Football/Soccer Session (U18): Defending as a midfield unit

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James Ballin, Adult Member

Profile Summary

James  Ballin
Name: James Ballin
City: Flushing
Country: United States of America
Rank: Elite – 0 points
Membership: Adult Member
Sport: Football/Soccer

Description


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Warm up

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Warm up
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Warm up (10 mins)

Organization:

Players work in groups of three

Markers are set up to define midfield shape - Triangle with one holding player

Instructions:

The coach passes a ball to one of the three players

The receiving player step up and passes the ball back to the coach

The other two players move to take up defensive shape

Coaching Points:

1. Distance between the three players should remain compact throughout

2. Movements should be made quickly to deny space between players

3. When the central player steps out the outside players should fall back and in

4. Communication between players - pressure, cover, balance

5. Correct form as the player completes the SAQ section of the exercise

Progressions:

To begin the exercise the passes from the coach are made in sequence - as the exercise progresses the passes from the coach become more random


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Group

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Group
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Group (15 mins)

Organization:

35x15 yard area - two boxes of 15x15 with a 5x15 yard central channel

3x Groups of 5 players - two attacking groups and one defending group

Instructions:

Two defenders move into the an end zone to press - 5v2

The attacking group need to make at least three passes before transferring to the opposite box

The defending group centrally must screen the pass through and force attacking group to play through the unprotected areas (shown in shaded area on the diagram)

If the transfer is successful pressing players recover into the middle, while two new defenders move into press.

Coaching Points:

1. The pressing players should work as pair to cut the area in half and force the forward pass

2. The screen players in the central channel should shift with the ball and stay compact

3. Shape is key to deny the penetrating pass - the warm links into how we expect players to move centrally to deny the penetrating pass

4. Communication between players - screen player to pressing players - Establish a common language

Progression:

Initially practice this for 90 second bursts at high intensity before rotating defense group.

Later on progress so that each attacking team has two lives before switching in as the defensive group


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Team

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Team
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Team (20 mins)

Organization:

Half field

Attacking group of six players and one server (three forwards and three midfielders)

Defending group of seven players and goalkeeper (four defenders and three midfielders)

Instructions:

Objective for the attacking team is to score into the goal, the group is advised to play into the central striker whenever possible

Objective for the defending group is to win the ball and score on the counter goal (marked out with flags)

When the ball goes out of play the exercise is restarted from the serving player

Players are limited to three touches to encourage quick ball movement and passes into the forward line

Coaching Points:

1. Shape in the central midfield as the ball moves - compactness, mobility

2. The holding midfield needs to screen passes into the central striker - body position, awareness

3. Distance between back line and midfield needs to be compact - back line should look to step up to deny space when passes are played backwards or sideways

4. Communication between units - central defenders need to be vocal and help organize

Progressions:

Allow serving player to join to create overload in the midfield - How do we solve the issue with comprising shape centrally?


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Play

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Play
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Play (20 mins)

Organization:

60x44 yard area

8v8 - teams set up in a 3-3-1 formation

Instructions:

Free play - if the ball goes out for a corner start the game from attacking teams GK to create a trigger for defending group

Coaching Points:

Application of all points

Game stoppages should be limited to allow players to apply understanding


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Movement
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Pass
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Pitch Line 1
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Shaded Pitch Area
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