Passing

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Linking through your centre-midfielder

by Carlos Carvalhal in Midfield

The role of the centre-midfielder is a vital one in modern soccer and his effectiveness and resourcefulness is best practised with regular repetition of technique and job role. This is a session I first outlined when with Besiktas back in 2011, but so solid and reliable is the role of the midfielder that it is... MORE

Transitions

by Matt Murray in Skills and Techniques

Although this session is predominantly about transitions, it pays particular attention to pressing, making play predictable, communication, work to be done when in possession, and how to hurt the opposition with patience or a killer pass. What makes the session engaging is that it progresses through a number of different practices, each focusing on lots... MORE

Attacking overloads and positional play

by Chris Davies in Attacking

This session takes the form of a number of progressive exercises, each designed to develop players’ ability to progress the ball through the pitch. The idea is to create overloads because without them the game can become dependent on 1v1s, and that can mean it’s difficult to progress the ball unless you are far superior... MORE

Possession and finishing

by Jimmy Bell in Attacking

This is a possession session that develops into a finishing challenge. It requires high tempo throughout and lots of legwork from players. At every club I’ve worked at there has always been real attention paid to the core principles of possession and work rate. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the principles learned from... MORE

Keeping the ball to move forwards

by Steve Foley in Attacking

This session is based around a series of possession-based practices that are aimed at breaking the lines to move forwards when possible. It involves lots of varied passing techniques and good decision making. It also begins with a warm-up that is relevant to the topic, one that will prepare the players for the activities that... MORE

Supporting from deep

by Dougie Freedman in Attacking

This session is about forward runs and the ability of players to work at pace, supporting from deep or getting beyond a front striker to attack danger areas. For teams looking to build attacking play, intelligent forward running is essential, as is the timing and execution of those breaks. Players must also work to vary... MORE

Premier League possession

by Ian Holloway in Skills and Techniques

This multifunctional, directional session is about game-realistic play, positive moves and developing short and long passes. It is important to practise this because possession is key at any level of the game, but particularly in the Premier League where sides can be so ruthless when they have the ball. This session encourages players to receive... MORE

Technical training session

by Anthony Hudson in Skills and Techniques

This is a broad training session that enables players to practise a range of skills across multiple exercises. It rehearses ball skills in terms of tidy, quick and intelligent passing, plus finishing in and around the box. It’s also excellent for movement, closing down and positional awareness. These ranges of skills are essential for any... MORE

Passing patterns

by Steve Tilson in Skills and Techniques

This session works on players’ ability to play one-two passing moves in order to create space and to get in behind the opposition’s defence. The practice is comprised of initial unopposed passing drills which familiarise players with movement, awareness and link-up play, before progressing onto a competitive 8v8 game. The entire session lasts 75 minutes... MORE

The passing diamond

by Paul Buckle in Skills and Techniques

The passing diamond is a coaching move that, while simple in its set-up, is crucial for players in rehearsing passing accuracy and tempo. It is also important for general ball work and encouraging the use of both feet. Modern day football is built upon a constant passing game, so the ability to conduct simple and... MORE

Concise corner kick routine

by Les Parry in Set pieces

This is a set-piece corner kick routine that relies on a quality ball into the box and the intelligent movement of attacking players. Set plays provide great opportunities for scoring goals because the ball is stationary, players cannot be tackled and they have the freedom to work space knowing where they can expect a delivery... MORE

Link-up combination play

by Ricky Sbragia in Skills and Techniques

Movement, support and running off the ball is essential in the modern game, and fine-tuning these abilities in players can really enhance attacking options throughout the team. Therefore, this unopposed drill is designed to examine receiving, touch, lay-off, link-up play and third-man running, so that players can work together in tight areas to maximum effect.... MORE

Playing short and long

by Luke Williams in Skills and Techniques

This session examines when to play short and long. It’s a set-up that, despite its simplicity, addresses a key question that a player needs to ask himself every time he gets the ball, so is actually a mental principle that it’s vital to practise. And whilst it’s not an original question, the way we search... MORE

Exploiting possession

by Tony Mowbray in Formations and Tactics

This session is focused on creating opportunities from possession. Every team should work on their ability to maintain and exploit possession because, when harnessed to attacking intent, keeping hold of the ball is the best way to break down defences and create goal-scoring chances. This kind of play greatly increases a team’s chances of winning... MORE

Don’t reinvent the wheel

by Steven Pressley in Skills and Techniques

This session is about short, sharp passing and use of possession. We use tight areas to improve players’ footwork and put demands on them to be able to work the ball with confidence, while those out of possession must close down with intensity. We believe this session has everything players need and want. The lead-up... MORE

Passing and possession

by Tony Mowbray in Skills and Techniques

This session is about retaining and developing possession, plus switching play. It relies on smart decision making as well as excellent movement and communication between players. This is an important practice for us because, in match situations, main-taining possession is vital. Doing so not only aids the creation of chances, but it serves to wear... MORE

Possession practices

by David Wagner in Skills and Techniques

This is a reactive pressure and possession game that coaches players in the basics of team mechanics – namely keeping the ball, exploiting opposition mistakes and looking for an end goal or product. Although basic in its delivery, these principles are vital for every side, and this is the sort of practice you will see... MORE

High tempo attacking and defending

by Bobby Davison in Team Management

This session incorporates the key elements of both attacking and defending at pace. From the time spent coaching Ferencvaros in Hungary through to my involvement in the England Under-19 set-up, developing an individual’s skills through passing, creating space, supporting, closing down, tracking and counter-attacking has always gone on to be of huge benefit to the... MORE

Attacking and defending transitions

by Micky Mellon in Attacking, Defending

This session is about attacking and defending transitions, focusing on the key moments when the ball changes hands. We work on how we can defend and exploit these most exciting and important phases of the game, either by building a fast attack with the support of the full backs or by playing the ball early... MORE

Switching play

by Lee Johnson in Attacking

Use this session about switching play and switching the point of attack to show your players how to exploit space on the pitch and ultimately create more goal-scoring opportunities. MORE

Team finishing

by Nuno Espirito Santo in Attacking

This is a finishing session, but as it unfolds and progresses it becomes so much more than that. It allows you to devote time to all of the players – practising and repeating specific actions that will be asked of them in a match situation. MORE

Movement to receive the ball

by Matthew Bishop in Skills and Techniques

With the compactness of the modern game, getting your team to exploit space when it’s presented is an essential ingredient for success. This practice develops understanding, cooperation and communication between players so that, wherever possible, they take advantage of the space in front of them. MORE


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