Football/Soccer Session (Advanced): Controlling Possession to Switch Play and Penetrate

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Am-Club: Highland Football Club

Hasani McKenzie

Profile Summary

Hasani McKenzie
Name: Hasani McKenzie
City: Asheville
Country: United States of America
Membership: Adult Member
Sport: Football/Soccer
Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): 4v4+3 Rondo

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): 4v4+3 Rondo
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4v4+3 Rondo (10 mins)

Set Up: Use a 20*15 area (may need to adjust size of area based on developmental level of players).

The attacking team is on the outisde (red in this diagram) while the blue team defends. Both teams have four players. There are also three neutral players (two targets and one central). Team in possession try to move the ball from one target player to the other.

If the defending team (blue) wins the ball they become the attackers and must now position themselves on the outside while the red team would now become the defenders and position themselves centrally.

Coaching Points:

  • Always try to have open body stance when in possession to aid faster speed of play when in possession
  • Whenever ball is lost team must make quick transition to win the ball back starting with player that is closest to ball. All players must react quickly 
  • Immediately after losing possession players should try to get the ball back before the other team has a chance to get organized

Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): 6v6+2 To

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): 6v6+2 To
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6v6+2 To (15 mins)

Set Up:

  • Use an area 35*25
  • This is a themed possession game set up with two teams of six plus two goalkeepers/neutral players, who can both be used by whichever team is in possession.
  • It is played on a pitch with four wide target goals – each using poles – and a vertical line down the middle of the pitch, as shown in the diagram.
  • The team in possession can score points in two ways. They will earn one point by making 10 consecutive passes. They score two points if they switch the ball from one half of the pitch to the other and then dribble through one of the wide target goals – an example of this is shown in the diagram.
  • If a team scores through one of the wide target goals, they will regain possession and the coach plays a new ball into them.
  • Play for six blocks of three minutes.
Coaching Points:
  • SHORT SWITCHES - Short combinations could be used to transfer the ball across the pitch when there is pressure around the ball.
  • EXPLOIT OPPORTUNITIES TO PENETRATE - Players should recognize opportunities to travel into space after a switch of play. If the switch is made quickly, there should be space for the receiving player to travel into, which could lead to a two-point dribble through a wide target goal.
  • PATIENCE IN POSSESSION - The coach should encourage the in-possession team to be patient, not force the ball too early and wait for the correct passing option.
  • CREATING SPACE - The players supporting the ball should be aware of when to show close to the player in possession and when to offer in the opposite half of the pitch. This will ensure that space is created to create a possible switching opportunity.
  • SUPPORTING THE BALL - Players should be constantly offering support to the player in possession. Receivers will be under pressure at times, so it’s important their teammates’ support angles are correct and allow them to maintain possession.
  • USING THE SPARE PLAYER - The in-possession team should use the goalkeepers as spare players, to recycle possession, drag the opposition out of shape and create space to switch.
  • BALL SPEED - When switching play, the ball speed must be high to exploit any space left by the opposition. Players should be encouraged to punch their passes in to eliminate any opposition interceptions.

Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): 7v7 - Possession Game

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): 7v7 - Possession Game
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7v7 - Possession Game (15 mins)

Set Up:

  • Use an area 30*25 with an additional 5 yard channel on each side. There should also be an eight yard gate in the middle of each endline. 
  • Play 7v7 in the middle with 2 target players/goalkeepers positioned behind the eight yard gate. Any additional players can be used as neutral players in the side channel. 
  • Teams score by moving the ball from one target player/goalkeeper to the other. 
  • The players on the sides have a maximum of two touches 
  • After each block switch out the neutral players 

Coaching Points:

  • PASSING COMBINATIONS - In possession, players should look to combine, using nomore than two touches to create opportunities to passinto the end players. 
  • MAKING THE PITCH BIG - The team in possession should look to make the playingarea as big as possible, to open up space for otherplayers to receive and play forward. 
  • USING OUTSIDE PLAYERS TO CREATE OVERLOADS - Using the outside players can be extremely useful whenattempting to retain possession and open up forwardpassing chances. 
  • PLAYING WITH AN OPEN BODY SHAPE - Players should be encouraged to play with an openbody when looking to receive the ball. This shouldincrease the chances of receiving the ball on thehalf-turn and playing forward. 
  • FORWARD RUNS - Although the pitch is tight, players should be looking tomake forward runs beyond their opponent to receive inadvanced areas. This can help the possession team gainterritory and find the end players quicker. 
  • WIDE ROTATIONS TO CREATE OVERLOADS - The coach should encourage wide rotations to createconfusion in the opposition and potentially create wideoverloads.

Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): 7v7 Positional Possession Game

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): 7v7 Positional Possession Game
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7v7 Positional Possession Game (20 mins)

Set Up:

Use an area 40*50 to play 7v7. On one end line place three mini goals along and two gates as shown in the diagram. On the other end line place two mini goals. 

The attacking team (red) plays with three central midfield players, two wing backs, and two forwards (from a 3-5-2). 

The defensive team (blue) plays with a back four and three central midfield players. 

There are also 3 neutral players on the endline with two mini goals that play with the team in possession. 

The game starts with one of the neutral players playing into the attacking team (red) who try to score in the three mini goals; they can also score by dribbling through one of the two gates or playing a pass through the gate for a teammate to collect. 

Defensive team scores in the two mini goals on the opposite end line. 

COACHING DETAIL IN POSSESSION

  • PICKING THE RIGHT TIME - Team A should be patient in possession, and move the ball quickly to create spaces to penetrate when the time is right. Players should not force balls into tight areas.
  • POCKET RUNS - The coach uses the two target gates to encourage ‘pocket runs’ in between the opposition centre-backs and full-backs on each side. These runs can be difficult to defend, as the defenders’ eyelines can be restricted.
  • SMALL SPACE TO BIG SPACE - The coach encourages the attacking team to draw defenders in by playing in small spaces, before switching with quality into the opposite half of the pitch, where there are bigger spaces from which to create goalscoring chances.
  • MAKING THE PITCH AS WIDE AS POSSIBLE - Using the wing-backs to make the pitch wide will create space for central players to find pockets of space in which to receive. The wing-backs can also create good passing options in wide areas to play forward once they’ve received.
  • COMBINATION PLAY - The coach can use a maximum two-touch rule to ensure the players combine quickly. This increases the chances of moving the ball from small spaces to big spaces.
COACHING DETAIL OUT OF POSSESSION

  • COUNTER-PRESS - Both teams are expected to counter-press at every opportunity. Putting quick, aggressive pressure on the ball once possession has been lost will increase the chances of regaining it.
  • COMPACT TO RESTRICT SPACE - Team B players are encouraged to be compact at all times, to restrict space for the attacking team to play within. Distances between players must be small, with the challenge to force backwards and sideways passes.

Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): 8v10 Tactical Game

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): 8v10 Tactical Game
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8v10 Tactical Game (20 mins)

Set Up:

  • Use approximately three quarters of the pitch to play 8v10 to full size goals. 
  • In the diagram the team in red plays with 3 central midfield players, 2 wingbacks and 2 forwards from a 3-5-2 formation
  • Team in blue plays with a back 4, 3 central midfield players and 2 wingers from a 4-3-3 formation
Coaching Points
  • PROVIDE WIDTH - Wingbacks should provide width when team is in possession to force the defending team to need to cover as much space as possible 
  • QUICK COMBINATIONS - #6, nearside #8 and one of the forwards should look to create quick combinations then look for the outlet that allows you to switch play and exploit space
  • EXPLOIT SPACE - Once space opens up especially after a switch of play players must look to exploit space and create number up situations 

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