Category Archives for General Coaching

Races with and without the ball

By Sean Reed –

Objective
This session focus’s on putting players into competitive races, which can challenges aspects of movement including their acceleration, deceleration, speed and movement. This session can be used as part of the warm-up.

Set Up – Races without the ball
The session is set up with a middle area (home) with 3 poles, depending on the number of players involved. Each pole will have a colour, which is allocated to each one of the players. Then there is 4 other areas, with the relevant coloured cones making up the area, which the players will be collecting and returning to the home area (placing them on the respective pole). The areas outside the home area can be anything up to 30yds award, with the cones being placed approx 3yds within each other.

The players can only return one cone at a time and the must go round another pole before going out to collect another cone. First player to collect all 4 cones wins. See Diagram 1

Progressions
• Changing the number of poles they must go round before going out to collect a new one
• Activities in-between for example, when the cone is return, must lay on the ground and get up before going out to collect again

Set Up – Races with the ball
The session is set up as within the previous session. On this occasion a ball is introduced, so the player will run with the ball to collect the cone and return back into the area with the ball. See Diagram 2.

Progressions
• Changing the number of poles they must go round before going out to collect a new one
• Activities in-between for example, when the cone is return, must lay on the ground and get up before going out to collect again
• Using only a specific foot (right or left)

Set Up – Races with different movements
The session is set up as within the first session. The players are now required to perform an alternate movement going out to collect the cones (for example – running backwards, jockeying etc). Then they can run forwards when returning back into the middle (home) area. See Diagram 3.

Progressions
• Changing the type of movements when and where

Some Coaching Points
• Awareness of next movement
• Preparing body shape
• Initial movement – first few steps
• Work ethic to achieve good speeds
• Deceleration on approach (Body shape, foot movement)
• Next phase

By Sean Reed
Former First Team Coach of Championship team Fulham FC. Sean is a UEFA A Coach with a Masters in Sport Coaching. He has over 15 years of experience working in professional football from Academy through to First team in the Premiership and Championship.

Web – www.seanjreed.com
Twitter – @SeanJReed

7v4 Transition Exercise

By Sean Reed –

Objective
This session focuses on possession with an overload, managing possession within a small area, working on passing and supporting angles. The team defending are looking to win possession of the ball to encourage a positive transition.

Set Up – Transition
The session is set up in an area 15-20yds x 15-20yds. The teams are split into 3 groups; 4 players (black bibs), 4 players (yellow bibs) and 3 neutral players (red bibs). The players are set up initially as; players in black bibs are the team in possession with support from the players in red bibs and the team in yellow bibs is defending.
The team in possession are positioned with the fours corners of the pitch, whilst the neutral players are positioned with 2 players on the outside of the area, both end and 1 player inside the area. The defending team are free to move anywhere within the area. When the defending team forces a mistake or wins possession the teams switch roles. See Diagram 1

Progressions
• Restrictions on the number of touches
• The neutral players can not pass to one another
• Restriction on the number of touches for neutral players

Set Up – Transition (in & out of the area)
The session is set up as within the previous session. Within this session the team in possession can receive the ball either within the area or outside the area. See Diagram 2. When the team is in possession they are on 2 touches inside the area and only 1 touch when outside the area.

Progressions
• Restrictions on the number of touches inside and outside the area
• Restriction on the number of touches for neutral players

Set Up – Transition with Goals
The session is set up as within the previous session. For this session two goals have been included for the defending team to attack when they win possession. As soon as possession is turn over they are looking to get a shot off into either goal. The team that has lost possession is looking to prevent the team from shooting. See Diagram 3.

Progressions
• Restriction on the number of touches

Some Coaching Points
• Movement to receive the ball
• Quality and tempo of play
• Angles of support
• Knowing next movement and pass
• 1st Touch changing the direction of play
• Range of passing to switch the play
• Maintaining good width and distances
• Transition in possession (focus of mindset)
• Transition out of possession (focus of mindset)

By Sean Reed
Former First Team Coach of Championship team Fulham FC. Sean is a UEFA A Coach with a Masters in Sport Coaching. He has over 15 years of experience working in professional football from Academy through to First team in the Premiership and Championship.

