Dutch-Style Counter Attacking
There is such an emphasis on everyone trying to play a short passing game that many youth players cannot play an accurate long ball. But the best players can hit 40, 50 or 60 yard passes, says David Clarke.
Putting the pressure on
If you want your team to make a statement during a game you can practise playing a quick long ball to put the opposition on their heels and get your team back into their half of the field.
Making long passes work
And I’m not talking about a hoof upfield over the heads of the opposition and a charge after it. A long pass well executed can be a clever way of counter attacking against your opponents. If you look at the great players and great teams in football you will see some wonderful long passes that catch opponents out. The great brazilian teams and the Dutch ones that can play short, short then a defence splitting long pass. It is a great skill to have in any players armoury.
Get the ball to your wingers
Practise with your defenders playing a long pass up to one of your midfielders so he can pass it outside to his winger who can run on and cross it into the box. Make sure all your players know their roles in this one. It has to be swift and deadly. That means it needs players running into the box to put away the cross.
Put your best foot forward
The way in which you move the ball depends on several things, such as:
- Where it’s going
- What you want it to do when it gets there
- Who’s in the way
Increase your team’s chances of success
By fine-tuning your players’ skills as passers, you can significantly increase your team’s chances of success. What you must tell your players to do is communicate so the pass reaches the receiver and your player must be able to control a hard hit pass.
How to coach it
Tell your players to use their long kicking technique for crossing the ball to the back post as well as for passing. Once your players have perfected this they can begin to use them in match situations.
Player A moves the ball to the side and kicks long to player B.
B controls and passes to C.
C pushes the ball forward and crosses for player D to run and attack the cross attempting to score.
Repeat on left side starting with player E.
Confidence is Key in Matches
If you get your players to hold on to the ball in 1v1 training sessions every week they will have the confidence to do it in matches, which will change the way your team plays. Spend 10 minutes on it each session.
Keeping hold of the ball
In your coaching sessions, start with two equal-sized players with a single ball in a grid about 3-yards square and have them work on holding the ball by using simple rolls, pullbacks and other touches to shield the ball.
An important skill
If you teach your players ANYTHING, teach them the skills to keep possession. Once they realise that they have the skills to keep an opponent from stealing the ball, they will gain the confidence to lift their heads up and find another player to pass off to.
Feeling panicked by pressure
Before your players gain confidence on the ball, you can expect terrible passing simply because they will get flustered at the first hint of pressure - and might even feel panicked by pressure which is 10 metres away.
Key coaching tip
Until your players can hold a ball 1v1 in a grid for a count of around 7-8, they are not going to have enough confidence to hold up the ball and do well during matches.
* Inspirational Quotation *
“They call it coaching but it is teaching. You do not just tell them... you show them the reasons.”
Vince Lombardi, legendary American football coach
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