Soccer coaching session to make actions easier to remember
Repeating an action helps players memorise what they have to do and recognise when that action can be most effective during a match. The repetition of the action makes it easier for your players to remember it – the easier the action is, the easier it is to remember. This simple session called "Action replay" can give your players the ability to pick up the ball near the penalty area and make creative runs into the area opening it up for a shot or killer pass.
Keeping players "in the zone" can be easier said than done, especially in training. In an ideal world, coaching sessions would have all the same fire and importance as a match day setting, but it is difficult to recreate that same passion when there is nothing really at stake.
The best way to keep players engaged, of course, is to practise moves in which they feel they are really gaining enjoyment or experience.
Basic patterns of play, for instance, provide good ways for young players to showcase a variety of skills, while match-like combination exercises give coaches a real platform on which to build tactical moves.
So here’s an exercise that replicates what your players are doing in matches when on the attack – namely, making runs off the ball, receiving passes, turning, progressing forward and shooting at goal.
Anyone can play this move, though the server is very important so you may, at first, want to perform this role yourself.
There’s nothing to say that, further down the line, you can’t place your best passer in this position because it is always useful to know you have an accurate supply line for getting quality balls into the penalty area.
How to set it up:
- For this session, use bibs, cones, balls, a goal and a goalkeeper.
- Create a playing area measuring 40x30 yards – alternatively, use a standard penalty area extended down the pitch by 12 yards.
- Place cones along the 18-yard line – one near each corner of the penalty box and the other in the middle.
- The coach and a line of players line up 12 yards back from the penalty box.
- Players take it in turns to run left and right of the server towards the edges of the penalty area.
- As the player reaches a cone, he receives a precise pass from the server.
- The player then turns and dribbles along the 18-yard line to the middle cone.
- Here, he turns towards goal and, moves into the box, and shoots.
- He must despatch his shot before reaching the penalty spot.
- The player then returns to the back of the line.
Why this works:
Players are making forward runs without the ball, then turning to receive it. This is an important part of your team’s play. Making runs off the ball is the way your team can exploit the space around them and get into dangerous positions.
This session involves long passing, receiving, forward runs without the ball, running with the ball, turning and shooting.
This session originally appeared in Soccer Coach Weekly.
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