Web – www.seanjreed.com
Twitter – @SeanJReed

Playing Forward

By Sean Reed –

Objective
For this session we are focusing playing forward and supporting the forward pass.

Set Up
The session is set up within an area approx 30-40 in Length by 25-30 Width. It is 4v4 in the middle with 2 players from each team at each end.
The team in possession can score a goal when the ball is played into one outside player and then worked down to the other outside player, retaining possession of the ball (the player outside is on 1 touch). See Diagram 1

Depending on how long the session is played for, players switch from the outside to the inside.

Progressions
• Restrictions on the number of touches
• The player who plays a pass into the end player cannot receive directly from that player. Another player must receive the ball. See Diagram 2

Set Up – with Goals
The session is set up as within the previous session, but with the inclusion of 2 goals, 1 up each end. The players on the outside are positioned either side of the goal.

A goal is scored when the ball is played to an outside player and then played back into an inside player to score into the goal. The ball must be played by the player receiving the ball immediately into the goal and cannot be passed to someone else (2 touch). See Diagram 3.

Progressions
• Restrictions on the number of touches
• The player who plays a pass into the end player cannot receive directly from that player. Another player must receive the ball.
• 1 touch finish on the inside from the ball received from the outside
• Introduction with 2 goals. Outside players are in the middle and goals either side. The teams have 2 goals to score in. See Diagram 4.

Some Coaching Points
• Movement to receive the ball
• Looking for opportunities to pass forward
• Supporting the ball
• Forward runs
• Timing of movements and creative runs
• Weight of pass
• Control of finish

By Sean Reed
Former First Team Coach of Championship team Fulham FC. Sean is a UEFA A Coach with a Masters in Sport Coaching. He has over 15 years of experience working in professional football from Academy through to First team in the Premiership and Championship.

Web – www.seanjreed.com
Twitter – @SeanJReed

Finishing from 4 Areas

By Sean Reed –

Objective
For this session we are focusing on a finishing session; receiving the ball from 4 different areas in order to finish on goal.

Set Up – Part 1
The session takes place in around the in around the penalty area. Players include: 1x GK / 4 x servers / 1 x attacking player. The players serving and attacking will rotate. The attacking player has 4x finishes on goal (max 2 touch per finish).

Ball 1: Attacking players starts goal side of the pole / marker. Played on the angle to receive on the back foot and finish with the right food.

Ball 2: As with ball 1, but on the left foot.

Ball 3: Attacking player gets goal side of the pole, a ball is played from the central server to the wide player who takes a touch past the pole to then deliver a ball into the middle.

Ball 4: As with ball 3 but on the other side.

The attacking player must then finish by running past the two central servers. See Diagram 3

Progressions
• Apply a time limit in order to complete the 4 finishes in (i.e 1 min)
• Ball in wide areas can be delivered either in the air or on the ground

Set – Up – Part 2
The 2nd part of the session continues from the previous finishing session, but for this part of the session we have included a defender. The starting position for the defender is just a few yards off the attacking player. They can make their movement as the ball is played from the servers.

When introducing the defender for the initial few goes the defender can be there to apply passive pressure, after which they become live and apply full contact. For the ball in wide areas, as the attacking player gets themselves goal side of the pole, the defender becomes active

Some Coaching Points
• Movement to receive the ball
• Body shape when receiving the ball
• 1st touch
• Shot across the goal
• Being positive to attack the ball
• Get across the front of the defender
• Work rate, to get back goal side
• Clever movement to lose defender
• End product on target

By Sean Reed
Former First Team Coach of Championship team Fulham FC. Sean is a UEFA A Coach with a Masters in Sport Coaching. He has over 15 years of experience working in professional football from Academy through to First team in the Premiership and Championship.

Web – www.seanjreed.com
Twitter – @SeanJReed

Managing the Underload

By Sean Reed –

Objective
For this session we are focusing on challenging the players with an under load in possession as oppose to an overload. Challenging the players to maintain possession under pressure, managing the ball individual, creating passing and goal scoring opportunities.

