F5. Finishing – The Cut-Back Pass / Shooting

F5. Finishing – The Cut-Back Pass / Shooting
1hr 45min
Quote of the Session:
Warm Up/Agility 10 mins
Rondo
Small Sided Game 30 mins

Coaching Points
Technical/Tactical 45 mins

Coaching Points
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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F4. Finishing – Shooting 1

F4. Finishing – Shooting 1
1hr 45min
Quote of the Session:
Warm Up/Agility 10 mins
Rondo
Technical/Tactical 1 20 mins
Shot Followed by 1v1
​The Set-up

Divide team into two groups (Red &White) with each group having all players in a line with balls with the exception of one player that stands approximately 5 yards away and facing his/her group without a ball. An additional disc is placed at the top of the penalty box arc.


The Game

When the coach (or the keeper) calls go. The first player in each line passes the ball to his/her teammate. The white player prepares the ball and shoots as quickly as he can. The red player receives the ball and immediately dribbles around the disc at the top of the arc and takes on the white player (shooter) in a “live 1v1” to goal. The passers now move forward to the open disc and face their line.

Coaching Points

  •  If possible, the player should look up to see the position of the goalkeeper, choosing a side to shoot the ball. 
  • Approach the ball. 
  • Plant the support foot beside or slightly ahead of the ball, which helps to keep the shot low. 
  • Keep the head steady and eyes on the ball. 
  • Make proper contact with the ball. 
  • Ankle of kicking foot is locked and the toe is pointed down if shooting with instep. 
  • Hips and knee of kicking foot are pointed in the direction of the shot. 
  • Follow through to keep the ball low (weight going forward, landing on the kicking foot).
Rotation options

  • switch lines after every turn
  • teams switch roles after every 4 minutes (make it a competition by keeping score)

Variation

Players in line have the ball in their hands and toss the ball to their teammate. This will increase the difficulty level of the reception.

Technical/Tactical 45 mins
US Youth Finishing Exercise

​The Set-up

  • On a 36x 30 yard field (double penalty box length) 
  • Divide the group into two equal teams. 
  • Create three 5×5 boxes as pictured. 
  • Have the two lines directly across from one another facing the central square.

Balls should begin with the goalkeepers.

This exercise works best with 10 to 12 players.
The Exercise

When the coach yells Go! The first player in each line sprints into the square and “opens up” into a wide position in their lower right hand box.

Note: When the player moves from the central square to the lower corner square, they should begin to position their body in a way that they can begin to see the field.

The goalkeeper distributes the ball firmly along the ground to the players “front foot”.

The player now dribbles the ball at speed toward the opposite goal and takes a shot. The shot should be taken prior to the player being in line with the lower line of the central box.

Coaching Points


Focus

  • Proper movement when “opening up”
  • Receiving
  • Running at speed
  • Finishing
  • Goal keeper distribution
  • Shot stopping
Progression below

The Set up

Same, but now all the players in line have a ball at their feet

The Exercise

Same as the initial exercise, but now the players must dribble into the central square, perform a sharp turn, pass the ball to the keeper prior to “opening up”.

This will force the keeper to deal with a back pass and distribute with their feet.

Additional Coaching point: As the player moves from the central to the lower corner box and the goalkeeper is playing them the ball, ask that they look over their shoulder to the goal that they are going to be attacking. “Can you take a look at the space you’re looking to attack next before the ball arrives?”

This is a great habit for the player to develop!

Small Sided Game 30 mins

5 v 5 Distance Shooting Game

Organization

  • Two teams of 5 including the GKs
  • Playing field of 35x25m., divided into thirds.
  • Strikers restricted to A1/3.
  • One goal at each end.
  • Goals can only be scored directly from the middle third of the field.
  • All balls in the goals.
  • Play starts with the GK.
Coaching Points

  • Be composed.
  • Look at goal on approach.
  • Square hips toward goal.
  • Look at ball & head steady.
  • Long step and stretch toe down, lock ankle.
  • Drive through the middle of the ball with instep.
  • Shoot low & to the side of the GK
Description

  1. The game begins when the GK rolls the ball out to one of the red players. The reds then inter-pass in an effort to get a player into a shooting position in the middle third. Strikers must stay in the Attacking 1/3 of the field but they can only score from rebounds. All other players can roam freely. The white team must try and win the ball so that they can attack and score on the reds in the same manner. Normal rules of soccer with the exception that the ball must be “kicked-in” when the ball goes out over the touch line. Any balls that go out of play behind the goal are restarted by the goalkeeper rolling the ball to one of his/her players.
  2. Progression: All restrictions are removed for the last 5-10 minutes and normal game of soccer is played, see below. 
  • Two teams with goalkeepers.
  • Playing field of 40x20m
  • One goal at each end
Regular play with minimal coach intervention.

