This session is designed to improve player and team awareness within the game. The specific awareness we are looking to improve is how to read an opponent’s defensive block and identify the space to attack. MORE
This is a counter-attacking session in a 3v2 scenario. It is a fantastic training exercise to generate a good tempo, with lots of attacks at goal. It’s always very competitive too.
I would usually run this session the day before a game because of its quick-fire nature and with its constant emphasis on transitions and positive reactions. Attempts on goal, rebounds, recovery runs and crisis defending are all important aspects of this session.
|Up to 50×44 yards|
|Balls, bibs, cones, poles, 2 full size goals|
|Number of Players|
|Up to 24 players + 2 goalkeepers|
Wave practice: 20mins
Small-sided game: 30mins
Set up an area double the size of your penalty area (36×44 yards) with a goal at each end and a pole gate on each side.
Work with two teams of 12 players and two goalkeepers. Start with three attackers in the area against two defenders, with the remaining players standing either side of each goal ready to join the action. The attackers must try to take advantage of the overload and attack the goal, setting up a shot, as shown [1a]. Whether he scores or not, the player who shoots at goal must run around the nearest pole before getting back to help his team mates defend, as shown [1b].
The two defending players leave the pitch and three new players come on and start to attack the opposition, trying to capitalise on the advantage given to them while the opposition player is off the pitch going around the pole.
The game goes in waves of 3v3, with one player running around the pole after each attack and players swapping with their team mates off the pitch.
We progress this session by taking it into a small-sided game where the emphasis is on attacking quickly. Set up an area of 50×44 yards, with a goal and a goalkeeper at each end. Play with three teams of eight players, with one team positioned on the two sides of the pitch and the other two playing 8v8, as shown .
A goalkeeper starts play by passing the ball out to his team – the first pass after that must be played forwards, with at least two players making forward runs off the ball. The attacking team can use the outside players to help them keep possession but the outside players are one-touch – this creates a high tempo attacking game. After five minutes the losing team swaps with the outside team.
The main thing to keep an eye on is the mentality of the players – you need to see them adopting an aggressive attitude to their play. This is not possession for possession’s sake, they should be constantly encouraged to pass forwards or make forward runs off the ball.
A lack of reaction to transition is the most common mistake that you will see during this session. Players can sometimes react negatively to a missed chance, or to a team mate not passing to them.