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Side By Side Game

By Matthew Carroll

Description:
The purpose this game is to create full field awareness. While players must focus on the task of breaking the defensive line and scoring, they also must be aware of the game occurring simultaneously on the other side of the pitch. The game also challenges the goalkeepers to do double duty in addressing their defense, forcing them to either coordinate the defense of two attacks, or the defense of one attack and one counter attack.

Setup:
Numbers will vary based on team and space provided, but the basic game should consist of two 4v4s plus one goalkeeper. The field should be split in two through the endline, with a goal centered in between each half. The length of each of the pitches should be from endline to 15m out from the 18. Two balls are set up at opposite end of the goals.

Execution:
The red team on field 1 plays a 4v4 against the yellow defenders on field 1 with the objective of scoring, the same happens on field 2 with the yellows attacking the red goal.

If the defenders are able to win the ball back they can then play to their attacking players on the opposite field. If a goal is scored the goalkeeper then plays to the opposite field.

An attacking team can also gain possession of both balls on an attack, while the team on the opposite field attempts to position themselves to receive/defend on or both of the balls.

Any play that goes out of bounds is a free kick from the line, in addition, corners are allowed. The winner is the team with the most goals after the assigned time. The defending and attacking side of each team then switch and the game is restarted.

Variations:
The numbers and size of the pitch can be varied dependent on age and ability of players.

Winning stipulations can be adjusted to number of goals scored.

The fields can be adjusted to be back to back instead of side to side.

By Matthew Carroll

2v1 Striker Madness

By Matthew Carroll

Description:
The 2 v 1 Striker Madness game is meant to simulate as many situations a striker may see in the box, with pressure, as possible. The idea is that although it is a team game that implements passing, defending, and movement on and off the ball, the focus stays on the striker receiving and shooting a ball.

Setup:
Have a pile of balls (the number of balls will determine the competitiveness and the length of the game) set up about ten yards out from the 18. Have your players get into, or assign, groups of three. Within those groups have the players designated as defenders (1s) wear yellow, your passers (2s) in red, and your strikers (3s) in black. Depending on age and ability assign 1-2 goalkeepers as well. Have the defenders and strikers arrange themselves inside the 18, with the passers lining up behind the pile of balls.

Execution:
The goal of the game is that within your team of three everyone has a role. The passer will collect balls from the pile (or from errant shots/passes/tackles) and feed passes to the striker that they are teammates with in the box. The passer only passes to the striker on his team. The passer can pass from anywhere, as long as he is outside the 18 (this includes from behind the net). It is the strikers job then to receive passes from his teammate, the passer, and score goals. Every goal scored by the striker is a point for his team. The defenders job is then to ensure that none of the other strikers are able to score, and defend as many balls played in as possible.

2

The game ends when either all of the balls have been scored, or a certain time limit has been reached. Once the game ends the 1 becomes the 2, the 2 the 3, and the 3 the 1, and the game begins again.

Variations:
Additional strikers/passers/defenders can be added to each team.

The number of balls and winning conditions can be changed to all balls are scored, a certain number of goals, or a time limit.

Goalkeeper numbers can vary, or be replaced by targets.

Touch restrictions can be made to the strikers.

Defenders can be assigned specific strikers to mark.

An additional twist can be that defenders can pass to their strikers in the box, working on the transitional phase.

By Matthew Carroll

Breakout to Attack Rondo

By Matthew Carroll

Description:
The Breakout Rondo activity is a warm-up drill in which players focus on that moment of transition from a defensive posture to an offensive one. The speed of transition forces players to remain focused at all times and find/defend passing lanes in tight space.

Setup:
Players form a rondo circle (5-8 players) with 1 player in the center. For every player on the inside another player stands 5 feet behind them, creating a larger outer circle.

Execution:
The Breakout Rondo activity starts as a regular rondo with the rondo circle players passing among themselves, and the single defensive player in the middle attempting to win the ball back. When the single player is able to retrieve the ball their goal is to pass to one of their teammates on the outer circle.

If they complete their pass to the outer circle player, the player in the inner circle that was in front of the outer circle player is now in the middle of the rondo, the passer moves to the outer circle, and the outer circle moves into the inner circle. In doing so the defender in the middle must quickly transition from a defensive player to an offensive player seeking a pass to breakout out of the press.

The inner circle players transition from offensive to a defensive posture blocking passing lanes and opening their bodies up to get in position to check their shoulders to see both the ball and their assigned outer circle player. The outer circle players must transition from a defensive cover position to an offensive posture where they will need to receive a pass that breaks the inner circles lines.

Variations:
Variations can be made to the number of players in the middle so that the players in the center of the rondo collaborate in breaking the press.

To add complexity to the two player variation additional passing patterns can be added such as the outer circle player who received the pass must then play to another outer circle player, and then both players involved go into the inner circle, both inner circle players go to the center of the rondo, and both defenders go to the outer circle.

By Matthew Carroll

Killer Pass Transitions

By Matthew Carroll

Description:
The purpose of the “Killer Pass Transitions” activity is to create a high tempo simulation of play just beyond, or just in the box, in which players use short passing to break the defensive line and create an opportunity on net.

Setup:
One grid is established in the middle of the field. Grid size is determined by the number of players available. 3v3 grid should be around a 15×30. Depending on the age of the players the goals are placed 10-20 feet away from the long side of each grid. Players are divided into even teams (at least four), and placed on both ends of the short side of the grid (2 per side if there is four teams).

Execution:
Two teams start inside of the grid, a coach then either rolls, passes, or throws a ball into the grid. The players must settle the ball and complete a set number of passes (normally 3) in order to leave the grid and take a shot on either goal. The final pass in the series can be a pass out of the grid, simulating a killer final pass towards goal.

If the shot is saved, both teams re-enter the grid and the goalie plays the ball into the grid to be played. If the shot is a miss that goes behind the net that player’s team is “off” and goes to the sideline to be replaced by a new team, and the coach restarts the activity by playing a ball in. If the goal is scored the scorer’s team stays on and the team that was scored on is replaced.

Game ends after a team scores a predetermined number of goals or the time limit is reached.

Variations:
A number of factors can be changed based on skill level, age, number of players, etc. including:
Grid Size
Goal Distance/Size
Number of Players in Grid
Time Limit/# of Goals

The side in which players can score can be altered as well.

By Matthew Carroll