Hope you are all doing well.
Our seventh week is officially in the bag with our 6-8 age group working on 'Defending' and our 9-12 age group working on 'combination play'.
Here are the coaching points below:
Main Coaching Points
6-8 Age Group
1 v 1 Defending
1. Close down and curved run (get out to attacker as quickly as possible and block off goal)
2. Slow down (to help get into defensive stance)
3. Go down (get into defensive stance)
4. Stay down (bend your knees, get nice and low to stay agile with wherever attacker goes)
5. Be the Thorn (always let the attacker know where you are, stay an arms length away and if the attacker gets past you, never EVER give up)
2 Times the Defender has the Advantage:
1. When the attacker takes a bad touch (get a challenge in, make sure 100% you can win the ball)
2. When the attackers back is turned to his own goal (PRESSURE and do not let them turn)
9-12 Age Group:
- Use of combination plays (1-2s, overlaps, under laps, sids, freds) and when to use them, at what time, and where on the field
- Timing of runs
- Timing and accuracy of passes (forward passes so players could take their touch forward and attack with speed)
- Speed and desire to get forward
- Communication (eye contact, call and show where you want the ball)
- - -
6-8 Age Group:
With the younger group, the biggest area of improvement would be to focus on getting out the attacker as fast as possible and not giving up if the player took a touch past you. This was one of the areas that needed to be worked on the most as at this age, this is the real focus to make the player realize that they cant give the attacker time and space on the ball.
Although we did work on the technical defensive stance, at this age this is not the major priority but to let players know how they should line up to an attacker and where to show them was additional information which becomes important as they grow older and learn to defend against better and faster players.
For the older group, the real focus was on defensive stance, showing the attacker away from goal and not diving in. Too many players were running in too fast and diving in once we said to get to the attacker as quickly as they can and did not work on slowing down enough (second stage) to help them get into their defensive stance.
Majority of players have to work on patience and to remember to let the attacker make the first move and when they are confident to make a challenge, that is when they should do so.
9-12 Age Group:
Combination play is a huge area which this age group needed to work on and even after this session, still needs to work on. Many players are too comfortable making a pass and not having a real desire to get forward and push the attack forward - this is something tha really, really needs to improve. Players want to have a real desire to get up the field and make passes between defenders and push forward.
Using 1-2's and overlaps are prime examples that are simple and used very commonly and are incredibly effective in the modern professional game. Players need to understand that movement off the ball is one of the important areas in the game and not just having the ball is all that matters in soccer. They need to move to get the ball, get in better positions and make the defenders lives more difficult.
Passing technique in some of the sessions was not good and it was the simple part which players sometimes struggled with as sometimes the passes were not strong enough or accurate enough especially when players were making runs. Always remember to play a forward pass when a player is running and attacking forward so they can touch into stride to keep the attack with speed. Timing of runs was sometimes too early or either too slow and players need to have more awareness when to make those runs.
All in all, great job by both groups and see you all soon!