P6. Playing Out From the Back 2

P6. Playing Out From the Back
1hr 45min
Quote of the Session:
Warm Up/Agility 10 mins
Rondo
Small Sided Game 20 mins
Playing Out the Back with Neutral Full Backs
Objectives

  1. Develop ability to play out the back.
  2. Develop transition.
  3. Develop general possession skills.


Organization

  • 40x35yrd area with 1 full size goal and 3 small gate goals.
  • 7 players (9 with progressions).  2vs2 (+2)+GK.
  • ‘No Press Zone’ using the 18yrd area, where the defending team cannot enter and press.
  • Balls readily available next to the coach positioned on the end of the playing area and by the goal post.

Instructions 

  • 2 Central Defenders (orange) play out from the back using the GK and the two Neutral Full Backs in blue.
  • If the Yellow team win possession they counter with the two blue players on the fullsize goal.
  • GK starts play by passing out to a CB in the’No Press Zone’.
  • Coach can also perform re-starts from the opposite end by feeding the yellow counterattack team.

Rules

  • Yellow players cannot enter the ‘No PressZone’.
  • Orange have only 20 seconds to score.  Can be modified as needed.
  • Play for 4 mins and then break for either a 30sec or 1 minutes rest period and rotate roles.

Player Roles

  • 2 CBs play in front of a GK and attempt to combine with the full backs who should be in wide advanced positions. When developing these positions you could select positions for the exercise based on your teams positions. 
  • The Yellow team attacks as the defending team is encourage to counter quickly with the two blue Full Backs on retreiving possession.


Progressions

  1. Addition of a 3rd defender for the Yellow Team.
  2. Addition of a Central Midfield player (no.6) to the team playing out the back.
  3. Decrease the size of the playing area to make more challenging.
  4. Touch limitations to 1/2 touch for the team playing out the back or remove the ‘No Press Zone’.

Scoring

  • Orange score in the small gate goals.
  • Yellow score in the full sized goal.

Coaching Points

  • Quick passing and movement with limited touches on the ball.
  • CBs open up wide.
  • Patience.
  • Switching Play.
  • Quick transition from the outside players.
  • Create supporting angles to play out from the back. Look to play forward whenever possible but do NOT force play.
  • Look to Play forward when possible to targets.

Diagram 1 – Set-Up

Basic set-up with the coach positioned on the end line.  Back 4 is arranged in a curved shape.  The two Yellow defending players are positioned behind the ‘No Press Zone’.

Diagram 2 – Building Play
Typical passing pattern to build out the back. The GK plays into the CBs who combine withthe Full Backs switching play when possible to open space to go forward.

Diagram 3 – Progression 1

Addition of a 3rd defender (Yellow Team)who defends behind the ‘No Press Line’.

Diagram 4 – Progression 2

Addition of another midfielder (No.6) who plays in front of the ‘No Press Zone’ and is used to combine and play out from the back.

Variations

Vary the size of the playing area to increase or decrease the difficulty level.
Notes & Observations
Use the ‘No Press Line’ as a tool to build confidence for players to play out from the back unopposed.  Expect players to make mistakes and goals to be conceded. Transitions can make this exercise quick and intense.  Supporting angles are important in this activity.
Technical/Tactical 45 mins
Claudio Reyna Passing Circuit

The Set-up:

  • Create a 10 x 10 Diamond with the two lines approximately 10 yards from the top and bottom of the diamond. 
  • There should be a player at each corner of the diamond.
  • The first player in each line should have a ball (2 balls total).

The Exercise

The first player in each line passes the ball into the top & bottom of the Diamond. The players receiving the ball turn to their right. As the player receiving the ball turns, the players at the corner of the Diamond move few yards backwards off of the disc.


Note
: This movement mirrors the movement of a wide player taking up a “side on” position where he/she can see the field.
The player receiving the ball at the corner of the diamond should play with two touches. One touch to prepare the ball and one to pass the ball to the first player in the opposite line.
All players should follow their pass!
Coach should rotate the direction of the movement every three to four minutes.

