Teaching Players to Position Off the Ball to Face Forward to Receive It

Often players position to receive the ball with their back to play.

These session plans show some ideas on how to position and instead "Face Forward" or at least Half Turned or three quarters turned rather than positioning square and facing back.

Simple movements can create more space for a player to then be at an advantage in their 1 v 1's against opponents all over the field of play. It can be the difference between keeping the ball and losing it. Much is done to creating the correct Fee preparation and Body positions. 

We start with Central Strikers. Central strikers 9 times out of 10 position face backwards against a center back. This is fact, watch any youth striker and you will see this. It's still ok to do this but there are better ways to affect the center back. Rarely do you see a central striker come off the shoulder of a defender and FACE Forward.

This presentation shows you how to do this in various ways. It's very simple movement and very effective movement and it causes all sorts of problems for center backs. There is more depth and detail to this but this is a starting point to initially learn these vital movements. Also encourage players to face FORWARD or at the very least half or three quarters turned to see what's behind and around them before receiving and so their momentum on receiving the ball is then forward not back.

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A simple exercise to show how players often position

This is the "Start Position" of the session. Everyone is marked.

start position.png

Have each offensive player in black mark a defending opponent, or visa-versa. Sounds daft when we have possession of the ball; but this is what often occurs with poor positioning. This is a very exaggerated situation but is done to show how not to position off the ball.

Players must always SCAN the field in every position to find open spaces to move into; and free themselves of being marked by an opponent. They must also try to position so they are facing forward or at the very least Half Turned.