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Tools, Tips & Techniques

28 April, 2010 issue 157

1-2-GOAL Under 4s - Under 16s

Simple one-two passing around the penalty area can reap rewards for the attacking team, but players must move and support or it will not work, says David Clarke Teams can create opportunities around the penalty by playing passes into team mates to take advantage of any space. This not only creates goal chances, but could also force the defenders into making rash challenges giving free kicks in dangerous areas. I get my players to practice one-two-shoot as often as possible in training so it becomes second nature in games. Teams like Barcelona and Arsenal play one-twos around the penalty area waiting for gaps to appear in the defence. In youth games the gaps will appear much more often and this is an ideal way to take advantage of them.

Movement with the ball


A Plyer A plays a one-two with B and C before shooting.

Simple one-two to goal l Use a goal with a goalkeeper and two cones, one 16 yards from goal to the left of the goalkeeper and the other about 22 yards from goal to the right of the goalkeeper. l One player stands at each cone. The other players stand directly in front of the goal, 30 yards away. l Player A plays a wall pass with player B, then another with player C and then shoots. l Every four shots, B and C switch positions with other players.

More advanced one-two to goal l You need a goal, a goalkeeper and three cones. l Player A stands around 30 yards from goal directly in front of it. l Players B and C stand to the side, 16 and 22 yards away. l Player A passes to B, then moves up to the central cone to receive a pass. l Player B plays a square pass to A and overlaps. l Player A passes the ball to C and runs to B’s cone.

C B A Player A plays a one-two with player B who overlaps and receives a pass from player C before shooting. movement




l Player C passes the ball to B at the end of the overlapping run, and B shoots. l After shooting, B moves to C’s cone, and C goes back to A.

“When he has the ball he just somehow creates something from nowhere” Barcelona’s Maxwell on Messi

Coach development


Under 4s - Under 16s

The art of coaching children Do you know when your players’ concentration levels are at their peak? 2. Learning zone:

In order to optimise your training time it is important to understand how your players’ concentration levels vary during a training session.

Once players are properly warmed up they achieve an optimal concentration level. This is where to do your main coaching, teaching new skills and techniques, and executThere are three distinct zones to your coaching sessions and ing more advanced decision making games. players’ concentration is different in each one.

3. Fatigue zone:

1. Warm up zone: Concentration is always poor at the start of a session. Players will have come from another activity and will be physically and mentally cold. You need to mentally “kick start” them during the warm up.

Towards the end of the session the players get tired and their ability to concentrate drops rapidly. They will find it very difficult to take in new information and execute complicated tasks accurately. Use this time to focus on basic core skills or fitness.

Include some simple decision making games and exercises to get them thinking.

It is also a good time to focus on decision making, as this is the first area to suffer when players get tired.

David Clarke’s touchline tales Sometimes you can get it right in training, but it doesn’t work on match day We had not been taking advantage of corner kicks in recent matches, so I dedicated a whole training session to working out how we would play them, who would take them and where the players would move when the kick was taken.

I thought the opposition would have problems clearing and we would create lots of chances In the game the corner takers fulfilled their roles brilliantly. The ball was going in to the areas we had identified in training as the ones we would attack. Unfortunately the other players were not moving into the areas the ball was going. We had six corners in the first half but didn’t score. At half time we were a goal down from a fast breakaway.

In our next match we were playing one of our many local rivals at their ground so it was a must win game or bragging rights at the school would go to the opposition. When we arrived at the ground we went through a couple of corners and I reminded everyone of how we had decided to play them during the training session. I had a quick chat with the team about how I want them to play – we were all keen to see how the corner would work out during the game.

I thought eventually the corners would pay off. They were excellent corners and I put it down to opposition luck that we hadn’t scored from any. Another 10 corners came and went. We lost 1-0.

This was the corner plan. I wanted both my central defenders to take corners – one taking the left and one taking the right corners. The central defender not taking the corner was to stay back to cover the fast breaking attackers. I wanted inswinging corners to the front post and players running to the front post for flick ons and players running to the back post to take advantage of any.

I was at a loss as to why the corners worked in training but not in games. This week, however, having gone over the corners again, we scored from two of them. You can’t always replicate game conditions at training so you must persevere with your sessions because eventually they will pay off and you will notice your team developing over the course of a season. 2

28 April 2010


Player development


Under 4s - Under 16s


A soft touch You’ve all heard about how Lionel Messi caresses the ball with his foot, well here’s a fun way to get your players to develop a soft touch and clear all the training balls back into the bag, says David Clarke

Chipping the ball

Developing soft touch

When golfers talk about getting a feel of the ball around the greens, they’re talking about a soft touch using their hands to chip the ball so it doesn’t go racing past the hole. Soccer players can get a feel for the ball with this chipping game and help them to realise it isn’t all about power. It also means that when they are receiving the ball in a match they will find it much easier to manipulate because they won’t put their foot through the ball.

quick downward swing of kicking leg for backspin

There are lots of reasons I use this exercise: l It takes seconds to set up. l A great game to play while waiting for players to turn up at the start of training – you can start with one player and end up with ten. l Or a great game for the end of training to put all the training balls back into the bag. l It develops soft touch and control of the ball.

lean body back, not forward

short follow through, ball goes up & down quickly


How to play it 3yds

l All you need is your ball bag, players and balls. l Players stand in a circle around three yards away. l One player starts with the ball on the ground and tries to chip it in to the bag. l Players take it in turns to hold the bag open and can chest the ball into the bag if the chipping player misses. l If it goes in they get 1 point and the next player goes. l If they miss the next player tries to put the same ball into the bag. l When a player misses, whoever reaches the ball first can take the next turn. l The game ends when the last ball is in the bag. Everyone’s a winner (including you, you don’t have to collect all the balls!).



28 April 2010


Games workshop


Under 4s - Under 16s

Small-sided game Warm-up

Speed agility

Speed agility

This is a great warm-up to get your players moving in all directions so they are ready to play in matches.

How to play it l Split your players into four groups. l The first player in each group starts in the middle square. l On your whistle, the players turn and run through the cones, making sure both feet touch the ground between each cone, before receiving a serve. l The players must perform a pass, volley or header when they get to the pole to complete the task. l The serving player then runs into the middle square and the practice is repeated.

Five minute fitness

Turkish get-up

Turkish get-up


This five minute fitness drill can be used during your training sessions for a quick break to help coaching points sink in, or as an incentive for a drinks break.

Core body strength, agility, flexibility

How to do it l Start lying flat on the ground. l Extend one arm fully out (vertically). l Keep arm fully extended throughout set. l Keep eyes on hand of extended arm. l Roll on to opposite side to outstretched arm. l Push up with other arm and stand up. l Repeat with opposite arm. l One set is six get-ups, do three sets with each arm. Take a 30 second rest between sets.



DOWNLOAD THE MATCH DAY PLANNER AT: Soccer Coach Weekly is published by Green Star Media Ltd, Meadow View, Tannery Lane, Bramley, Guildford, GU5 0AB, UK. Email: Tel: +44 (0)1483 892894 Fax: +44 (0)1483 894148 Editor David Clarke Publisher Kevin Barrow Managing Director Andrew Griffiths Customer Service Representative Duncan Heard Š Green Star Media Ltd. All rights reserved.


28 April 2010