Coaching Points

  • Crisp passing
  • Turning with the ball
  • Body Shape/Opening up
  • Receiving the ball
  • Taking a look
Variations:

  • ask all players to “take a look” over their shoulder to the line they will be playing to next before receiving the ball.
  • Have the entry pass that gets played into the Diamond done “first time” (1 touch).
  • Add Keepers (pictured below)


Final Stage

The Exercise: 

The circuit remains the same, but now the players at the corner of the diamond receive the ball and finish it. They should try to do this in two touches, but may take a third touch.


Note
: Additional balls should be added to keep flow of the exercise.


All movements should still be carried out properly!

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

P5. Playing Out From the Back 1

P5. Playing Out From the Back
1hr 45min
Quote of the Session:
Warm Up/Agility 10 mins
Rondo
Small Sided Game 20 mins
Roy Hillier’ Playing Out From the Back

Phase 1. Playing From the Back

​The Set-Up
: (as pictured).

  • Divide the 50 yards by 40 Yard area into 3 zones (Back 3rd, Middle 3rd and Final 3rd)
  • Place 3 Backs in the back 3rd 2 Midfield players in the middle 3rd and 1 Striker in the Final 3rd
  • All players MUST remain in their designated Zones to start

Sequence

  1. Play begins with a throw or pass from the keeper or from a ball played to one of the 3 backs.
  2. The 3 backs inter-pass while looking for an opportunity to pass forward to their midfield team mate in the middle 3rd
  3. The midfielder upon receiving a pass attempts to pass to the ball to his/her striker in the Final 3rd who tries to score.
  4. Balls cannot be passed back to another zone

NOTE! Whenever the team in possession of the ball the team loses possession they must return IMMEDIATELY to their designated zones while the opposing team attacks using the same format.

Coaching Points

  • Move the ball quickly.
  • Accurate passes
  • Support the ball.
  • Support the player.
  • Encourage creativity.
  • Movement off the ball to create space.
  • One or 2 touch shooting.
Phase 2. Progressions

  • The back who passes the ball to the midfielder may join in the attack to create a 3v2 in the middle 3rd and the midfielder who passes the ball to the Striker may join the striker creating a 2v3 situation in the final 3rd
  • Players may either PASS or DRIBBLE the ball into the adjoining 3rd.
  • Balls may be passed back to another zone.

Phase 3. Progressions

  • Add an additional Striker to both teams.
  • After the ball is passed from the back 3rd to the middle 3rd any of the backs can join the midfielders in the middle 3rd. And any midfielder can join the striker in the Final 3rd after the ball is carried OR passed to the striker from the midfield.
  • All players may only advance 1 Zone. A back cannot go first to the middle 3rd and then continue his/her run into the final 3rd.

Phase 3. Final Progressions

  • Players may advance 2 zones. Backs can pass or dribble into the middle 3rd and then continue into the final 3rd to assist in finishing the attack. However only one player per zone can advance at one time.
  • Increase grid size.
  • Add players in the back to 4 if playing with a 4 back system and a 3rd midfielder to create a 9v9 competition.
  • Play a game while respecting the 3 zones.
Technical/Tactical 45 mins
Dick Bate Passing Box
Organization

Groups of 4 players with one ball. Place extra balls either in the grid or nearby to keep the exercise flowing in the event of mistakes.

The Square should be approximately 15×15 yards. There should be three discs at each corner of the square (as pictured).

The Goal of this exercise is to help program movements into our players while also helping them develop proper habits to read the game and play in a creative manner.

