Field size: half field; but this drill can be done with a big goal or small goal or even no goal; the main idea is to get your players running through patterns and possible combinations
Number of players: full team but split up into groups of four or five players
Age range: 14-16
Description: In this drill one player passes the ball to a player who is checking back, who then lays the ball back to the first player who lofts the ball over a small goal where another player tries to finish on the volley – at first maybe just have the player pass the ball into the net with a solid inside of the foot kick (use small goal with net).
In these types of drills you require the players to work as a team and play a role in the drill, trying to reach a common result, a shot on goal. Maybe you play a long ball into a player’s chest, who then plays the ball back to another player, who then does a dribble exchange with another player, who takes a shot.
Essentially, as a coach, you’re trying to create pasing and combination patterns for the players to run through that they will do in a real game.
Another example, a player cuts inside on the dribble, another player overlaps that player and receives the ball down the line from the player who cut inside, and that player then plays the ball across the top of the box on the ground to two players making runs to the near and far post.
The player who made the pass out wide to the overlapping player might let the ball run through his or her legs to another player, who takes a shot on goal.
The key is to get players thinking about moving the ball, exchanging passes, getting their heads up, and working together with their teammates to achieve an end result – a shot on goal, a cross or an actually goal. The circuit can take many different forms, a few examples were given above, but you can of create new patterns and adjust and alter the examples above.
It’s also fine to walk through these passing patterns before doing them at full speed. You want to make sure you’re players understand the movements and purpose behind each run. For instance, the player cuts inside with the ball to open up the space down the line for another player.
Equipment needed: Cones, small goals with a net, and practice vests.
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