Football/Soccer Session (Moderate): Session Planning - RRR - Realism

Profile Summary

Paul Keigher
Name: Paul Keigher
City: Manchester
Country: United Kingdom
Membership: Adult Member
Sport: Football/Soccer
Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Pitch Geography

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Pitch Geography
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Pitch Geography

It is important to note that sessions needs to be game realistic and have achievable goals for all players.

 

Topic (session title)

Before we even start to plan a session we think about what our topic is going to be. This may be shooting, dribbling, defending etc. Once we have nailed down our topic we can then move forward. Just for the purpose of this post let’s say we are looking to plan a session on defending.

 

Pitch Geography

If we are looking at defending we ask ourselves: Where on the pitch would this session take place? The defensive third, the middle third or the attacking third?

 

If our session title is ‘defending’ we would be looking to utilise the defensive third within our session plan to keep the session realistic. ‘Defending in the defensive third’. This is where we are going to plan.


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Formation

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Formation
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Formation

Formation

The next thing we will start to think about is our formation. What format is my team playing? Are we playing 5-a-side, 7-a-side, 9-a-side, or another format? We also start to think about what the oppositions formation may be. For the purpose of this session we are playing 7-a-side and both teams are set up in a 2-3-1 formation.


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Setup - stage 1

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Setup - stage 1
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Setup - stage 1

We are looking at yellows defending their own goal and the blues are acting as the attacking team. We will then look again at the area of the pitch we need to make the session realistic and start to remove all of the players that won’t be affected in that area of the pitch. If we are looking at defending we are most probably going to need the following players


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Setup - stage 2

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Setup - stage 2
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Setup - stage 2

So the blues are looking to attack the big goal, now what can the goal for the yellow team be once they win the ball? It is important we add a challenge to reward the yelows for winning the ball back, otherwise the task seemingly becomes meaningless for the players involved - we need to remember realism. You could either add goals on each wing for the yellows to attack once they win the ball back or insert ‘target players’ that act as goals, when the reds play a pass into them. For our example here we are going to add target players in the middle 3rd, to encourage playing through the thirds. Once the yellows regain possession their 'challenge' is to play a pass into one of their midfield players.


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Setup - stage 3

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Setup - stage 3
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Setup - stage 3

Keeping realism in mind the game is now 5v1 in favour of the defending team. We need to bring in the blue midfielders - we're now 5v4.

 


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Entry and Exit of the ball

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Entry and Exit of the ball
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Entry and Exit of the ball

Entry/Exit of the ball

We now look at where the ball would enter the field of play to keep the practice realistic. If we are working on defending we wouldn’t want the ball entering the field of play from the goalkeeper. In this instance we would probably want the ball coming in from just outside the defensive third (possibly from a blue central midfielder). The blue central midfielder will start the practice every time the ball goes out of play to re-enforce our topic of defending. There will be no corners, throw-ins or goal kicks, the blue CM starts play every time their is a break. Keep all balls near so a fast start can be created.


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Primary players

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Primary players
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Primary players

Primary Players

We now start to look at the players which we would want to effect within our topic of ‘defending’. These players are the ones who we are going to spend the most time working with and giving information to during the practice. In this instance we would be looking initially at the back two and GK(yellows). We would be working with them to try and improve their defending knowledge and skills during the practice. You could break this down to just working with two wing backs / centre backs / full backs and the GK and then after a period start to work with your centre midfieder, left and righ midfielders.

 

Technical and tactical detail

Now we have the session set up, we look at the detail or coaching points which we want to deliver to our defenders. What kind of information do we need them to know to be successful both during this practice and on match days? Once we have this information planned and written down it is much easier to intervene once the practice is live. We already know what we want to see from the players, now its time to really do your job as a coach and communicate that information across to your players in the most effective way.

 


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Movement
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Pitch Line 2
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Pitch Line 3

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