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Figure 8 Passing Drill

By Matt Carroll –

The Figure 8 Passing Drill is designed to both work on acceleration, as well as deceleration, a concept that is rarely addressed except maybe in teaching touch-tight defending activities. Deceleration allows players to quickly move from full speed to an appropriate speed for playing or receiving a pass, which will leave opposition players scrambling to make adjustments.

Setup:
Place two coaching sticks 15-20 yards apart Place one player in front of the coaching stick and one player/coach with a ball about 10 yards in front of them

Execution:
The activity starts with the player in front of the coaching stick running around the back of the opposite coaching stick. As soon as they round the coaching stick the player with the ball should play them a ball which they then one touch pass back, this is where it is key for the player to break down his feet and decelerate in order to play the pass in a controlled manner.

After the pass the player then moves to round the opposite stick. As they do the passer then must get to the opposite side with the ball to provide the diagonal pass. After set time the coach blows the whistle and the passer and runner switch.

Variations:
– If the movement becomes too complicated, get rid of diagonal pass and have the pass come from the same middle area the passer/coach started at, this also makes all passes medium distance rather than longer distance diagonal passes.
– Have the coach/passer move to the same side as the runner and have them receive a short pass, take the ball around the opposite coaching stick, have the coach/passer run to that sides as well and engage in a brief 1-2 with the player then repeating the action by dribbling to the original coaching stick.

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By Matt Carroll

Diamond Color Game

By Matt Carroll –

The purpose of the diamond color game is provide the player with a series of verbal and visual cues which will force them to utilize the correct technique and body position to play a series of passes or dribbles.

Setup:
Setup will be determined by the number of “passing players”, walls, or rebounders available. If there are a total of 5 players and a coach setup four cones around a central player (distance between cones and central player should be adjusted for age and skill) and give each player on a cone a different colored bib and a ball. Have a coach away from the diamond with a handful of the pinnies that match the color of the players with the pinnies.

If there are limited players replace the players with balls, rebounders or cones.

Execution:
If playing with “passing players” the coach starts by verbally calling out the color of a player in the diamond. That player passes to the player in the middle who returns the pass. Before the central player can play the return pass the coach should call out another color so that the central player must complete the pass and quickly get into position to receive and deliver the next pass.

From there the coach can increase difficulty by:
-Calling a sequence of colors so that the player must memorize where the ball is coming from
-Have the central player receive from one color and play to another color by having the coach call out two-three colors at a time.

Variations:
-If there is limited players assign a color to a wall or rebounder and play with one central ball
-If none of these are available just place the cones where players would be and have the coach play a pass to the central player and then call out a color. The player must then quickly decide how to receive the pass effectively to move in the direction of the colored cone, dribble around that cone, pass back to the coach and get their body set to receive another pass once they get central again.

 

By Matt Carroll

Triangle Shoulder Check Drill

By Matt Carroll –

Skill based drills are fantastic for developing technique but sometimes players find it tough to transfer their skills in isolation into the game, that is why it is important to strike the right balance between repetition and variability. The Triangle Shoulder Check Dril provides repetition of receiving on the half turn and checking the shoulder, but forces the player to adjust to ever changing visual cues. Seeing the use of the technique in various contexts means they are more likely than to see a similar context in game, and therefore execute the technique in that situation.

Setup:
Create a triangle of cones and include a passer about 8 feet from the front two cones. Include another coach at the top of the triangle holding that cone. If only a player and coach are available replace the passer coach with a rebounder.

Execution:
Stage 1: Players receive a pass on the half turn towards the far cone, dribble around it, then dribble to the next cone and lay off a pass after they pass that cone. They then receive a pass pack and repeat the action the opposite way. Players should be reminded to check their shoulder once before the pass is made and then again while the pass is en route.

Stage 2: This time a coach is holding the far cone. When the ball is being passed the player receiving must check their shoulder to accurately decide where the cone is being thrown so they can take the appropriate touch toward that far cone.

Variations:
Coaching sticks can be used, the coach can become the physical cone for the back cone as well

By Matt Carroll

Receive With a Change of Direction

By Matt Carroll –

The purpose of this individual technique drill to provide repetition of receiving into a change of direction with a high level of repetition and variability.

