Hope you are all doing well.
Our ninth week is wrapped up with our 6-7 group worked on shooting and our 8-9 and 10-12 age group worked on defending as a team.
Here are the coaching points below:
6-7 Age Group (Coach Rich):
Attacking in Numbers/Overload
Focus was on Diagonal Foot technique
- 45 degree run up
- Ankle tight!!!
- Strike with the big bone (diagonal foot position - right under the laces)
- Hit the middle of the ball for maximum accuracy and power
- Follow through pointing towards your target
- Focus on the ball
8-9 Age Group (Coach Ali & Coach Rich):
Defending as a Team
- Understanding your position in a team when defending
- Cover the middle
- Closer to your own goal, show them away from net
- Curved run to block goal
- Support and cover, one player marks the player with the ball, the other covers while also watching their own attacker
- COMMUNICATION - who has who, who should move where, when do we pressure, when do we hold?
- Get in tight but don't dive in...
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6-7 Age Group (Coach Rich):
This was by far one of the best sessions of the program. The players were lively, fully active and we had success with our strikes.
The technique we were trying to focus on this weekend was the diagonal foot strike. Players were having some success but only when their ankles were tight and they were hitting through the middle of the ball. It was also important to include the aspect of momentum in terms of their strike when running up to the ball.
Also, we worked on our first touch out of feet which also helped generate power with players being able to take their touch, have a proper run up and hit the ball. The main thing once again is to focus on the ball and not lose contact and to focus on the technique the entire way through. This will help show rewards.
They need to practise this technique at home in their space time and over the holidays!
8-9 & 10-12 Age Groups (Coach Ali & Coach Rich):
The biggest thing that the group lacked was communication and we strongly believe this had nothing to do with the group being from different clubs and also different environments. Defending as a team is transferable as long as the players know their roles and players know where they need to be depending on where the ball is.
When players pressured together and moved up their shape together, we saw great success in closing teams off and cornering them. But when only half the players do the job and the others dont, gaps appear and this is when the other team can break you down. If one player isnt doing their job or in the right place or not communicating, everything can break down in a snap of a finger.
Once both teams started to realize the middle was the most dangerous area, we saw players drop more into the middle, realizing that they DO have time to get out to the player who is wide AS THE BALL TRAVELS to that attacker. This is essential for players to remember as if they just stay with that player and come out of position (not blocking the middle), then other attackers can just come in that gap and receive the ball.
It was good to see us have success not only with the pressure system but also with holding back but this was definitely a harder concept for the group to grasp in that we let the attackers come to us and clog the middle and make it very hard to play through a clump of players.
Communication lacked once again and we need leaders to ensure everybody is doing their job on a defensive platform.
Other than that, well done and we will see you all very soon!