P2. Possession – Improve Game Awareness

P2. Possession – Improve Game Awareness 1hr 45min
Quote of the Session: “Football is simple but the hardest thing to do is play simple football.” “Johan Cruyff – was a Dutch professional football player and coach
Warm Up/Agility 10 mins
Passing Square
These series of drills work on passing, communication, and teamwork. These are NOT necessarily a progression but rather some options to use as a warm up.
First start with four groups in four lines with a ball with the first person in lines 1 and 3. (see diagram)
The first player in line 1 passes to the first player in line 2 and then sprints to the back of line 4. At the same time, the first player in line 3 passes to the first player in line 4 and sprints to the back of line 2. In other words, pass counter clockwise and sprint clockwise. (see diagram below)

The emphasis in this drill is in passing not only in the right direction but actually passing to the correct foot (in this case the pass would always be played to the right foot). After doing this for a short time, change the direction of the pass and sprint. If you want to add some additional conditioning, have them pass to the right and then sprint to the left but ending up where they passed (in other words line 1 passes to line 2 but then sprints behind line 4 and line 3 to get to the back of line 2). If you do this, the sprints will have to be run hard in order to get ready for your next turn.
There can be a lot of variations to the drill. You can have the lines go far apart and have chipping to the lines followed by a sprint. Or, have a player receive the ball, do a move, and then play the next ball. The only thing limiting you in this drill is your imagination.
Small Sided Game 15 mins
Touch Game
Working with three teams (numbers depends on how many players you have, e.g. it can be 4 v 4 + 4 or 5 v 5 + 5 etc). Teams (1) and (2) work together to keep the ball from team (3). If team (3) regains possession the team who gave it away becomes the defenders. The defenders reward is they keep the ball and link with the other team.
Once possession is gained, to establish who gave the ball away the player who gave the ball away calls the color of his team and then everyone knows they are now defending and the game continues without a stoppage. With younger players it may be best to do this (because the ball may be given away a lot more for one thing);
Coaching Points

  • The players must move the ball away from pressure. If they get 2-3 passes in the same area, then they need to move it away to another area right away.
Increase difficulty for attackers by:

  • Reducing the zone size. 
  • Decreasing the number of touches on the ball of each player. 
  • Conditioning the passing to be only to the other attacking team’s players e.g. (1) only passes to (2) and vice versa, therefore only half the numbers of passes are available per player. 
  • Using two balls so that as they pass one ball they are now increasing their awareness and vision by looking for the other ball coming. 
  • Players take off their pinnies so they really have to look and can’t rely on color identification. 
  • No talking or pointing, so players have to rely on their own vision. Prohibiting verbal communication 
Technical/Tactical 50 mins
1 v 1 Back to Pressure

  • 20×30 yards field
  • 2 Pugg goals OR 2 normal goals with GKs
Coaching Points

  • Check at an angle to receive the ball 
  • Check your shoulder to see where the defender is approaching from 
  • Turn as soon as you can safely 
  • Finish quickly 
  • Be ready to transition to defense after you pass the ball into play

 A player receives a pass from their teammate while a member of the other team is pressuring them from behind. The attacker tries to turn and score in either of the two goals on the side of the area. If the defender wins the ball they can counter attack and score in either of the goals. Once the attacker either scores or loses the ball out of bounds the defender shows for a pass from their teammate and the player on the other team who previously passed the ball into play becomes the defender.

Small Sided Game 30 mins
  • Two teams with goalkeepers.
  • Playing field of 40x20m
  • One goal at each end
Regular play with minimal coach intervention.

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