Coaching Points

  • Crisp Passing
  • Preparing the space
  • Head on a swivel -Can we take a look at where we want to play next as the ball is traveling?
  • Timing of support runs
  • Playing with various surfaces (outside of foot, inside, etc.)
  • Communication
Creating Separation from a Defender
Players should start on the furthest disc from the player they’ll be receiving the ball from (Player C & D’s position in the left hand picture).
1st Movement: When player B takes his/her first touch “prepares the ball”, player C should break off the disc “separate from the defender” and show into the space to receive a pass from B. Player D should now be prepared to separate from the defender on player C’s preparation touch. Exercise continues.
Moving Away from the Ball
Players should now start on the closest disc from the player they’ll be receiving the ball from (Player B, C & D’s position in the left hand picture).
2nd Movement: Just as player A is about to pass the ball to player B, player B drifts backwards (moves away from the ball) to create additional space before receiving the ball. When player B takes his/her first touch “prepares the ball”, player C should drift away (exercise continues).
Introduction of Midfield Connector
Players should now start on their central disc. Two midfield players (red) are now introduced into the exercise.
Final Movement: Just as player A is about to pass the ball to player B, player B “checks away” (moves away from the space he/she wants to receive the ball) to create separation from the defender. As player B is about to receive the ball one of the central midfielders should show for support. It’s important that the midfielder times his/her run to arrive on time (not to early, not to late). Can player B slip a pass to the midfielder and quickly move to receive a return pass?Note: The group of four does not need to enter the ball into the midfielders. Midfielders should keep a balance (one shows, one holds central) to mirror their movements and interactions in a match.
This is an outstanding warm-up to help program players with a proper skill set to meet the demands of the modern game, movement off the ball, timing of runs, crisp passing, taking a look!, but for the exercise to truly be effective, the coach MUST demand that all the movements & requirements of the exercise are carried out at game speed. Coaching Demand: If you let your players get away with things that wouldn’t work in the game during training! What is the point of training?
Small Sided Game 30 mins
  • Two teams with goalkeepers.
  • Playing field of 40x20m
  • One goal at each end
Regular play with minimal coach intervention.

D3. Dribbling – Technical

D3. Dribbling – Technical
1hr 45min
Quote of the Session:
Warm Up/Agility 10 mins
Rondo
Small Sided Game 20 mins
Recognizing Opportunity to Penetrate and Score
​The Set-Up: (as pictured).

  • 40 x 30 area
  • 12 Players – 5v3+GK and 2 additional players acting as counter targets
  • Supply of balls with server – Coach

The Game:

  1. Attacking server (A) initiates the game by passing infield to teammate. This player is the only attacker who is allowed to make a forward pass. Backward passes only are allowed from this point.
  2. Players then play 5v3 to the full size goal.
  3. Attackers score by scoring in the full size goal, but may only advance the ball by dribbling.
  4. Defenders score by dispossessing attacking team and playing to one of their two counter targets.
  5. If ball goes out, or a goal is scored, play always restarts from the attacking server – coach.
  6. If attacking team makes a forward pass, play stops, and restarts from the server again.
  7. First team to 3 points win, and then roles reverse.
Coaching Points

  1. Attacking team should always look to dribble and get defense on back foot.
  2. Isolate players 1v1 and look to beat them and attack the space behind.
  3. Attack at full speed to unbalance defenders more easily.
  4. Look to exploit space created by retreating defenders.
  5. Quality of preparation touches before end action, whether this is a shot or a cross from the end line.
Progression/Regression

  1. P – Play becomes 5v4 in main area, with the defensive team playing to one central counter target.
  2. P – Shots may only be taken from inside the penalty area.
  3. R – Attacking team is allowed one forward pass in each attacking team.
Technical/Tactical 45 mins
The German Box Combined
Organization
3 to 4 players in each line, with at least 2 balls per line. 10×10 inner box with an outside box that is paced off (8 to 10 yds.) at an angle from the inner box.

Note: All groups should be participating at the same time.

Coaching Points
Exercise 1
Dribble in, in a controlled manner, around the disc without touching it, and accelerate back to your line. Once the first player begins to accelerate back, the next player in line dribbles in to the middle. Note: Coach should designate which side the players dribble toward the disc from, lessons the chance of collisions with teammates.
Variations: Just with right foot, left foot, outside of right, outside of left, etc.
Exercise 2
Dribble in to the right side of your disc, accelerate to the next line. Continue until you get back to your line a 2nd time.
Variations: Same thing, but the other direction, full circle around the disc before accelerating to the next line.
Exercise 3
A player stands, “on his/her toes” without a ball, about 2 yards past the inner disc. The first player in line passes the ball to the player in the middle, the player in the middle touches the ball behind the disc to the other side “clears the space” and accelerates back to the line. The player that passed the ball now runs into the middle and assumes the position of the middle player.
Variations: Change the side of the disc the player is standing at, have the ball in the hands of the players in line and toss the ball to the thigh, chest, head, etc.
Exercise 4
One ball per line. Dribble in and around disc, pass the ball to the next player in the line and run to the end of the new line (same as exercise 2, but you’ve added a pass)
Variation: After you pass the ball, move to support, players need to combine before they go into the middle. Change direction of the movement.
Coerver 1 v 1
Organization
Field should be approximately 25 yards wide x 20 yards long. Set-up 2 two yard goals with discs, place a blue disc in front of one side of the goal. This designates that that side of the goal can’t be attacked. 2 small nets can also be used faced the opposite way.
Instructions
The first white player passes the ball across to the first red player. The Red player now attacks either goal. White moves quickly across to defend. If white wins the ball, he/she attacks either goal. Once a goal is scored or the ball goes out of bounds, the next white player passes the ball across and moves to defend.
Coaching Points