Set Up
• 3 Players within an area (5-7yds)
• Two teams (2 = Red / 1 = White)
• The player on their own is looking to keep possession of the ball from the other team (2 players)
• It is the length of time the single player can keep possession of the ball
• If the red team wins possession then they will make a few passes before playing the ball back
• The coach can work for a set period of time 60-90 secs then switch the players round
• See Diagram 1

Progressions
• Develop the game into a 3v2 possession
• The size of the area will increase (10yd x 10yds)
• The objective is for the team in white bibs (2) to keep the ball away from the team in red bibs (3)
• The score can be calculated based on the number of consecutive passes made and/or the amount of consecutive time the team kept possession
• See Diagram 2

Progressions
• Develop from the 3v2 possession into a directional possession
• See Diagram 3
• The team with 2 players are scoring in two goals
• The team with 3 players are scoring in 1 goal
• The game can start in favour of the team with 2 players as the emphasis is on managing the underload
• However, the coach can change and adapt how the game starts

Some Coaching Points –
• Strength / Use of body / Body position between ball and player
• Ball control under pressure managing the ball
• Tempo and speed of moving the ball
• Angles of support
• Passing the ball and receiving safe side
• Exploiting games
• Creating 1v1 situations
• Confidence in possession
• Positive in possession

By Sean Reed
Former First Team Coach of Championship side Fulham FC. Sean is a UEFA A Coach with a Masters in Sport Coaching. He has over 15 years of experience working in professional football from Academy through to First team in the Premiership and Championship.

Web – www.seanjreed.com
Twitter – @SeanJReed

Forward Runs – Breaking Lines

By Sean Reed –

Objective

This session focuses on forward runs, breaking the lines to create goal-scoring opportunities.

Set Up
• 2 teams (5v5 upwards) with 2x GK
• Pitch is 25-30yds wide, depending on the number of players
• 18yds each GK area and middle area 25-30yds
• Ball starts with GK, one player from the attacking team can drop in to receive the ball (unopposed)
• Ball is played into the area and the team in possession are looking to create opportunities by playing a pass into the attacking third, where only 1 player is allowed to go into it
• The player making movement into the attacking zone must time their run, and can not be in there before the ball is in there (space, ball, player) or before the ball is played (depending in the coach)
• Once in the final third the attacking player has 2 touches to shoot
• If the team score they retain possession from their GK
• See Diagram 1

Progressions
• Restriction on touches
• Number of passes before a forward pass can be played into the attacking third
• When the player drops down to receive the ball from the GK, an attacking player can drop in to create a 2v1
• As above, but another player can drop down to create a 3v1
• See Diagram 2

Progressions
• In the attacking third a defender can drop in to defend the attacking player
• As above, but an attacking player can join in to create a 2v1
• See Diagram 3

Some Coaching Points – Attacking
• Angles to support the ball
• Looking to play forward
• Support to play back to play forward
• Timing of runs, from deep, across the line
• Creating space for players
• End products

By Sean Reed
Former First Team Coach of Championship side Fulham FC. Sean is a UEFA A Coach with a Masters in Sport Coaching. He has over 15 years of experience working in professional football from Academy through to First team in the Premiership and Championship.

Web – www.seanjreed.com
Twitter – @SeanJReed

Receiving, Passing and Dribbling

By Anthony Hazelwood –

The ability to successfully control a ball during a receiving or dribbling action is crucial to meet individual and team tactical agendas. This activity aids the player to practice a first touch into a vacant space action and to follow it up with a dribbling change of direction activity.

Technical Activity:

Area Size:
Pair of red cones 1 yd. away from each other.
A pair of blue cones located left and right 5 yards away from the pair of red cones.
One yellow cone located 7 yds. above each pair of red cones (see diagram below).

Total Activity Time: 10 minutes.
Sets: 1 set.
Activity Repetitions: 10 repetitions for each player.
Time of Activity Repetition per player: 30 seconds.
Intensity: Moderate.

Objectives:

Technique: Different receiving, dribbling, and passing variation patterns at moderately high ball speed.
Concentration Level: High.

Setup:
Players are placed into pairs. Each pair goes to a passing station.
Each passing station includes a pair of red cones one yd. away from each other.
A pair of blue cones located left and right 5 yards away from the pair of red cones.
One yellow cone located 7 yds. above each pair of red cones.

