If you want your players to create goal scoring chances like the midfield players at Barcelona, try this exciting and fast-moving game and you’ll soon see the benefits.
Filed under: Attack, Dave Clarke, defence, Goalkeeping, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: attack, Barcelona, coaching, goals, midfield, skills, tactics
Why use it
A session aimed at getting players to create and utilise space in midfield. With quick passing and movement, it should help open up the opposition and make goal scoring chances.
Create a playing area 40x20yards, with two goals back to back across the middle, but just one goalkeeper. We’re using eight players and a keeper for this session, plus a server who can be the coach. You need bibs, cones, balls and two small goals.
How to play
Start by serving a ball into the game. Players can score in either of the two back-to-back goals. If the keeper gains possession or the ball leaves the area, serve a new ball in. The keeper puts any balls he gathers into the net behind him. When a goal is scored, immediately serve another ball into the game.
Creating space in a match situation with fast and accurate passing will open up the room for midfielders to exploit. In this game a quick switch of play allows players to take advantage of one of the goals being unguarded – they must be aware of the position of the keeper at all times.
Filed under: Attack, Dave Clarke, defence, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: challenges, coaching, growth, how to talk to children, mindset, success
Filed under: Dave Clarke, defence, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: coaching, fun, shouting, training, under 5s
“Wow, brilliant!” I said.
Then she said, “I knew you’d say it was brilliant that we won, but we didn’t, we lost.”
Now I don’t consider myself to be a win-at-all-costs kind of coach, but my daughter has lived most of her 11 years on the touchline of youth pitches up and down the country and has obviously picked up on the celebration of winning and the type of language I use when the teams win.
The last thing I want her to feel is that she only gets praise if the team wins. The other thing to think about is that win or lose, within a few minutes of the final whistle, children’s minds are already on something else.
When I said to my daughter that it wasn’t the result I cared about but how she had played, she wasn’t interested as one of her friends had texted and her mind was already elsewhere.
It’s only the adults who are still raging hours later about the penalty that wasn’t given. So, as coaches, the lessons are huge – as the players in your team get older they will not remember winning the Under 12s Best Team Is The Winner Cup but they will remember the good times they had with the team and how their skills developed within the team.
Watching Gareth Bale playing for Real Madrid in the Champions League this week reminded me of the story where Bale, aged 15, had gone from being the fastest player to seventh fastest and was less of a match winner.
He was on the list to be released before the head coach decided he should stay. It was a development blip and of course the rest is history. But sometimes the development of a player seems to stall, but rather than sit them on the bench, keep playing them and they will reap the rewards of your foresight.
The question “How did you play?” in this instant is much more relevant to the player than “did you win”. I will be watching my daughter’s development with interest to see whether her comments were a one off.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: coaching, Louis van Gaal, man utd, manchester, Rooney, training
Louis van Gaal shows why he is such a good manager of players and gets the best out of them by showing a little love when Wayne Rooney does what he is told in training…
Filed under: Better Soccer Coaching Blog Guests, Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: Barcelona, cheats, coaching, communication, control, parents, winning
BY Alistair Phillips GUEST BLOGGER
Despite the best efforts of football’s governing bodies, some teams bend or even break the rules to give themselves an advantage. Here are some handy hints to help you get
the better of match day cheats…
STEP 1 RUN A CLEAN TEAM
Make sure your own team is squeaky clean and that all players understand the rules of the game and the expectations of players as stipulated in your FA’s Code of Conduct. If you have to take any form of action against a team that does turn out to be cheating, it will be taken much more seriously if you and your own players have a reputation for fair play.
STEP 2 STICK BY THE RULES
Prior to kick off present the opposing coach with your list of your registered players. By doing this you should encourage them to do the same thing and you will be able to check they are using only properly registered players. It also sets out your stall as a stickler for doing things the right way and as someone who holds the rules of the game in high esteem.
STEP 3 REMAIN DISCIPLINED
If a team you are due to face has a bit of a reputation or you have experienced problems when playing them in the past, remind your players of the need to remain disciplined at all times. Tell them not react to any heavy challenges or verbal provocation during the game but to inform you of any problems they have at half-time and at the end of the game.
STEP 4 CHECK WITH THE REF
When the referee arrives, make sure you introduce yourself and go through a few points briefly before the game. Ask that he punishes bad behaviour and foul play, perhaps letting slip you have had some problems with this in previous games. Then go to your opposing coach and relay the contents of your chat, making sure they are happy with this in advance.
STEP 5 DON’T INFLAME THINGS
Be vocal if you see any cheating during a game but in a way that will not inflame the situation. Remind your team to play to the whistle if a decision goes against you and try and establish eye contact with the referee when you do this. If things have got really bad, speak to the ref at half-time but remember to invite your opposite number into the conversation if you do so.
STEP 6 ALWAYS SHAKE HANDS
At the end of the game make sure your players shake hands with all opposing players. Listen out for any ‘under-thebreath’ remarks and, if you hear any, act on it by reporting what you hear to your opposing coach first. The match may be over but your opponents will remember this before you play them next time. Remember to congratulate your team for playing by the rules.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: coaching, david clarke, focus, shooting, speed, style, understanding
It all went horribly wrong last week – I coached a team of players and lost the focus of the session and the suitability of the challenges for the players who were doing it. It was my own fault. I had been asked to coach another team straight after my own session.
I hadn’t taken these players before but without giving it any thought, I decided to run the same session I had run earlier with one of my own teams. I had done no homework on the players and, as we started, I quickly realised I needed to change the focus of the session because they were finding it too difficult. Instead of adapting the same session, I whizzed through the library of sessions stored in my memory and started another one. It was far from ideal.
I should have just changed the dimensions of the exercise that I was using and made the session work for them. With my regular team the session had gone like a breeze because they were used to moving the ball around with speed and precision.
I have been working on getting them to pass like Spain, where defenders, midfielders and strikers link up with effortless ease thanks to some great combinational play. Short, sharp passing and clever movement was key to the session – the art of Spain’s wonderful play is dominating possession in this way. And my players coped well with the session, using intelligent passing and great teamwork.
However, when I tried the same session with the next group they weren’t able to use the same techniques or passing movement to make it a success and they weren’t getting the same fun out of it as my team had.
This caused one or two players to show their boredom in other ways so I had to go in and change the session. Rather than adapt it, I changed the session completely, but this just stripped away the focus and made the challenges I had set meaningless. I struggled on and forced the new session through but afterwards I was disappointed that I had ignored my own advice and tried to totally change the session rather than alter it to get their understanding.
I had been caught out because I took it for granted that the players would be able to cope with my session, even though I had never coached them before. It was a timely reminder that I should have focused on the players and their needs, rather than focus on the session – and that a session can be altered to make it work for different groups of players.