  • Firm pass across
  • Taking a player on
  • Recognition of which goal to attack
  • 1v1 Defending
  • Transition on loss of possession
  • Fitness
Progression/Regression
Rotation: White starts with the ball for 3 minutes and then switches roles with red. Allow each team to do both roles twice.
Variation: Play 2v2.
This exercise is best with groups of 8 to 12 players. It is physically demanding.
Small Sided Game 30 mins
  • Two teams with goalkeepers.
  • Playing field of 40x20m
  • One goal at each end
Regular play with minimal coach intervention.

D2. Dribbling – Recognizing Opportunity

D2. Dribbling – Recognizing Opportunity
1hr 45min
Quote of the Session:
Warm Up/Agility 10 mins
Rondo
Small Sided Game 20 mins
Recognizing Opportunity to Penetrate and Score
​The Set-Up: (as pictured).

  • 40 x 30 area
  • 12 Players – 5v3+GK and 2 additional players acting as counter targets
  • Supply of balls with server – Coach

The Game:

  1. Attacking server (A) initiates the game by passing infield to teammate. This player is the only attacker who is allowed to make a forward pass. Backward passes only are allowed from this point.
  2. Players then play 5v3 to the full size goal.
  3. Attackers score by scoring in the full size goal, but may only advance the ball by dribbling.
  4. Defenders score by dispossessing attacking team and playing to one of their two counter targets.
  5. If ball goes out, or a goal is scored, play always restarts from the attacking server – coach.
  6. If attacking team makes a forward pass, play stops, and restarts from the server again.
  7. First team to 3 points win, and then roles reverse.
  Coaching Points

  1. Attacking team should always look to dribble and get defense on back foot.
  2. Isolate players 1v1 and look to beat them and attack the space behind.
  3. Attack at full speed to unbalance defenders more easily.
  4. Look to exploit space created by retreating defenders.
  5. Quality of preparation touches before end action, whether this is a shot or a cross from the end line.
Progression/Regression

  1. P – Play becomes 5v4 in main area, with the defensive team playing to one central counter target.
  2. P – Shots may only be taken from inside the penalty area.
  3. R – Attacking team is allowed one forward pass in each attacking team.
Technical/Tactical 45 mins
Game of Tag with Safe Zone Squares
 Organization

  • Place some 3×3 yard squares in the grid
  • Select 1 or 2 players to be the taggers
  • Every other player has a ball and dribbles around the area
  • If a player is inside of one of the squares they cannot be tagged
  • Only one player is allowed in the safe zones
  • If another player enters the zone the other player must leave
  • If a player is tagged they switch roles with the tagger
  Coaching Points

  • Acceleration away from the tagger
  • Field awareness
Engaging Defenders and Isolating Them in 1v1 Situations
 Organization

  1. 20×10 yard area
  2. 3 players (2 attackers and 1 defender)
  3. 1 ball per attacker
  4. Repeat for up to 12 players

Instructions

  1. Attacking players start at the opposite end of areas
  2. Each attacker starts dribbling toward opposite end of area simultaneously
  3. Defender must try to stop players from reaching opposite end
  4. Attackers score one point for each successful run across area
  5. If defender dispossesses attacker and keeps the ball in the grid they switch roles
  6. First player to 10 points win
  Coaching Points

  1. Dribble with head up to see which player the defender is focusing on
  2. If defender is engaged, dribble toward their front foot to maximize options
  3. If defender is occupied with other player use the opportunity to accelerate into the space they are not guarding
  4. Make move more pronounced by throwing full body weight into the move
  5. Push ball away from the defender with the outside of the foot, thus keeping the ball out of tackling range
  6. Accelerate away from move toward the end marker
 Progression/Regression

  1. P – Both attackers start from the same end line and attack the same end
  2. R – Defender must stay in the middle for 10 repetitions even if they win the ball
Small Sided Game 30 mins
  • Two teams with goalkeepers.
  • Playing field of 40x20m
  • One goal at each end
Regular play with minimal coach intervention.