congested with many players resulting in restricted space / time. Players must learn to operate under these conditions of restricted space/time if they are to be successful both at the individual and team level.
The following session teaches the concept of ‘Recognising Advantages’. Players must understand that if one area of the pitch is congested / blocked with a superior number of opponents then an ‘advantage’ must be available elsewhere.
Players must be coached to recognise numerical advantages in various areas of the pitch; creating these advantages can allow a team to maintain possession for longer periods. The following session develops an understanding of (1) recognizing the advantage (2) patience while in possession to create opportunities to play forward.
The development of the first-touch is much more than repetitive drills where kids learn how to ‘trap’ the ball in un-realistic conditions and without the pressure from opponents. Players must learn to receive the ball with all areas of the body, with restricted time + space and under varying degrees of pressure from opponents if they are truly to develop game-insight and the ability to be successful when it matters the most – in the match!
Junior Gonzalez, Seattle Sounders FC S2 Assistant Head Coach brings us this week’s Pro’s Pick! The objective of this session is to encourage possession by playing through lines and gaps, finding the #9, provide support underneath and find space to expose behind the opponents back four.
Developing the game understanding and awareness of looking for and delivering ‘killer’ passes must be progressed from early youth levels if players are to be competent at later stages. The following session will develop an understanding of the concept of the ‘killer pass’ as well as rehearse the key technical components of passing, receiving, support play, etc.
The following activities from Carlton Fairweather can be used to develop a range of technical abilities: the technical execution aspects of passing, receiving, running with the ball, and beating an opponent are all addressed.
This activity and progressions from Nikos Kolompourdas of Al Nasr FC, Dubai, put an emphasis on quality possession and the ability to transition forward in attack. Counter-pressing in advanced areas of the pitch is also highlighted within the activities.