By Chris Kouns
USSF A License (USSF Coaching Education Instructor) – NSCAA Premier Diploma (NSCAA Coaching Education Associate Staff Coach) – Head Women’s Soccer Coach – Georgia Gwinnett College
In these activities we are assisting higher level players in their decision making with the ball and their transition to attack when they win the ball.
Possession vs Pressure
Create two 12 x 12 grids with two mini goals (one on each end). On each field will be a 2 v 4. Time limit for each mini game is two (2) minutes. After each game change the pair in the defending unit.
The team of four will be trying to possess the ball and will get a point if they are able to split the defending pair. The defending pair is working together to win the ball and then finish on either of the small counter goals.
- You can make it a contest focusing on keep a tally for each player. So, as people switch roles they will continue to add up both their goals when defending and their splits when they were in possession. This can help focus on the competitiveness of a player as well.
- In possession constantly readjust your body position as the ball moves. Each pass should allow you a new angle with movement.
- Be patient with the ball and make possession a priority. Keep the ball and if you lose it work to win it back ASAP so that your team can not be hurt by the loss of possession.
- The pair should work together to close the ball in one area. Once they win it the player on the ball must be able to finish immediately or should quickly release it to their partner to relieve pressure.
Possess and Penetrate
Create three grids that are each 12 x 12. There will be three teams of four (4) which are divided as follows: In one end you will begin with four players in possession and two players defending. In the central grid there will be two defenders waiting to enter the opposite grid and defend when the ball transitions over. In the third grid four attackers will be moving to receive the ball from the top grid.
The team in possession will try to possess the ball for a designated number of passes (according to the technical ability of your players). Once they have done that then they will look to play across the central grid to the team in the third grid. At that time the two defenders waiting in the central grid will enter and try to win possession of the ball. To begin with the defenders in the central grid will not stop the ball. They will let it get across and once it is received they will enter and defend. The defenders in the grid will look to win the ball and play it in possession to their partners in the central grid. If they are successful then the team that gave the ball away becomes the four defenders.
- Four in possession must make sure their body shape makes them available and their movement aids in possession options.
- When passing look to play balls that are controllable or that can be received away from the defenders.
- When playing the longer ball into the other grid focus on the pace of the ball and work to keep it on the floor so it will be easily controllable.
- The group of four off the ball should be moving while the other grid has possession so that they are easily accessible. They must be in their field of vision to invite the penetrating pass.
- The defending units should also move in the center based on their partners. Do not wait at the end line for the ball to cross, work to be in a position that if your defenders win it they can get you the ball!
4 Goal Penetration
Create a 25x40 grid with two small goals along each end line. There will be 12 players involved with 4 v 4 on the field and then 4 neutrals outside of the grid on the sides. Play for two or three minute scenarios.
- Neutral players have a two touch restriction
- Ball must go to a neutral before that team can score
- Mandate a number of passes prior to a team being able to score
- Allow teams to score on any of the small goal or to score on the diagonal pairs of goals
- Recognize the space that is available to create a number up opportunity using the neutrals.
- Work to make sure your positioning in possession has the ability to get the ball from the player on the ball as well as at least one other player.
- Look for combination opportunities such as:
- a) Wall pass exploiting the space behind the defenders
- b) Give and go in front of the defenders when you can get directly to goal
- c) Third man running combinations off the neutral players and their limited touches
- d) When playing a ball back pedal so that your forcing the defender to follow you or the ball
By Chris Kouns: USSF A License (USSF Coaching Education Instructor) – NSCAA Premier Diploma (NSCAA Coaching Education Associate Staff Coach) – Head Coach Georgia Gwinnet College Women’s Soccer (GA)