Thursday, 5 January 2012

Taking on and Beating Opponents

Objective: To encourage players to take on opponents in 1v1 situations

In our last session we focused on beating opponents who came from in front of the attacker, but we all know that is not the only place you face opponents, Sometimes they appear from the side or behind, so that will be the focus of this session.

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.

Line Soccer 1v1 - In this set up a gate is placed along the inside edge of each of the outer rectangles. Split players into pairs, if you have an odd number have one group as a three. Players stand between the cones in the central, the attacker stands on the outside with the ball and the defender stands on the inside. The attacker is trying to dribble the ball across the defender and between the cones. The defender cannot go until the attacker touches the ball, if the defender gets possession the exercise is restarted. Get them to imagine they are in game, they have got the ball in midfield and they need to beat the opponent chasing them of them by using a change of direction or feint.

If you have a group of three, get them to play 2v1, don't have one standing out, or taking turns. Have 2 players play as defenders.

Line Soccer 2v2 - This is just a simple progression of the previous activity. Using the middle and the attacking third play 2v2 or 3v2 across two of the wide channels/rectangles. The pitch is deliberately long and narrow to produce more 1v1 opportunities and options for the player in possession to dribble when there is space.

One team will be the attacking team the other will play as the defending team. Explain to the players that the attacking team are trying to get the ball in the goal if they can dribble the ball into the goal they get an extra point. The defending team are trying to gain possession of the ball and score by getting the ball back to the start, recreating the scenario of getting the ball away from danger and towards the opponents goal. Change the roles over so both teams get to play as attackers and defenders, also consider swapping groups - so the players get to play against different opponents. Encourage them to dribble rather than keep passing.

Group Work: Line Soccer – The players are then split into two teams, 5x5 or 6v5, whatever suits your group. The four central cones and the goals used for the previous drill are removed.

The game is played the same as Line Soccer but with the use of the whole pitch and the support of extra players and no goalkeepers. Players score goals for getting the ball in the goal if they can dribble the ball into the goal they get an extra point. You can award extra points for players beating defenders who are chasing them back.

Follow this with a normal game. Focus on the skills learnt in the session, giving particular praise to players taking the players on 1v1.

Our diagrams are produced using session template software (with new functionality) from Academy Soccer Coach. Click here to visit their website and access free soccer downloads