Clinic for parent coaches – Friday 10/16/2015
Topic: A progressive session in which the role of the 1st and 2nd attacker are highlighted. During the buildup of the session the 4 components of the game will be combined so players are exposed to game like situations.
At U9 and U10 the focus is mainly on small group tactics 1v1-3v3 to help players gain an understanding of the first principles of play. In this clinic the focus is on the 1st (decisions on the ball) and 2nd attacker (support off the ball). It is important to understand, as stated before, players need to gain a good understanding of the concept of shape to be able to support each other of the ball. Without an understanding of this concept, players will struggle to get open for each other due to a lack of space. This is caused by players who watch the ball and try to get open by coming to the ball. With as a result that players make the playing field a lot smaller. On a smaller playing field it is a lot harder to successfully play the ball to one another.
All these concepts can be trained in small groups, no need to go beyond 3v3 in practice, to help players gain an understanding of these principles. Without the shape, players will fail to find space to get open for one another. The 2nd attacker does need space to receive the ball. Obviously this affects the decisions made on the ball.
Our players also need to be technically capable of passing the ball to their team mates and receive the ball with both feet (and sideways on). The technical warm up of this clinic focuses on the concept of peeling off your opponent to create space for yourself to control the ball. When receiving the ball the players also need to control the ball with their far foot, the foot furthest away from the ball, while facing the field.. This constantly needs to be repeated and when the technique brakes down in the warm up face of a practice make sure to fix it, to ensure good habits are instilled. We do not want players to become complacent and make an attempt to receive the ball without creating space for themselves. It is also important that the players become comfortable enough to pass and control the ball with both feet.
The different 1v1-2v2 exercises give all coaches enough content for 3-4 practice sessions alone. In both variations players need be able to get open for each other, in an angle, and receive the ball so they are able to forwards. The supporting players need to make a decision on where to get open given the position of the opponents making sure a passing lane is always open. Ideally this is done off the weak side shoulder of your direct opponent. That way the opponent can’t see you and the ball at the same time.
The 3v3 exercise included in the clinic focused on the concept of shape. By using 4 small goals the players are naturally forced to spread out. To enforce this concept the team in possession of the ball needs to make sure they don’t have more than 2 players on 1 side of the field. If all players come to the ball, as mentioned before, the playing field is made a lot smaller. During the 3v3 game players still need to work to open up passing lanes to provide the player on the ball with opportunities to pass the ball. The angle and distance of the support has its influence on whether or not the team in possession of the ball can outplay their opponents.
If anyone has any questions about this clinic and the attached lesson plans please do not hesitate to contact me.
Director of Coaching – Westfield Soccer Association