A Rondo Overloading Players in the Zone 14 - Training Center Exclusive

A Rondo Overloading Players in the Zone 14 - Training Center Exclusive

A rondo can be applied on certain parts of the field of play that apply to the game. This exercise is based on the positioning of the players around Zone 14 (the zone in front of the opponents back 3 or 4 and their midfield).

Here we start the exercise off as a typical rondo and develop the idea to take it into the game situation. This example can be the shape within a 4-2-3-1 system of play. I have used this same set up many times in training to bring the ideas out in actual games with my U14 team. Certain moves become almost automatic as each player mentally knows what the other will do; before they do it. Especially good when teams defend deep against you and you have to open them up with imaginative movements OFF the ball. I love this session.

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Guardiola Rondo Using a 4 v 4 + 3

Guardiola Rondo Using a 4 v 4 + 3

Here we are showing how this rondo totally relates to the game situation so your training is REALISTIC in its concept development. 

The following 4 v 4 + 3 Rondo allows players to understand the principles of width, depth and length to create passing angles and distances. Looking always to create diamond and triangle shapes in supporting each other to create numerical superiority.  Here we show a rondo based on building from the keeper and / or building from the center backs. Its actually a very simple way to teach a complex idea.

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Developing “Movement Off The Ball” Through The Directional Passing And Support Three Zone Game - Training Center Exclusive

Developing “Movement Off The Ball” Through The Directional Passing And Support Three Zone Game - Training Center Exclusive

Awareness of the positions of players in both grids thus ensuring the players have their heads up to see the pass when it is on to do it.

Movement off the ball to make themselves available in both grids to receive a pass.

Quality of short passing in one grid and long passing into the other grid.

Depending on the theme, the development of awareness of when and where to pass, to run with the ball, to make a movement off the ball (third man run for example), to receive and turn with the ball, and so on.

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Developing Attacking Play in the Opponents Defending Third

Developing Attacking Play in the Opponents Defending Third

The attacking team has the ball. This is the start position of the game situation.

The idea is to have this phase, being the attacking one, and working on various ideas of movement, rotation and interchange to try to score.

You can focus on this until success is achieved from an attacking point of view.

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Teaching Movement “Off the Ball” Through the Transition Directional Target Game - Training Center Exclusive

Teaching Movement “Off the Ball” Through the Transition Directional Target Game - Training Center Exclusive

With this session we are working on the following:

  1. Creating Space by running off the ball to receive or to help a teammate receive.

  2. Quality of Passing; long and short to targets and to teammates.

  3. Support play: working angles and distances incorporating switching play using the side players.

  4. Receiving and Turning in tight situations and dribbling in 1 v 1 situations.

  5. Quick decision making is required in this session because the numbers are small, the area tight and the transitions rapid.

As a coach you can work in this session how to defend properly as individuals and a team or how to attack properly as individuals and a team.

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Free eBook: Teaching Strikers Receiving the Ball to Feet with Their Backs to Goal

Free eBook: Teaching Strikers Receiving the Ball to Feet with Their Backs to Goal

All start positions should be with the idea of getting the ball into the strikers’ feet to receive it with their back to goal; and then developing the play from there. Emphasize the striker getting across the defender if the defender tries to get in front of them to intercept the pass to them, and using their body to block them off. This can be a big problem for a striker if they are not aware of where the defender marking them is. Secondary movements and developments will result from there. Using the three R’s to teach this; Review, rehearse and restart.

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Teaching a One Touch Mentality Thru the Three Team Awareness Possession Game - Training Center Exclusive

Teaching a One Touch Mentality Thru the Three Team Awareness Possession Game - Training Center Exclusive

This game and its many progressions are designed to get the most out of the thinking processes of the players. Many mental challenges to overcome and learn from.

We are working on awareness of where the player you receive from is and where the player you pass to is. Because of this players begin to anticipate the pass to them and where it is coming from. Also they must look to where it is going to (where is the player they are passing to?).

We are trying to create a situation where players are looking two moves ahead not just one.

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Interaction of Wide Players in 3-1-3-3 - Training Center Exclusive

Interaction of Wide Players in 3-1-3-3 - Training Center Exclusive

The Movement Off the Ball Interactions of 2 and 7, and 3 and 11

We want 7 and 11 to cut inside to do two things:

  1. To get in a good position to receive the ball themselves

  2. To create space of overlapping Wing Full Backs 2 or 3.

Timing this movement correctly is vital, players must not come inside too soon and be easily marked. Resulting position is a player facing BACK to the ball. Timing of this movement has to be LATE and FAST. The correct resulting positioning will be shown in this post.

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4 v 4 Shooting Game With Keepers

4 v 4 Shooting Game With Keepers

In this game, players must be particularly aware of where teammates are, where the opposition are, the keepers position because the space to work in is small and the time they have on the ball is short. Hence development of the mental side of the game in terms of the Awareness program, i.e. seeing situations quickly and acting upon them is very important to the player to help him or her have success by scoring goals. 

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Spatial Awareness Passing Game - Training Center Exclusive

Spatial Awareness Passing Game - Training Center Exclusive

With cones / mannequins for development in training for movement off the ball

The objective is this session is to improve movement off the ball by providing mannequins to act as opponents to fill important space.

Here you see so much one touch play that needs to be practiced with lots of one touch training (but in overloads to gain success initially). We focused on two touches and beyond but the ultimate way to practice this is one touch; but we are not ready to do that yet. It makes wonderful viewing and is a fantastic visual support tool for raising awareness.

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Defensive Rotational Recovery Positions - Training Center Exclusive

Defensive Rotational Recovery Positions - Training Center Exclusive

Due to our attacking rotations players are often out of position defensively when we lose the ball. Here we show how players position to help each other and eventually work themselves back to their own natural positions on the team.

If they can learn this approach and understand how to cover for each other immediately this then really gives the team a wonderful means of attacking freedom and expression.


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