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Soccer coachw274



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  • 1. SoccerCoachWeekly Issue 274 Wednesday, July 25, 2012 TOOLS, TIPS AND TECHNIQUESMidfield in motion David Clarke Head Coach, Soccer Coach WeeklyGive players the confidence to Building fromplay through the middle the back, the ball is It’s understandable for some players fed throughto want to bypass the crowded, pressure the safeenvironment that is the centre of the park. middle zoneBut hitting long balls forward or always towards goalconcentrating play to the wings makesteams predictable and boring. This is a practice that will boost confidence 30ydsand remind players that getting the ball intomidfield and using it smartly can often be thebest way to attack. SAFE ZONEHow to play it 20yds 10yds 20yds• You need balls, bibs, cones and goals.• Mark out a 50x30-yard area with three When play iszones of 20, 10 and 20 yards. turned over,• There are two teams of six, plus two whites mustkeepers. vacate the• The team in possession is allowed up to safe zone as20 seconds in the central (safe) zone. They greys attackcan stay in or break out, but if still in thezone when time elapses, the opposition cango in and try to win the ball.• If the team in possession loses the ball inany area of the pitch, its players must vacatethe central zone.• The size of the central zone is key to thechallenge and skill of the game, as playerswill discover, so after six minutes increase ordecrease its size to see what effect it has on As playersthe game. become moreDeveloping the session comfortable, reducing the• You can advance the session by allowing size of theone opposition player to go into thecentral zone. This puts more pressure on central zonemidfielders. serves to keep them onTechnique and tactics their toes• The safe zone encourages andincentivises play to go into midfield, withplayers getting used to receiving on the half-turn or practising controlling technique. SAFE ZONE• Whilst doing this without the fear of being 22.5yds 5yds 22.5ydstackled, the pressure to survey optionsand pass on remains. And the margin forerror increases when the central zone isshortened. player movement ball movement SoccerCoachWeekly Essential tools for your team 1
  • 2. Wednesday, July 25, 2012 SoccerCoachWeekly WARM UP Michael BealeZig-zag warm-up Premier League Academy soccer coach Players work asHow to play it individuals at• Set up an area big enough in size to first, showingaccommodate your squad. the mannequin• Create a pattern of mannequins (or insidepoles) as shown in the diagram.• At first, players work as individuals.Going one at a time from each end, theymust complete a set of four runs, on eachrun showing the mannequin inside oroutside (see below).• Get them to angle their approach tothe mannequins and ensure they work atrealistic match pace.• Make sure they hold the pressure for 2–3seconds on each mannequin.• Next, players work in pairs. Then as pairs,• The first player gets tight and shows themannequin inside, while the second takes one showsup a supporting run. inside or outside while• Players then progress forward, switchingroles when pressuring the next mannequin. the other makes aTechnique and tactics supporting run• The approach that we want to see is forplayers to sprint forward to the mannequin.• Closing down quickly, each player mustslow as he reaches the target.• Showing inside or outside deals withguiding an opponent in a certain direction.This may be to direct them into an areawhere there is cover, or to create a doublingup scenario where two players cannegotiate a route past an opponent with a Players switchclever and quick overlap to one side. roles as they• In pairs, we’re looking for seamless progresscommunication and quick movement through thebetween targets. area PACE AND G NIN POSITIONI IN ONE! player movement Soccer Coach Weekly is published by Green Star Media Ltd, Meadow View, Tannery Lane, Bramley, Guildford, GU5 0AB, UK. Email: Tel: +44 (0)1483 892894 Head Coach: David Clarke Editor: James Evans Publisher: Kevin Barrow Managing Director: Andrew Griffiths Customer Service: Duncan Heard Designer: Steve Southern Contributors: Michael Beale, Paul Brook, Bradley Cinc, David Lewis, Tom Sandell, Mike McTagart, Steve Watson © Green Star Media Ltd. All rights reserved. SoccerCoachWeekly Essential tools for your team 2
  • 3. Wednesday, July 25, 2012 SoccerCoachWeekly FOOTY4KIDSTake a risk Steve Watson Editor, The objective of this game is to practise Four attackersattacking and defending skills in a variety of start to the leftdifferent situations – for instance, 2v1s, 3v2s, of the pitch4v1s, and so on. It’s great for players aged with a group ofbetween seven and 12. four defenders behind eachHow to play it 20yds goal• Using 12 players, set up an area measuring20x20 yards, with a goal at each end, as shown.• Divide your players into three teams - oneteam of four attackers and two teams of fourdefenders. Keepers are optional.• The defenders are spread around the playingarea as shown.• The attacking team gets eight balls, and uses 20ydsone for each attack.• They then have to decide how they want toattack. If they choose to go 1v1 (one attackerv one defender), and succeed in scoring, they A 3v2 is calledget five points. Here are the other permutations – attackersavailable: and defenders move quickly 2v1 = two points per goal 3v2 into the area 3v2 = four points per goal 4v2 = three points per goal• So as attackers enter the playing area, theyshout ‘1v1’, ‘2v1’ etc, and the correspondingnumber of defenders leave their position by thegoal and try to stop them scoring.• If the attackers score, they immediately turnand attack the other goal in a new set-up.• If again successful, players leave the area andattackers restart with a new call.