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It was great to be back on the pitch again for Week 2 of the Winter Program. Please review the coaching points & comments by your coaches to get additional feedback.
WEEK 2 TOPIC for 5-7 & 8-10 Age Groups - GROUND CONTROL
- Use the inside of your foot to control the ball (control the middle of the ball)
- Change the angle of your hips to take the ball where you want it to go
- Weight of your touch (are you hitting it too hard or too soft)
- Get away from the defender by accelerating away
- Protect the ball by putting your body in between the defender and the ball
- 3 Keys of Communication (voice, showing with your hand, & eye contact)
- Always on your toes ready to receive the ball even when its not a perfect pass
- Head up to see where your teammate is when passing the ball
WEEK 2 TOPIC for U13 - U15 High Performance Group - FIRST TOUCH + PASSING/RECEIVING
- Speed, quality and location of the pass (playing it where it needs to be played and away from the defender)
- Creating the correct angle and spacing away from the defender to receive the ball
- Keeping it game realistic, the speed of your checks and the intensity in which you play
- Speed and sharpness (quick to take the ball in the direction which helps you get away from the defender and then release the ball to your teammate)
- Protect the ball with your body (your body is in between ball/defender)
- Checking your shoulder/head up to see where your next pass is and where the defenders are coming from
5 - 7 Age Group - Coach Mo
We really enjoyed Saturday's session as it was a good progression from our first week. The main aim of this session was to get players more familiar with the ball and helping players to pass the ball with the correct technique while they were moving. With last week being really focused on the 5 stages of the inside foot pass, this week we wanted to get players moving with the ball at their feet and then trying to find a teammate.
It was definitely more difficult for players to execute the correct technique while moving but there was some good signs of progress by the end of the session. Apart from this part of the session, we then also included focusing on our control with the inside of the foot and taking the ball where we want. Players tended to either keep their foot on the ground (so the ball went over top) or too high (the ball went under their foot so we just need to work on having players set their foot in the right place to control the ball.
With this age group, we aren't too concerned yet with getting the ball going exactly where we want it but more so just with the control - we will work on this aspect this coming weekend!
8 - 10 Age Group - Coach Mahan
Players were able to pick up the control boxes with a good understanding with some of them having previous experience at our past sessions. The ability to take the ball where players wanted it to go was a mixed experience with a lot of players not always having their foot in the right spot which meant the ball popped over their foot or went in a direction they weren't trying to initially go.
Apart from working on using the inside of the foot and accelerating out of the box with speed, players needed to work on what they did after they controlled the ball. This is where play stopped down a little bit with players not knowing where they were going to pass the ball next. This will be the key part of working to combine the actual passing technique, the speed of getting away from defenders in the future and then being able to see and play the next pass with speed.
U13 - U15 High Performance Group - Coach Ali
It was a good progression from last week and I'm happy with the group as majority of them were exhausted at the end. We spent a lot of time on repetitions with the inside of our foot working in a triangle activity pattern where the focus was first touch (taking the ball in different directions) past defenders (a stationary pole) and then finding a teammate.
With it only being our second session, it was no surprise that our touches were still a bit rusty but it looked a lot better than last week. Once players started to get into the rhythm of things, by the middle/end the quality started to increase. There is definitely some players who came to reach that level faster than others but if you are one of the players who is easing you way back into things, don't be too worried - just keep working hard and the technique will come.
Last but not least for all players, if you were a player on the outside and not the player on the inside working, you need to make sure you are checking and creating space even when you are on the flat cones (players will understand this). You need to create space and keep it game realistic and show for the ball, this was the one area where all players did poorly but is something we can work on for this coming Saturday.
Always know where you are going to get the ball before you receive and constantly check your shoulders. Communication is part of the game is not something that is optional, it is mandatory. If you want to be a player who sticks out and wants to help their teammates, you will always, always, always be talking.
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Great job by all the age groups and we look forward to seeing you this weekend.
Next weekend's topic: Ground Control X2
Forever Moving Forward