Soccer drills for positional play

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During this second form of practice players are taught to choose their position well while defending.
Players are stimulated to be well organized and to screen the center -the space in front of the goal- in order to force the opponent into one direction. This requires good mutual cooperation, which can sometimes feel unnatural for players because they have an urge for the ball. In this simplified underdog form of soccer, players can experience what happens when they give away too much space and do not cooperate well: the opponent will then be able to score easily.
It is important for the defender who presses for the ball not to give the opponent space to turn, and to force even more to the sideline. The other defender can learn to cover his/her back well.
To execute this exercise properly where the defending team can intercept the ball, the building up opponent is given a lot of space to build up. Only when one opponent dribbles with the ball towards the goal will one of the defenders step in and apply some pressure. Only when the opponent in possession of the ball explicitly looks for the 1v1 situation, one of the defensive players will try to intercept. Until then, they patiently screen the goal, waiting for the opponent to make a mistake .

Organization

  • The field is 30 meters long and 14 meters wide.
  • 2 pupil goals.
  • 5 caps in 2 different colors.
  • Hats in 1 color to mark out the field.
  • Sufficient balls for the build-up.
Contents 
  • 2+keeper against 3.
  • 1:2 against 1:2
  • Player of the constructing party takes the ball out.
  • The defending team screens the goal halfway down the playing field.
  • The opponent -attacking team- tries to score.
Coaching 
  • The two defensive players screen the pass line.
  • The goalkeeper checks that they are shielding the goal and pass line properly and coaches fellow players.
  • The two defensive players check spacing and pressure ahead.
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During this drill, players learn to remain patient and screen the goal properly, among other things, to resist resistance. An added difficulty is that there are two goals to be defended, making it extra important that the center is properly shielded. The most logical way is for the defending team to force the opponent to the side and for one side of the field to try to intercept the ball when the opponent tries to get closer to one of the two goals to create a scoring opportunity. This practice form is again more difficult than the first form due to the number of players, but remains manageable. It allows them to learn to cooperate and to maintain a proper distance between them.

Organization 
  • The field is 20 meters long and 40 meters wide.
  • 2 mini goals and 1 pupil goal or 2 more mini goals.
  • 8 caps in 2 different colors.
  • Hats in 1 color to mark out the field.
  • Sufficient balls for the build-up.
Contents 
  • 4 against 4+keeper
  • 1:2:1 against 1:1:2:1
  • Goalkeeper of the constructing party takes the ball out.
  • Defending team shields the goal halfway down the playing field.
  • The opponent -attacking team- tries to score.
Coaching 
  • The defending players screen the goal.
  • The goalkeeper checks that they are shielding the goal properly and coaches fellow players.
  • The defending players check the distance between them and wait for the opponent to come towards their half of the pitch.
  • The player closest to the ball forces the dribbling opponent back out or to the side, the others keep the center close and provide back cover.
  • The one closest to the ball waits patiently until an intervention leads to ball possession and forces the opponent back.
  • The two goals are always shielded, the right moment to intercept the ball is only there if the goals are properly shielded.
  • Coach your teammate when they can apply pressure to intercept the ball.
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This type of exercise is a positional game in which the team with the excess number must press for the ball immediately after losing it.

The principle of play
What are your players supposed to do when the ball is lost somewhere on the field? If you want your team to put direct pressure on the ball in the transition from possession to loss of the ball, the following form of practice is very suitable to work on this. The playing principle that is central in this form of practice is 'putting pressure on the ball directly'. With 'putting pressure' I mean attacking the ball; actively moving towards the ball -and opponent- in an attempt to conquer it as soon as possible.

The practice form
The red team plays the ball around or plays for possession. The yellow team tries to get rid of the ball. 
When the yellow team is in possession of the ball, they must try to score as soon as possible in one of the four goals. 
By keeping the size of the field relatively small, it is easy for the yellow team to attempt a goal from all positions on the field. 
The red team is thus forced to put pressure on the ball immediately upon loss of possession to prevent a goal/attempt.