• Similarly, if the attackers miss or the defenderssucceed in getting the ball and returning it to thecoach, the attack is over and the next ball is used. A goal is scored• When the attackers have used all of their balls, and the attackthe teams change over. immediately• When all three teams have been attackers, the switches to theteam with the most points wins. other end• You can alter the game by making goals bigger 2v1or smaller or by putting a time limit on attackers,before which they must despatch a shot on goal.Technique and tactics• This game is all about reactions – how quicklycan defenders respond to the situation thatquickly develops in front of them?• Attackers, meanwhile, are under pressure toscore, and will want to make each chance count.• The game also provides a good experimentin decision-making, enabling attackers to assessa situation – the relative tiredness of oppositiondefenders, for instance – and come up with anoverload (or 1v1) plan in response. player movement ball movement SoccerCoachWeekly Essential tools for your team 3
  • 4. Wednesday, July 25, 2012 SoccerCoachWeekly TOUCHLINE TALESWith a ball, or without? David Clarke Head Coach, Soccer Coach Weekly Do you start pre-season with or without soft drinks. The result is they can become it a small-sided game or a full-on match.the ball? sluggish and unresponsive, and often turn But before then there are lots of 1v1s, This was the question I asked a group their noses up to any form of voluntary 2v2s and 3v3s, so every player is gettingof coaches of various ages this week. exercise! a fair share of the ball.You may be interested to know that 75 So what’s the solution? Well, for me, the And for the bits without the ball, thisper cent of them told me they always did solution is to mix it up... to do both! can be comprised of many things –the first couple of weeks’ training without games, shuttle runs, other exercises, orthe ball. even other sports. Of the others, two coaches actually “Of the others, two coaches But whatever I choose, my pre-seasonberated me for asking the question! “Why actually berated me for focus is always on the individual. Teamdo you even mention training without the asking the question! “Why mechanics may not even be possibleball?” one of them asked. “Having the ball do you even mention training when some players are away on theiris central to the way the world’s greatest without the ball?” one of holidays, and concentrating on theteam, Barcelona, plays the game.” individual reinforces the idea that every “But”, I responded, “isn’t fitness as them asked.” player starts the new season with a cleanimportant? How long would an unfit slateplayer last playing the Barcelona way? Because what’s certain is that with or So next time you hear a heated debateAnd does fitness training require a ball?” without the ball pre-season must be fun, about whether or not to involve the ball As coaches, we hope that players’ or you might find your players will be back you might want to follow my explanation –fitness levels throughout the summer are in front of their consoles before you can give your players as much fun as possiblemaintained, but in this day and age the say ‘Lionel Messi’! so they enjoy coming back to the gamereality is that many are at home on their I always ensure there’s a game element they love. Whether they have a ball or notgames consoles, fuelled by pizzas and in every pre-season training session - be shouldn’t really matter.Showing mercy in matches Steve Watson Editor, Six ways of showing mercy in one- defenders into attacking positions and put Whatever you decide to do, it issided soccer matches: your strikers into defence. imperative that you respect the opposition and always keep the English FA’s Code1. Tell your players to take no 4. Use your subs of Conduct for grassroots coachesmore than two or three touches This type of match is an ideal in mind: “Place the well-being, safetyof the ball before passing opportunity to give your subs as much and enjoyment of each player above Children who are playing in a team that playing time as possible. As soon as you everything, including winning”.is considerably superior to their opponents see that the match is going to be oneoften become reluctant to pass, trying sided, take off your ‘star players’ and give A one-sided game isfancy tricks, outrageous shots, or lengthy those weaker ones a chance to enjoy an ideal opportunity todribbles towards goal. This does their themselves. give ‘weaker’ players a run outdevelopment no good, so why not imposea maximum touches rule instead? 5. Allow the other team to have It might be smart to do it discreetly additional playersthough, so as not to offend the losing team. If you’re in a winning position at half time you can have a quiet word with the2. Require a minimum number of opposition manager and see if he wantspasses before shooting to put an extra player or two on the pitch In other words, play ‘keep away’. Ask in the second half.your players (again, discreetly) to makefour or five passes before they can take a 6. Stop the match (the mercy rule)shot at goal. If the match turns into a shooting gallery during the second half you can3. Move your players around stop the game, balance the teams by The lack of things to do means your mixing them up and play any remainingkeeper will be getting bored, so switch time as a friendly.him with an outfield player. Similarly, move SoccerCoachWeekly Essential tools for your team 4
