AYSO Region 104

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FineSoccer Drill 18 - Conditioning Games

The last drill in this progression is actually quite simple. Set up a field like an American football field with 10 yard end zones. (see diagram below)

To score a goal, a team has to receive a ball in the end zone they are attacking. A player can NOT dribble into the end zone. The thing that makes this extremely interesting is that offside does apply in this game.

Both teams will be encouraged to try an offside trap, and this will allow players to see the advantages (and disadvantages) of this.

After a goal is scored, the team that scored plays the ball to the opposing team just, like a kickoff in American Football.

Some variations on this drill includes not allowing any players to dribble forward at all. Or you can put a limitation of 2 touch to eliminate this problem completely.

It's extremely important to have someone calling offside from the sidelines as this becomes an important part of the game. You can play to a certain score (first team to 5 wins) or for a specified time period.

Some of the things this works on are through passes (one and two hole passes, see below for an explanation), offside traps, beating offsides traps, communication, conditioning, short passes, support and much, much more. An added bonus is that it's a fun game and the players will have no idea just how hard they will be working.

One Hole and Two Hole Pentrating Passes and Runs

First I would like to define the terms one hole and two hole pass. A two hole pass is when a player runs on one side of the defender and the through ball is played on the other side of the defender. A one hole pass is one where the runner and the through pass are both on the same side of the defender.

Let's start with the assumption that the ball is with the right midfielder and we are looking into the runs of the left midfielder or forward who is on the left side of the field. If the runner is pushed up and is taking into consideration the last defender the first thing she needs to do is look at the depth of this last defender. If the last defender is pushed up and toward the middle of the field, the runner should look to make a two hole run since she will be able to run along the offside line and still make it difficult for the defender to see both the runner and the ball. Obviously, the timing will have to be just right in order for the runner to stay onside. As the runner is going along this horizontal line even with the last defender in order to stay onside, she would need to make eye contact with the passer who would play the ball past the last defender. As soon as the ball is played, the runner can cut behind the defender, receive the ball and go to goal. If the defender is deep, then the run must go in front of the last defender and the pass will be played for a one hole pass. The reason for this decision is that it is extremely difficult to successfully complete a two hole pass when the defender has good depth and is central.

This type of understanding will enable runners to make better diagonal runs as well as to beat an offsides trap. It requires communication (although much of the communication will be non verbal such as eye contact). If this communication is not done properly it will most likely result in an offside call. From a coach's standpoint, it's extremely important that if this timing is messed up, the players must be encouraged to keep trying these type of runs. There is a tendency to yell at these players to stay onside while it is my contention that these players who are trying things should be encouraged to continue their attempts at making runs. With help, these runs will be made effectively and consistently.

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