Exercise 1:
To start, the player on the black cone will pass to the teammate at the red cones.
The player in black will play a first touch (punch the ball) in between the red cones.
Then a dribbling action in between the two blue cones.
Once this is accomplished, the player will change directions and quickly dribble to the yellow cone go around it and make a pass to the teammate (see diagram below).

Once the ball is passed to the teammate, the yellow player will make a run to the starting space and perform the activity on the other side.

Each player repeats and performs the activity five times for 30 seconds with these variations.

Variation:
If variation is needed, then the routine may be performed with corporal restrictions.
Hands behind the back.
Hands behind the head.
Hands on shoulders.
Hands on hips.
Hands extended straight up into the air.

Coaching Points:
Make sure to practice receiving with different foot surfaces and to complete first touch and dribbling accuracy in between and around the cones.
Always alert and on their toes, focus is key.

By Anthony Hazelwood

Current Seattle Sounders Academy Performance Coach with previous European academy coaching experience as an assistant fitness and strength/conditioning soccer coach with Levante U.D. (2013-2014) and Getafe SAD CF (2015-2016) in Valencia and Madrid, Spain respectively. A USSF “A” licensed coach with a BSc in Physical Education and an MSc in Sports Training and Nutrition.

Individual Passing and Receiving

By Anthony Hazelwood –

Passing and receiving a soccer ball during a match is a penetrative or possession-based action between a pair of soccer players. The ability to perform these actions will be dictated by a decision-making process guided by the presented on-field scenarios. To solve these on-field situations, these two points should be considered:

• There is no one way to perform a technical execution.
• No action will ever be the same.

However, via individual biomechanical subjective actions, predominant passing and receiving technical executions will be performed by an athlete and mimicked more than others. Therefore, each player has a predominant reactional playing habit or neuromuscular behavioral pattern that is typically executed and in theory observed more than others.

To summarize, the scenario and tactical decision-making action will dictate a technical action to solve the soccer specific scenarios in a match or competitive practice setting. Therefore, adding variations in already learned technical execution patterns is important for player improvement to further solve in game situations.

Technical Activity:
• Area Size: Pair of red cones 1 yd. away from each other – blue cone located 3 yd. away from red cones.
• Total Activity Time: 20 minutes.
• Sets: 1 set.
• Activity Repetitions: 20 repetitions for each player.
• Time of Activity Repetition per player: 30 seconds.
• Intensity: Low to Moderate.

Objectives:
• Technique: Different passing and receiving variation patterns at moderately high ball speed.
• Concentration Level: Moderate.

Setup:
• Players are placed into pairs.
• Each pair goes to a passing station.
• Each passing station includes a pair of red cones one yd. away from each other.
• A blue cone is placed three yards away from the red paired cones.
• See below diagram for setup.

Exercise 1:
• To start, the player at the blue cone will pass to the teammate at the red cones.
• The objective for the player at the red cones will be to receive the ball and slightly punch the ball between the red cones.
• Once the ball goes in between the red cones, the player will quickly shift to the other side of the red cones and quickly pass the ball back to his teammate.
• The player at the red cones will now be on the other side of the cones and will repeat the same action on each side of the red cones.
• Each player repeats and performs the activity five times for 30 seconds with these variations.
o Hands behind the back.
o Hands behind the head.
o Hands on shoulders.
o Hands on hips.
o Hands extended straight up into the air.

Exercise 2:
• To start, one player will have the ball and will stay central and between the paired cones.
• The objective for the other teammate is to one time pass the ball back at the left, in between and the right side of the paired cones (as seen below).

• Each player repeats and performs the activity five times for 30 seconds with these variations.
o Hands behind the back.
o Hands behind the head.
o Hands on shoulders.
o Hands on hips.
o Hands extended straight up into the air.

By Anthony Hazelwood

Current Seattle Sounders Academy Performance Coach with previous European academy coaching experience as an assistant fitness and strength/conditioning soccer coach with Levante U.D. (2013-2014) and Getafe SAD CF (2015-2016) in Valencia and Madrid, Spain respectively. A USSF “A” licensed coach with a BSc in Physical Education and an MSc in Sports Training and Nutrition.