AYSO Region 104


FineSoccer Drill 89 - Combination and Finishing

Here is a great game that works on combination play as well as scoring (and every other aspect of the game as well).

Use a 60 x 44 area (basically half a field using the sides of the 18 as a sideline) There is a goal on each end line and the field has a line 12 yards from each goal and also a line at midfield. There are three players in the defensive half of the field for each team and two players in the offensive half. See diagram below for basic set up

The basic rules in the beginning are that no one can cross over the midfield line and the 12 yard lines are the offside lines. To score a team can either shoot from the midfield line or find one of the players in the offensive half of the field to go to team (for this reason, younger groups might want to use a smaller field). This is working on defensively pressuring in the offensive half of the field as well as offensively looking for shooting opportunities as well.

Once the players understand the game, you can modify the rules to allow a player from the defensive half of the field to cross over the midfield line if it results in a scoring opportunity. The way this might work is the ball gets played forward to one of the players in the offensive half of the field and the a player from the back joins her to get a ball laid back for a first time shot (this is recreating playing the ball into a target player and then laying the ball to a midfielder for a first time shot). If the keeper makes a save from this situation, it would be in her best interests to try to counter quickly since now there is a 2 v 2 in the attacking half of the field.

Other options could include allowing a player to come back to defend when an attacking player has crossed over the midfield line or possibly allowing more than one player to cross over midfield to get into the attack (realizing that subjects their team to a quick counter attack).

There are many options that can be added to this game. Consider the various possibilities and you will find ways to help any team.

About Drills

When people think of drills, they think of players standing in line waiting their turn and when it is their turn, they try to fulfill the rules and requirements of the drill.

Instead of having players stand in line and wait to stay within the rules of the drill, I prefer to keep my players involved in different types of games and exercises that keep the players more involved and even more importantly, keep the players thinking in terms of playing the game as opposed to doing the drill.

If you check out the drill above, you will see that according to the rules of the game, the players can't cross over the midfield line. When most people would do this activity, if a player crossed over the line even slightly, the coach would stop the game and award the ball to the opposing team. That would be an example of playing the rules of the drill. However, if you are trying to work on a a given situation in a game, it doesn't always come out exactly as you planned. In the game mentioned above, if a ball gets played back to a player who slightly crosses the line to get a first time shot hit, we let that go because while it violated the rules of the drill, we want them to get into the habit of playing the game and too many "drills" are done at the expense of the game of soccer.

In creating your training sessions, look to find games that are soccer related in order to create teaching opportunities. If you can do this on a regular basis, you will be more successful as a coach.

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