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Hope you are all doing well.
Our second week is officially in the bag with both our 8-9 and 10-12 group focusing on 1 v 1 defending, 2 v 2 defending as well as team defending. Our 6-7 group had the chance to work on their passing technique as well as receiving.
Here are the coaching points below:
8-9 and 10-12 Age Groups (Coach Ali & Coach Rich):
Main Coaching Points
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 - side on and show the attacker away from the goal)
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)
2 v 2 Defending
- Support and cover - one player goes to the ball (I got ball!), the other supports the front player and blocks the goal while also watching their own player
- Peripheral vision for the supporting defender - look in the middle of both the player you are marking as well as the ball. Need to see both and not just one!
- Supporting defender tells front defender which way to face (show left or show right). This way if the attacker with the ball beats the front player, the supporting player has an easier job stepping to the ball.
- COMMUNICATE - always need to be talking to one another in any given situation when the ball gets passed and one player has to behind to cover etc.
8-9 and 10-12 Age Groups Review:
For the most part in terms of the 1 v 1 defending, we had some pretty good success and players were working very hard. One point which was not mentioned above however is that when you get out quickly to get to your player and then get into your defensive stance, you DO NOT want to get flat footed. We saw a lot of players get beat because they were doing everything correct but then made that silly mistake. When you are flat footed and the attacker takes one touch past you, you are in deep trouble and will have trouble recovering especially against a faster player.
Players need to remember to force a player to go outside and away from their goal but some players were a step away from truly 'forcing' their player to go one direction. Players need to realize they cant give a step or two inside and cannot get into the habit of allowing players to come inside and let strikers shoot (even on their weak foot).
We need more captains, more leaders and with time, we want to work on players using their voices a bit more and getting out of their comfort zones. One of the keys to defending is communication and defending as a group as players cannot do it by themselves. Talk, help get your teammates organized when they are out of position and watch both the player and the ball if you are the supporting defender.
6-7 Group (Coach Rich):
Main Coaching Points
5 Stages of the Inside Foot Passing Technique:
1. Put your standing foot beside the ball - pointing at your target
2. Tighten your ankle to make sure your pass has power and to help with accuracy
3. Hit the ball with the inside of your foot (the big fat part - largest surface of your foot)
4. Strike the middle of the ball (this helps you get a clean pass)
5. Follow through pointing at your target (dont swing your hips!)
- Hips square towards the target
- Weight of the pass
- - -
Overall, I am happy with the progress over the course of the session. In general, we are looking for players to lock their ankle when passing, to ensure a crisp pass. This is a technique that will take time to perfect, and we look forward to incorporating it in the coming sessions, as it is a crucial element in the game of soccer.
Players need to remember to not lean back or hit the bottom of the ball as that will make the ball go up. It is important for the players to also remember to keep their foot straight when passing the ball and pointing to the side rather than curling their foot. This will stop their passes from curling and not going the direction they want it to go.
Although this weeks focus was mainly on passing, I look to incorporate fun weekly games and competitions which incorporate an intro to the elements of passing, dribbling, and evading the defender. As always, I encourage players to move away from the defender as they seek to create space and to communicate and call for the ball.
One last note- we encourage parents to remind the players that they should focus and listen to the coaches as they are speaking.
Well done to all and see you later this week!
Topic for next week: Passing/Possession