Objective: To develop the decision-making of the player in possession
The Set Up: Magic Rectangle - The overall pitch size is 40x30 with the central third being 16 yards long.
Ball Work - This takes place in the central rectangle, players are asked to go and stand along the line of yellow and red cones or the orange and blue cones - there choice. Players are then asked to dribble the ball across to the opposite line of cones performing various feints or change of direction moves that the coach has chosen from this blog post, at least once.
Players work back and forwards between the lines of cones and change to the next skill on the coaches request. Allow them at least 4 or 5 attempts at each skill.before changing.
Passing - Having watched this Coerver Coaching video on the FourFourTwo Performance website, I thought it would be something the team would enjoy if I could make it easier for them, They enjoy pretending to be professional players or playing small sided games that are associated with professional teams. Just using one ball solved that problem.
Each player was given about a minute in the middle before they changed with another player, ensuring everyone got a turn in the middle. I then repeated the exercise but removed the restriction on always passing to the player in the middle.
2v1 Line Soccer - Using the rectangles in the centre of the pitch pair up players to create 2x1 games, if you have odd numbers have some of the better players play 2v2. Can the players use some the creativity from the previous exercise to create scoring opportunities? No restrictions are put on the players insisting they pass, let them decide what works and what doesn't.
After a few minutes swap the players around so that each pair plays the role of the defender.
Lane Soccer - In this small sided game the channels running the length of the pitch are used. The diagram shows the game with different cones, if you use the magic rectangle set up, there is no need to change cones as the channels have already been created. As well as creating lots of 1v1's and opportunities to switch play, it also has the added benefit of preventing younger players from bunching up. Each team must have at least one player in each of the three zones. They can receive, pass and dribble but can't go out of their zone. Goalkeepers can be used if required.
Players run, get open and mark defensively inside their zone. For older players, if they leave their zone (even if it is just by stepping over the line), they concede a free kick wherever the infringement took place. After a few goals, swap the players to a new zone.