Saturday, 14 April 2012

Passing the Mourinho or Real Madrid Way?

In December 2010 I put together a practice plan Passing the Barcelona Way? My guess at how a youth coaching session at Barca may look. In the last couple of days I have watched a video of Jose Mourinho coaching and compared that to the copy of the supposed "39 Drills" bible that I have (download them here), from which I have put together a training experience that I think he might run with a young grassroots youth team. 

You can view the video of his session, which I first saw on Ricky Clarkes blog here.

The Set Up: Magic Rectangle - The overall pitch size is 50x30 with the central third being 20 yards long.

Warm Up: Ball Work - One of the things Jose talks about in the video is for young players to be warming up with a ball and he says practising passing routines is one way that we can achieve this. Using the outer rectangles here are two ideas for you:

In the exercise above three players stand between two cones on the edge of the rectangle, a player passes the ball to a team mate and moves the to the gap between two cones that no one is standing between, thus recreating movement into space.and passing triangles.

Above is a simple pass and move exercise for four players. Each player stands on the outer edge of the rectangle, when passing the ball they follow their pass to their team mates line.

Work in small groups: Passing Under Pressure - The session would then be progressed by running the same exercises as the warm up but adding a player to the centre of each rectangle who applies either limited pressure or full pressure - dependant upon the ability of each group. Don't forget to rotate the player in the middle!

Before moving onto the next part of the session move the four central cones out 5 yards to make a 20x20 playing area.

Work in small areas: Drill 21 - Players play 3v3 or 4v4 in the 20x20 playing area with 2 unopposed neutral full backs in outside channels. Teams can only score by playing the ball into someone who gets the ball under control in the end zone. Players can not dribble in themselves, or arrive before the ball.

Group Work: If you have watched the video then this small sided game should be self explanatory. Each team has different objectives, the White team are looking to get the ball forward to the Striker for a shot at goal. The centre back, right back, left back and striker for the White team play unopposed outside the central area. The Blue team play 4v2 or 5v2 (depending on the number of players you have) their objective is the same as the previous game, to get the ball into the zone the White teams Centre back occupies, by playing the ball into someone who gets the ball under control

One of the things that Mourinho talks about in the video is the need for youth players to learn to play different positions, so take the opportunity to switch the objectives around so each team gets to play both roles and switch player roles around too,

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

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Dribbling To Shoot

Objective: To encourage players to beat opponents 1v1 and shoot at goal.

The set up: Magic Rectangle - I set up each rectangle as 10 yards wide by 15 yards long. Overall pitch size of 30x45, but make it appropriate to your players age and ability.

Warm Up: Shooting - As each of the players arrive give them 3 footballs each and send them to one of the rectangles (at least three players to each area) and let them do what all players enjoy doing - take shots at goal. After a minute or two walk around to each area and ask them to try shooting with different parts of both feet. The running to collect the balls they have smashed around the field will get their hearts pumping!

Revisit each area once more and ask them what parts of the foot they have tried, get them thinking about how else they could shoot? Players should be taking turns to shoot and go in goal.

Work in small groups: Dribbling to Shoot - Player 1 dribbles towards the goal and takes a free shot at the goal (with keeper), Having taken the shot player 1 now becomes the defender and tries to prevent player 2 from scoring. Player 2 starts dribbling when the first players takes his shot. Players should all take it turns to perform each role  and be encouraged to try different shots. Make it easier by asking the player defender to only apply passive pressure.

Work in small areas: 2v1 Shooting - The set up is the same as the warm up, except the goalkeeper now becomes a defender and is trying to prevent his opponents scoring. The attackers take it in turn to dribble towards goal, as the defender challenges, the attacker in possession has to decide whether to pass to his team mate or take on his opponent, or shoot straight away. Again get the players to experiment with different parts of the foot. Better players can be challenged by adding a keeper as well as the defender. To make it easier allow the defender to apply passive pressure only.

Group Work: Scoring Game - A standard 4v4 or 5v5 small sided game but with big goals and no goal keepers allows players to score from anywhere on the pitch. Its really easy to score a goal in this game so players learn to dribble to get space for a shot at goal. Using team overloads (4v5, 6v4 etc) the game can be made easier of harder for the players.

Follow this with a normal game. Focus on the skills learnt in the session, giving particular praise to players taking the players dribbling to create scoring opportunities

Monday, 9 April 2012

Ball Mastery

Readers of the blog will know that this season I have been starting most sessions off with helping the players to learn new ball mastery skills, some simple and many I have had to learn to do myself.

Here are links to the skills I have been asking the players to learn, in no particular order, in the hope that most will be able to perform half a dozen or so and to start executing them in games. Seeing one of the players who at the start of the season would toe punt everything, use the Pele zig-zag to beat two defenders and slot the ball in the far corner of the goal is certainly one of the highlights of my season.

1 - Toe Taps
2 - Tick Tocks
3 - Pull Push
4 - Scissors
5 - Stepover
6 - Ronaldo Chop
7 - The Puskas
8 - Drag Back
9 - Sole Drag
10 - Rivelino

11 - High Wave
12- Low Wave
13 - Pele
14 - Cruyff Turn
15 - Stop Turn
16 - Outside Hook
17 - Elastico
18 - Okocha
19 - Maradona Turn
20 - Romario