Maintaining Possession Of The Soccer Ball
Has your team ever played against a team were your players had difficulty maintaining possession when they have possession of the ball?
What I see in many of our local leagues is too many teams are intent in getting the ball forward as quickly as possible.
Individual players don’t seem comfortable on the ball.
If I didn’t know better, they look like they can’t wait to get rid of it for one of a number of possible reasons:
1) Pressure from the coach when on the ball
2) They don’t have the basic skills to cope with the game
3) Win at all costs mentality
When players are correctly coached in the basics of the game, they gain in confidence and start enjoying soccer in whole new manner.
In your training sessions, whatever age, your players continue to work on developing their first touch, control of the ball, shielding and movement.
Instill into the players that maintaining possession of the ball is far more important than getting it into your opponents box as quickly as possible.
When ALL your team are comfortable on the ball they can then dictate the game based on the score and timing of the game.
If required your team can slow it down, pick up the tempo and dare I say take their time over dead ball situations.
This is what I call soccer intelligence... but your players need to have the basics in their locker in order to control the game.
Soccer intelligence comes from your coaching… but do you have the game intelligence in your locker to pass it on to your players?
One of the best drills and small sided games that you can use with your squad is playing 4 v 4, two or three touch conditioned soccer in an area 10 yards by 10 yards. (Adjust the area according to how well your players cope)
This small sided game will help develop their first touch (rapidly), they’ll need to have their head up knowing where their closest opponent is, where supporting team mates are… and just as important, it’ll force them to communicate with each other too.
Where your players move within this area and highlighting their options through thoughtful coaching interventions is where your soccer intelligence will help the players.
If you need help with soccer intelligence, and also knowing what drills to use to help develop your players rapidly so that they are the yard stick that other teams measure themselves by (just like mine), then you should take a trial membership to Junior Soccer Coach right now.
Log in today and ask me your most burning issue with your team in the Soccer Coaching Forum and I’ll give you some pointers to help out in your next training session or competitive game.
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That’s it for this tip.
Keep watching your players when they are in possession of the ball… not just the player on the ball, but look at the movement of your supporting players too.