Full training session with objective to create goal scoring opportunities, creating 2v1 situation in all areas and urge continues movements in order to find open space.
Working with the squad of young players on attacking patterns is regular part of weekly training session, either in seasonal program or developmental stage. Coach should work on systems of play and variations he wishes his team to play in the match. Movement of players on and off the ball must be studied, practiced, organized and balanced. Every player should know where to stay and where to run according to the ball and position of other players on the pitch. If you practice them well, players individually and together as a team, adopt movements to the automatism and the way of play becomes fluent and profitable in overcoming the opponent; you create scoring chances. Players are in the stage to expect, and without looking, their teammate to be, and he is, in the area to receive the ball or to cover up.
In building up the attack, main aim is to develop movements from players to create numerical advantage in areas such as 2v1 situation and gain advantage against the opponent players. Coach should look for those opportunities and create possible options and demonstrate to his players. During the practice coach must correct and create environment where players are performing tasks and, at the same time, discover new possible options, always keeping in mind the balance of the team. The defensive part of the game must be covered; avoid getting caught in indefensible situation when the possession of the ball is lost.
The session is prepared to be conducted in progressive method. One setup is used with gradual progression throughout challenges so the planned objectives are reached. Real area is used, half pitch facing the goal, or even 20 meters longer in order to move defensive line further up the ground. It is a understandable usage of team formation. In this case, it is the formation with two strikers. It can be 1-3-5-2 or 1-4-4-2 formation.
Original set up is like on the diagram bellow.
Player A passes the ball to the player B who lays off the ball back to the player A. Player A passes mid long range ground pass to the players C who receives and dribbles the ball through the small gates and then passes to the player D who finishes the action moving behind the group 2. Both sides work alternatively. After player plays lay of pass from one group, other group can start the action. In that order, many players are involved and the action is in the faster motion. Players move for one position forward in order to keep rotation going.
Proper weight of the pass, accurate pass, timing of the pass, close ball control, creating angles to receive the ball.
After the initiative lay off pass, player B makes additional give and goes with player C. Player C receives the ball and looks for the movement of player D to pass him the ball. He continues the run to receive the return pass from player D and scores in the small goal placed in front of him. Both sides work alternatively keeping the exercise flowing.
Speed up the movements and keep passing flow. Make movements facing the game and put yourself in position to receive the ball in the motion. Never wait the ball standing still in the same spot.
In these initial exercises, players and goalkeepers worked together, now it’s time to put on gloves and stay between posts. Players perform the same passing pattern, but this time, the attacking positioned player receives the ball towards the goalpost and take a shot at goal.
Create movement to receive the ball in a possible situation to give quick shot at goal. Meet the ball to get off the defender.
It’s time to put more challenge to this passing pattern. Two defenders are placed behind strikers to mark them. Still, two sides work alternatively. 2v1 combination play between midfielder and attacker and central defender situation is created centrally attacking the goal. Offside role applies.
Look up and time the pass in order to avoid defender to anticipate the pass and stop the action. Make supportive movement to receive the pass back. If attacker dribbles the defender, support attack to receive the return pass. Take a chance to shot at goal.
Four players are placed in defensive line. This time action starts in the same pattern from player A or player E playing the ball but both forward; wingers and central midfielders are involved creating 6v4 situation. Having numerical advantage, with two players extra, objective is to create 2v1 in central or wide areas. Players with their movements must develop the task. If defender wins the ball, they can score in one of two small goals on the sides.
One of the strikers makes movement towards midfielder with the ball taking defender with him and creating space behind his back for the second attacker to receive the ball. Instruct wing players to open widely to stretch defence enabling midfielder with the ball to give through pass. After the pass, midfielder has to make supporting movement towards the penalty area to attempt the goal.
Place full team on one side in the formation you use and play 10v8+gk. It is one step before the full game. With more players involved, the number of options is increased.
Players must be focused and constantly moving to create options to receive the ball and continue action. They must find open space to open up in the areas between to opponent players. Keep balance and pay attention on cover in defence.
Encourage or condition players to use pattern you designed. It might be obvious that defenders anticipate the movements, still, if they are created in perfect order, it is not possible to resist. Don’t insist, let players discover and be creative. They will always try to do what coach asks from them and many times bring some of their own magic. Most of the time, this is what decides the game.
This type of training session is ideal to be proposed when you have the team working with for some time and players understand coach’s ideas and tasks. It can be used in a training days close to the match because is reach with tactical demands and it has moderate physical tempo. If you have time and wish to spend more work on moves and patterns, this session can be divided and progressed on the following day. It can be beneficial when you are coaching youth team that is still in developing process of understanding team play and collective movements. Also, if you are taking new job and you meet and develop new team.
Coach must know exactly what are his objectives, how to propose and develop them with his team. He knows his players and what is best for their development.
Be always prepared and dedicated for your players – they will know how to appreciate it and play back.