Coaching
What can you pay attention to in this exercise? Since pressure on the ball is central, it is logical to look mainly at this:

  • Is it pressured at all at ball loss?
  • If yes, by whom and by whom not? If not, why not?
  • If pressure is applied, how? Aggressively from the idea of capturing the ball immediately or from a shuffle pace?
Variations
Several variations are possible, some suggestions:

  • If you have no goalkeepers, you can also work with small goals only
  • Let the under team score by dribbling out of the field (possibly in combination with the goals)
  • Award points to the outnumbered team by playing around x number of times
  • Award points to the outnumbered team if the ball is recaptured without a goal attempt by the underdog.
  • More/less goals
  • Count goals from the under number more heavily
Naturally, the form can also be played with other numbers, as long as there is an over- and undercount.

Direct pressure is very effective when it works. If it is not successful and the opponent can play under pressure, it is very likely that large spaces will be created, which is a risk. Correct adjustment of the pressure requires training.
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First left, then right, or both sides at once if enough players.
Encourage left to use left foot, right to use right foot.


1. Player A turns open to outside behind opponent out.
2. Player A passes forward to player B between cones.
3. Player A runs diagonally to cone in front of goal.
4. At the same time, player B caps/turns out of the cones toward the goal line.
5. Player B passes diagonally behind to player A who meanwhile is standing at the cone.
6. Player A shoots at goal.
7. Player A becomes Player B, Player B joins the starting position.
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Distances 8 by 8 meters. Differences per number and age. Make sure that players are not too close to each other but also not that they can stand on an island.

  • Each player has a ball in one hand. He may not change hands during the game then he is out.
  • Players run at pace through the box with the ball in their hand and try to tap the ball away from the opponent.
  • Last one left standing has won.
The goal is to make players look around them; where are my opponents. And of course avoid them in time so that my ball remains.
Advanced group can also do this with ball at foot.
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Warm-up in which the basic actions are applied.

  • Goalkeeper plays to asking 3 who sags.
  • 3 rebounds to the goalkeeper.
  • Goalkeeper controls far foot and then to asking 10.
  • 10 controls far foot and rebounds to 3.
  • 3 plays to asking 9 who drops out.
  • 9 control far foot and turn out.
  • 9 slaloms through cones back to starting position.
Goalkeeper takes the place of 3, 3 of 10, 10 of 9.
Exercise can be applied to both sides.

Variations:

  • Ball takeover with left, pass with right - or vice versa.
  • Other technical or warm-up exercise along the cones instead of dribbling.
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Form of play with attack vs defense according to the formation in double check 8v8
.Attack tries to score in big goal, defense tries to take away ball and play back to starting point.
Size of choice here 30 x 30 m

  1. Ball always leaves at 10, who dribbles in; K, 3 and 9 are already in their positions.
  2. From departure 10, 7 and 11 connect; 10 then plays 7, 9 or 11.
  3. As soon as the first pass arrives, 2 and 5 join in defense.
Attack ends at goal, ball over back line or when defense gets ball at starting point.
Then pass or switch depending on the number of players available.

Different variations possible, for example:

  • Max 2 ball touches per attacker per attack.
  • Max 5 passes to mandatory goal attempt.
  • Max 3 passes to mandatory goal attempt.
  • At least 2 triangles per attack.
  • At least 2 double passes per attack.
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Practice on positional play, passing and finishing L + RStipple line
are the running moves, full lines are the pass lines.
Cones are defenders.
Player b finishes, if cross is too low or too soft, player c can finish.
Timing, clean passing and position are essential.

Passing: 
a to b, b to c, c to d, d takes ball from b and joins on the other side.

Right side starts when cross is given to left, and vice versa.

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  1. A frees himself from behind jar and passes to B.
  2. B runs with ball through both gates towards goal line, meanwhile A runs through gate right to center, just before penalty area.
  3. B passes to A through gate.
  4. A finishes.
B retrieves ball and joins at red side; A becomes red B - and vice versa. 
Alternating Blue and Red side; Red starts when slant pass Blue is given.
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