Tag Archives for " Possession "

Passing to Penetrate

By Steven Smith

Three Squares

Area Size: For groups of six’s or seven’s a square grid of 44X44 (progressively smaller sized grids inside of larger grid)

Teams: Three groups of six or seven (or other numbers as coach chooses)

Time: 10-12 minutes

Objective: Increase passing skills in teams of all developmental levels

Narrative

Taking risks and connecting passes can often be counter to each other.  This activity will help players find good connecting passes under pressure and in a fairly chaotic setting with many other movements happening at the same time.

This activity emphasizes connecting passes while under controlled pressure (level of pressure controlled by coach).  The athletes will need to move to position themselves for connecting passes by short movements. This movement and communication necessary under strict pressure of time and space can have a great effect on connecting passes in game settings.

Set Up

Two groups of six to seven players occupy three grids one inside the next (see graphic below).  The idea is for the group on the outermost grid to connect passes to the group on the innermost grid.  Start off with each of the outer players possessing a ball to attempt to pass into the center grid.  The middle grid is occupied by defenders who cannot leave their grid but works to intercept passes that come through their grid.

The focus is on the outer grid group of players for feedback from the coach.  Their movement around their grid is essential for finding the line of passing that will enable them to connect with the inner grid. This means the coach can give feedback on keeping the head up, keeping the ball moving and looking for opportunities.  The key cues essential for connecting passes of posture, eye contact and verbal communication are essential as well and the coach can focus on those cues.

Players rotate grid locations with their group after a time limit or after all of the starting balls have been knocked out of the grids by the defending group.

 

Variations

Add goalkeepers to the inner group for receiving with their hands.

Add goalkeepers to the middle defensive group who can use their hands to intercept passes (increases difficulty for the outside group).

Add competition with consequences for the losing groups by counting the number of completed passes before their balls are knocked out by the defending group.

Reintroduce balls knocked out and play for time only and count completed passes.

As balls are knocked out of play by the middle group the players on the outside grid can combine passes together before attempting to pass the ball to the inner grid.

A player on the outside grid with the ball can attempt to dribble through the middle defended grid to reach the inside grid.  When this occurs a player from the inner grid must run to outside grid to maintain team balance.

 

By Steve Smith
Steve Smith has been a men’s college coach that holds an NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and a Doctorate in Physical Education.

Transition to Defense

By Steven Smith

Over the River

Objectives: Increase possession skills while training fitness and transition. Increase the ability to defend in small groups.

Set-Up

This activity is designed to increase possession skills while focusing on transition, fitness and defensive pressure. It is perhaps one of the most challenging fitness possession games for a senior level team.

The concept is for two teams to keep the ball for 6-8 consecutive passes and then switch the ball to the next grid over (across the river) in the air to complete a point. The level of difficulty is determined by the space of the possession grid, the intensity and numbers of the opposing team and the distance of the gap between the two possession grids (the river).

Execution

Two possession grids are set up approximately 25 yards by 35 yards in size with a 20-yard gap between the two fields. Three teams of seven are divided evenly with a black group trying to maintain possession in one grid and complete 6 to 8 passes and then send the ball in the air to the yellow team for possession in the next grid over and past the gap (river) space.

The defenders form the third group and stay outside of the grids until a ball is served by the coach into one of the grids. Once the ball is received by the black team three or four of the defenders must enter the grid to try to break up the possession. If the defenders are able to knock the ball out of the grid, the coach serves to the yellow team and the defenders in that group enter the yellow possession grid to try to knock the ball out of that grid as well. 

The possession group is successful by completing the 6 to 8 passes (coach’s preference on difficulty). Once the predetermined number of passes is achieved the defenders stop but the possession group has a free pass to send to the opposite grid. If the ball does not reach the opposite grid in the air then no point is scored! Once the ball has reached the new grid the cycle of possession and crossing the river continues.

 

The coach can determine the length of the game by time or by points achieved or number of balls served. Once the end of the game is achieved the defending color group changes with each successive game. A full cycle for the game is three complete games. Always give a reward for the winning team at the end of a three game cycle.

Variations

The group sizes can be uneven and therefore the coach can predetermine how many defenders can enter the grid. The smaller the possession group, the fewer defenders that should be sent into the grid.

With groups of seven defenders one person on the defensive team may have to cross the river to help defend if groups of four are required to defend in each grid. The coach can make that person make the transition every time or each person on the defensive group can take turns crossing the river to defend.

By Steve Smith
Steve Smith has been a men’s college coach that holds an NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and a Doctorate in Physical Education.