Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: coach, coaching, defenders, level 2, midfield, running with the ball, sessions, whole-part-whole, youth module
Many defenders and midfielders think that once the ball has been fed to a striker, their job is done. But they should be supporting the front men by running past them and into unmarked attacking areas.
So here’s a session that helps players understand the value of supporting play and passing into dangerous areas of the pitch. It uses "whole-part-whole" coaching – namely going straight into a game, then breaking things down to show players coaching detail, then back to the game.
How to play it
Set up as shown in the pictures above – this is a 6v6 game (including keepers).
One player from each team stays in the zone in front of the goal – the target man, who can only use one or two-touch. He cannot score and can only assist others.
The game starts with teams looking to score in the opponent’s goal.
Using peeled, overlapping or blindside runs, players must create space to receive the ball then shoot at goal.
Play for 10 minutes to allow players to get a feel for the game.
Change the game now to focus on the movement from deep of the supporting players.
Now all players start in the same half, with the defending team’s target man moved back to the halfway line.
The attacking team combines to feed a pass to its target man before attacking the goal.
If the defending team turns over possession, it can attack the other goal by passing to its target player on the halfway line. Players have only three touches before they must shoot but their players cannot be tackled.
Play for five attacks then switch teams over so both teams experience the same conditions.
- Replay the first part again. This time, you will find players automatically making more runs from deep.
Technique and tactics
Players have to make supporting runs because the target man can only play the ball back to a team mate to create goalscoring chances.
Runs from deep involve movement to lose a player, to reach a position for the target player to pas to them, to use good technique in order to control or shoot at goal.
Players should use different types of passes to find the target player and must support from deep with a wide variety of well-timed and well-angled runs.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: bruce, defenders, goalkeeper, leeds, Manchester United, mistakes, schmeichel
Watching Leeds United play Cardiff City in the English Championship last month what stood out was the mix up between the sons of two Manchester United greats managed between them to gift a goal to Cardiff.
The sons of Peter Schmeichel and Steve Bruce both play for Leeds. Kasper Schmeichel in goal and Alex Bruce at centre-back much like their fathers. Between they they let the Cardiff centre forward Jay Boothroyd take the ball when the two Leeds players should between them have easily cleared it – no communication and yet they played together in the changing rooms at Old Trafford while waiting for their dads – you can see a clip of them playing together aged 6 below.
But there are always mistakes during the course of a season in every division in every league. I’m sure you see them all the time in youth matches – it’s something that happens.
So next time your players make a mistake don’t let them dwell on it and don’t dwell on it your self because someone somewhere will be making a mistake too.
And the mistakes by their fathers in this clip below:
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Skills | Tags: defenders, gary neville, nutmeg, reyes, skills
There’s nothing worse as a defender than to have the ball played through your legs leaving you rooted to the spot unable to do anything about it. You’ve been nutmegged.
This sort of skill is the kind of thing you need to arm your players with, so as they grow more confident in games they have the ability to use certain techniques which give them the edge over the opposition.
Watching players use techniques like the nutmeg is exciting to see.
Here’s a clip explaining how to attack a defender and use the nutmeg and a clip of Jose Antonio Reyes playing for Arsenal, performing a nutmeg on Gary Neville on two occasions causing the Manchester Utd defender to do an horrendous foul to hide his embarrassment.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management | Tags: covering defenders, defenders, stop leaking goals, sweeper
I was shown this clip of a young player who plays the role of sweeper for his team. It is an excellent example of the art of the sweeper.
I think the sweeper position is one of the best ways young players can learn the art of defending. You can go man for man marking because the sweeper covers the spaces that zonal defending takes care of.
They also provide great cover for your defence.
I think coaches of young squads should bring back the classic libero into their teams – learning to be a sweeper makes 10, 11, 12-year olds more intelligent players.
Watch the clip, it helps you realise how much cover a sweeper can provide for your team.