  • 5. Wednesday, July 25, 2012 SoccerCoachWeekly SMALL-SIDED GAMEWide pitch Steven Lapere Aldershot Town Under-10s Here’s a great small-sided game that fulfils two The coachcrucial pre-season functions – it ensures every feeds the ballmember of the team is active and involved, as to the blackwell as letting kids get back into their football team to beginwith what they love doing best: scoring goals! attacking the white goalHow to play it 30yds• Create a playing area measuring 30x20 yards,with goals on the longer touchlines, as shown.• The game is 4v4 plus keepers.• Play for 10 minutes.• If the ball leaves play, you have a few restart 20ydsoptions: 1. The coach passes a new ball The wide onto the pitch pitch should 2. The players take a roll in encourage 3. The players take a throw in your players 4. The players make a pass in to shoot from 5. The players dribble in distanceTechnique and tactics• The game is played on a wide pitch that isshort in length. This encourages teams to shootfrom distance and pass into wide areas in order tocreate crossing opportunities.• It’s also great for building up reaction timesafter the summer break, given that players will It should alsotransition very quickly between offensive and encouragedefensive roles. your players to get wide and get crosses in on goal ECT A PERF SON A PRE-SE ICE! PRACT ball movement run with ball shot player movement ball movement run with ball shot SoccerCoachWeekly Essential tools for your team 5 20yds
  • 6. Wednesday, July 25, 2012 SoccerCoachWeekly YOUR SAYSCW Surgery TACKLED: Up for the cup?This week Are summer tournaments worth the effort?Paul Brook YES NOManchester SaintsQ I’ve heard some horror stories about what headingthe ball can do to young kids. Tom Sandell Bradley CincMine are Under-13s and are Mansfield Youth League Under-12s Foxborough Youth Soccer, USAsurprisingly keen on heading, butshould I let them? “Generally speaking, tournaments are “It’s an opportunity for teams toMike McTagart, Glasgow fantastic for one group – the winners. test themselves against clubs they Players in most other teams come awayA Opinion has been divided for wouldn’t normally face.” with regrets or dents to their confidence.” a while as to whether headingthe ball poses a threat to young kids. Summer soccer tournaments are a great Certainly in the US, the cost to parentsReally, it depends whose evidence way for players to try out a different form of of sending their kids away with the teamyou look at, but the vast majority of the game – different team sizes, different pitch to a number of tournaments is starting toresearch now leans towards the fact sizes, different playing times. It provides a new become prohibitive. That leaves a split in thethat heading is perfectly safe as long challenge that some might only experience once team ranks between the ‘haves’ and the ‘haveas players use the correct technique. or twice a year, so why not go for it? nots’, which is bad for team morale. Essentially that means heading People say that competitiveness shouldn’t And with most kids away for periods of thethe ball with eyes open and mouth be encouraged in youth soccer, but it’s summer when most tournaments occur, theclosed, attacking the ball rather than impossible to get away from it where summer team dynamic is spoilt by absentees.letting it attack you, and heading it tournaments are concerned. Teams come from More and more now I’m hearing storieswith the thickest part of the skull, all around for one thing – to win. We should of poorly organised tournaments, run bynamely the forehead. embrace that. companies who cancel fixtures, abandon due to Here’s the simple test to go by It’s an opportunity for teams to test sub-standard pitches and fail to respect player- if your players are old enough to themselves against clubs they wouldn’t safety. Because anyone can run a tournament,understand those instructions then normally face. Sides quickly suss each other we’re finding that anyone is, and that’s a out in league matches, but tournaments provide dangerous situation.they’re probably old enough to head a whole new set of challenges. Generally speaking, tournaments arethe ball! Tournaments provide a great team- fantastic for one group – the winners. Players But there’s a duty of care that bonding exercise. Given the scheduling of in most other teams come away with regrets orstill needs to be taken even if your matches, with teams very often playing games dents to their are clued up. Always build up in quick succession, kids are really relying on I know many teams who have found thepractice by using smaller footballs each other to give their all for the cause. competitiveness in tournaments completelyfirst, and make sure they’re properly And where going overseas is concerned, at odds to the approach that is prescribed forinflated. tournaments can also offer players (and youth soccer players. Fuelled by the heat, the And of course, if a player doesn’t coaches) a great way of seeing how other pressure, and in many cases pitches that arewant to head the ball, don’t make teams play the game – different styles and boarded in, I’ve often seen players and coacheshim! approaches on show, and a great opportunity to go over the top in pursuit of glory. pick up coaching points and advice from peers. Tournaments are often played on pitch Tournaments are also a great way to sizes completely different to those in theTACKLED: Results keep players involved in the sport over the regular season. That makes the transference of summer. They can act as a mid-point between skills irrelevant, implying that the only real ‘take the end of one season and the start of the out’ from a tournament is the idea of winningHere’s the result of the poll we ran in next, so are a decent bridge for staying in it, which is something we try to pretend isn’tSoccer Coach Weekly 272 asking if touch with the squad, keeping them focused, important.we should insist that our players are and giving them something that will retain their And in the US a big problem has been theimmaculately presented on match day. interest and player development before pre- move towards tournaments as an excuse season training kicks off. not to train. The assumption appears to be YES that players can develop their skills quickest by practising ‘on the job’, as it were. My fear NO 42% is that tournaments are becoming a way of lazily ridding ourselves of what should be the essential elements. 58% PUT IT TO THE VOTE: Which of our guest coaches do you agree with? Visit our Facebook page or email your thoughts to David Clarke at SoccerCoachWeekly Essential tools for your team 6