Friday, 15 February 2013

Playing through the Midfield

This session looks at using the midfield players as a pivotal role in creating an attacking sequence. Central midfield players are often described as being all around players who possess a variety of attributes that are used all around the pitch. Having players comfortable with the ball is a coaches dream and developing this in a player is key. This session can be used for different age groups adjusted suitably for the age, with younger age groups it can be used to develop passing, movement and other attributes in any player, or with older players it can be used as a transitional session to develop central midfield players in a squad.

Note: For younger age groups, let everyone have a go, don't prioritize to your 'best' players, remember, you are developing players not looking for results. Coach the technique, not the position.

Age: 8+ 
Technical
Learning Objectives: 
  • Players to develop an understanding of playing in a central role and working as a pair in the middle
  • Developing technique of passing
  • Developing movement off the ball
  • To give an understanding of the attributes that players need for the central role


Explanation:
Starting off with a simple exercise, working in the middle area, players pass the ball into the central players to play the ball between them and pass to another player before receiving a ball from another player. 

Coaching Points:
  • Technique and Execution of the pass
  • Pass into the furthest central player
  • Can central players set and move?
  • Positioning when receiving the ball (Body shape)
  • How has the player received the ball? Do they have a good first touch?
Progression 1



Explanation:
In a similar set up, the progression allows for the players on the outside to make a third man run after passing the ball to receive it back from the central players before playing to another player and following their pass. Try to encourage players to have a quick tempo, building up the players ability to feel comfortable under pressure. 

Coaching Points: 
  • Technique and Execution of the pass
  • Pass into the furthest central player
  • Can central players set and move?
  • Positioning when receiving the ball (Body shape)
  • How has the player received the ball? Do they have a good first touch?
  • Does the player make a good run? (Timing, Angle, Speed)
  • Does the pass from the central player go into the space for the 3rd man run?
Progression 2


Explanation:
Progression 2 has a similar set up to the previous drill but this time has more direction as it requires players to follow a specific set up. This drill now requires central players to receive the ball and play a pass out wide to an overlapping player aiming to pass the ball through a gate, once receiving the ball the wide player dribbles round to the next red cone before working from the next station. This drill would represent the central players receiving the ball from a center back and then switching the ball out wide for an advancing full back or winger. 

Tip: Can you situate the cones in different areas to replicate different pass decisions that a central midfielder would make? (Through the middle, Into the strikers feet, In behind the full back)

Coaching Points:

  • Technique and Execution of the pass from all players
  • How are the central players moving in the area? Can they situate themselves in the easiest way to receive the ball?
  • Positioning when receiving the ball
  • Does the player make a good run? (Timing, Angle, Speed)
  • Decision on when to pass and the type of pass from central players
  • Quick tempo, once the pass has been made can the central players quickly react to the next ball?
Progression 3


Explanation:
The final progression introduces shooting to finish off the session. Central players receive the ball from a forward player before making a pass through the gates to a wide advancing player who will then cross the ball requiring a finish from the forward player who originally set the ball. This drill is match realistic in terms of movement and requirements from players, and could be progressed with the introduction of defensive players. 

Tip: Can you situate the cones in different areas to replicate different pass decisions that a central midfielder would make? (Through the middle, Into the strikers feet, In behind the full back)

Coaching Points:

  • Technique, Execution and Decision of the pass by all players
  • Does the wide player make a good run? (Timed, Angle, Speed and Approach)
  • Does the forward player make a good run? (Timed, Angle, Speed and Approach)
  • Can the forward player spin and make a curved run so that they are attacking the cross from a positive angle?
  • Does the session have a good tempo?
  • Are the central players moving well and working well together?
  • Technique, Execution and Shot decision
Overall Points

  • Introducing defenders will make the session more realistic
  • Change central players to make sure everyone is having a go (You might be surprised to find a future Jack Wilshere in your Left Full Back)
  • Keep a quick tempo to ensure plenty of touches and movement
  • Adjust the size of the areas to the appropriate age
  • Further sessions could involve players passing through central areas or passing between the full back and central defenders.

All sessions are designed using the resources from www.AcademySoccerCoach.co.uk




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