By Alex Trukan
This practice is based on developing players’ endurance capacities to produce as many as possible high intensity actions. This happens through improving recovery time between high energy anaerobic efforts (i.e. player will recover after a sprint quicker). From the technical and tactical points of view, it focuses on developing possession and short passing combination play. It also contains an element of transition – if you lose the ball, try to win it back off the opposition. As this possession game is directional, it will be easier for the players to link it to the game and see the relevance of it.
Set-Up and Directions
Organise a 25 x 25 square with little zones in each of the corners as shown on the diagram below. Further divide the big area into four smaller zones (optional). Divide the team into two groups of five. Two players from each group start in the opposite two zones in the corners (target players). The remaining three players from each group start in the middle. Prepare a sufficient supply of balls to ensure intensity.
The practice starts from one of the target players who passes the ball out into one of his teammates. The aim of the team in possession is to transfer the ball across into the opposite target player.
One of the challenges that might be used to increase the movement off the ball is a rule where a player after passing the ball has to change the small square he is in (one of the four). Players can play the ball directly into the target player or combine together.
As soon as the ball is won by the opposition, their aim is to pass the ball into of the targets and then transfer it to the opposite side. Every time the ball gets transferred, a point is awarded. Both teams compete to score more points.
The game should be played for 1-3 minutes and repeated 6-10 times in 2 series. The rest (active) period between repetitions should be 1-3 minutes, and between series – 4 minutes.
- The ball can be only passed into a player in a different box (one of the four)
- Change of attacking team after a point is scored (ball played across into an opposition target player)
- 2v2/4v4 in the middle
By Alex Trukan, Development Coach, Nottingham Forest