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Football Season - FREE

24. 6. 2008
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Dear Coach ,

Although The Netherlands are renowned for their swift, incisive counter attacks, Russia's 3-1 victory over the Dutch to take them into the semi-finals of Euro 2008 was the result of a Dutch-style counter attacking move. And the goal which sealed the victory came from a quick throw-in behind the Dutch defence to release Arshavin (another tactic recently featured in Better Football Coaching).

It's interesting to note how many of the goals in the tournament have come from fairly basic tactical approaches which we cover regularly in Soccer Coach Weekly and Smart Sessions. For me this is one of the truly wonderful things about our great game. The skills and tactics which we pass on to our young teams are the same as those used by the top teams in the world. It truly is a universal sport in every regard. Sure, you may not employ the Italian catennacio approach with your Under 11 side. But you certainly do encourage them to take advantage of quick breaks, or get your full-backs to overlap etc.

And as with the top teams and players, the success or failure of these tactical approaches relies wholly on sound technical ability. The nuts and bolts of the game which enable these tactics to lead to goals are the same for everyone. So if you want your team to use swift counter attacks to create goal-scoring opportunities, make sure you give them the tools to do it. The article below shows you how to coach it.


Dwyer Scullion, Publisher

Your free weekly football coaching tips and advice newsletter
Customer Service: dwyer@coach-soccer.com

Issue number 112
Tuesday, 24 June 2008

* In This Issue *

  • ADVERTISEMENT: Planned Your Next Session Yet?
  • TACTICS: Dutch-Style Counter Attacking

  • RECOMMENDED: Want to Be a More Effective, More Successful Football Coach?

  • PUBLISHER'S TIP: Confidence is Key in Matches


  • ADVERTISEMENT: 64 Small-Sided Football Games

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.

*Publisher's Tip*

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

Better Football Coaching, Meadow View, Tannery Lane, Bramley,
Guildford, Surrey, GU5 0AB, UK

Company number: 3008779

Telephone: +44 (0)1483 892894 Fax: +44 (0)1483 894148
dwyer@coach-soccer.com Website: www.betterfootballcoaching.co.uk

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The Invisible Goalmaker

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Want to score more goals from corners? David = Clarke details another great surprise tactic to befuddle your opponents = in this week's issue of Soccer Coach Weekly.

There's a great passing = practice which helps you coach accuracy and stamina at the same time and = we also look at crossing - how to do it and how to set your young = players up to make the most of the opportunities it creates.

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= responsible for bringing through some of the finest players = in the English game (Ferdinand, = Lampard, Cole, = Carrick etc.). = =20Based on = real-world scenarios and experiences, each article is packed full of = tips and tools with absolutely no flab. The format and layout is = designed by publishing experts to maximise the learning = process.

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