Setup:
Set up a rebounders about 10 feet in front of a player and ten feet to their left. This can also work in the corner of a room or gym as long as the wall provides a significant rebound.

Execution:
First the player plays with their right foot against the wall or rebounder in front of them. It may be helpful to have a certain point on the rebounder marked out as the passing target to ensure accuracy. When the ball comes back they should open up their hips and receive the ball with their back foot and take a touch in the direction of the other rebounder. They should then pass the ball with their left foot and repeat the action with the focus on body position, using the appropriate weight on the pass, placing it in a way that it comes to their back foot, and having a touch that plays the ball into the route of their next pass

Variations:
Variability in this situation is pretty endless but some suggestions are:
-Have the player receive on their right foot with the sole of their foot, then roll the ball over towards their left foot so they can hit it with that one and repeat.

-Play all one touch passes by letting the ball played with the right foot roll across their body and position their body so they can hit the ball squarely with their left, and repeat.

-Receive the ball back square and then perform an L turn to square up to the next rebounder

By Matt Carroll

Touch and Turn Drill

By Matt Carroll –

This small touch and turn drill is a useful one for midfielders. The turn can be used to draw the defender towards one shoulder then quickly turn and find the space vacated by their heavy press.

Setup:
Setup about eight feet away from a rebounder or wall with a cone five feet behind you and a ball at your feet.

Execution:
Start by playing the ball off the wall/rebounder with enough pace that with a small touch with the outside of your foot it will reach the cone on your right foot.

Once the cone is on your right side take a touch with your right foot to push the ball the other side of the cone. With the next touch, also with the outside of your foot push the ball around the cone back towards the rebounder far enough that the ball is in the general area of your first pass.

Now play the ball off the wall with your left foot and receive on your left side and repeat the entire action. After you have done this 1-3 times take a 30-40 second break and repeat between 3-5 times.

By Matt Carroll

Dribbling Passing and Receiving Drill

By Arthur Bell –

Setup:
Area – Half pitch.
Players x 12 – 20
Markers x 12 red.
Balls x 4

Outside players have a ball each.

Execution:
Player 1, dribbles towards cone in front, turns and dribble back to initial marker and turns again.
Player then plays a pass to player 2 in the centre.
Player 2 receives and plays ball to player 3.
All outside players start at the same time.

Players follow their pass.

Variations:
1. Change direction of the drill.
2. The player must perform a named 1 v 1 skill e.g. stepover, to make space round the marker before the pass.
3. The player must perform a 1 v 1 skill of their choice to make space round the marker before the pass.
4. For passing and receiving only, remove the inside dribbling markers.

By Arthur Bell

1v1 Small-Sided Game

By Arthur Bell –

Setup:
Area – 20yd x 20yd box.
Players x 4 black, 4 yellow & 2 red
Markers x 9 red.
Balls

Execution:

All players stay in their zone.
Each team tries to work the ball from one end red player to the other.
Players have unlimited touches.
The same end red player cannot receive the ball twice in succession.
Points are scored by progressing ball from end red player to opposite end red player.

Variations:
1. The ball must go through at least two zones before going to the opposite end red player.

2. The ball must go through all four zones before going to the opposite end red player.

3. Introduce end goals.

By Arthur Bell

Give and Go Drill

By Arthur Bell –

Setup:
Area – 20yd x 20yd box.
Players x 6
Markers x 6 red.
Balls

Execution:
Player 1 plays to Player 2 and then closes Player 2.

Player 2 plays a “one two” off Player 3 and around Player 1.

As soon as Player 2 has played the “one-two”, Player 3 closes Player 2.
Player 2 plays a “one-two” off Player 4 and past Player 3.

As soon as Player 4 has set ball back to Player 2, Player 4 closes down Player 2.
Player 2 plays a “one-two” off Player 5 and around Player 4.

Player 2 passes to Player 6.
Then the process starts again in the opposite direction.

Variations:
1. Players play a maximum of two touch.
2. Players play one touch.
3. How many sequences in a specified time e.g. two minutes?
4. Compete against another group.

By Arthur Bell

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