Attack! Attack! Attack!
Whatever age group you are coaching - at 7-a-side or 11-a-side - breaking away with a three-man move will always cause havoc in the opposition defence. It’s a quick, skilful way to goal, says David Clarke.
Watching it in the English Premier League
Watching Liverpool versus Chelsea recently I was impressed in the first half with the way Liverpool’s front three players - Babbel, Crouch and Kuyt - broke away at speed and used the ball that Steven Gerrard played through to them with pace and quick passing.
Each time it led to a shot on goal usually from Crouch who was in the centre of the three. Crouch often touched the ball two or three times in the move. It was a shame for the Liverpool fans that his shots were more often than not just off target. Any young player watching that would have been given plenty of food for thought, so I thought at my next training session I would spend half an hour practising it.
Go in threes to practice attacks
- Organise three lines of players around 40 yards from a goal which is defended by your goalkeeper.
- Tell your players to make runs and passes attacking towards the goal.
- They must take a shot after four passes.
What to look for during the session
- Get your players to play this at match pace.
- Tell them the aim is to pass and move as quickly as they can to get to the goal.
- They should be using sharp bursts of speed and calling out names so they can run onto passes.
- Shoot one or two-touch.
Progress the session with defenders
Add two defenders to apply pressure to the three attackers. Begin with passive defenders and then move to active defenders to challenge the players to play with more speed and quality.
Key coaching tip: Speed and ball control are the important elements of this practice.
* Publisher's Tip *
How To Make an Agility Ladder
Things You’ll Need: rope; pvc pipe; steps
Agility ladders give you an excellent way to get your players moving their feet quickly and help in your pursuit of the perfect athlete! The quick steps that they have to use to move up the ladder is excellent practice for their skills training. I find them very useful on training nights, so why not make yourself one to use with your players?
Cheap and easy to make
Agility ladders are incredibly cheap and easy to make at home because of their simplicity. All you will need is some rope and some pipe for the rungs.
What do you need?
These instructions are to make a 10 foot ladder but you can change the size or number of spaces to your own needs.
40ft of rope (strong thick rope)
11ft of around half an inch diameter pvc pipe.
Once you have your supplies you need to cut your rope and pipe as such:
2 x 10ft pieces of rope
11 x 1.5ft pieces of rope
11 x 1ft sections of pipe
Putting it together
Next you need to measure every 1ft down each 10ft piece of rope and make a mark. Once you have your marks you simply start at one end and work toward the other, tying the 1ft section of rope to one mark, threading the pipe onto the section and then tying the other end to the mark on the other 10ft piece of rope. Attach the Velcro tie to one of the end rungs so you can easily wrap up and store your ladder.
Key coaching tips
The key when using the agility ladder is to minimise the ground time with each foot contact. The quicker the athlete’s feet are off from the ground, the better the reaction time and ability to change direction.
* Inspirational Quotation *
"I like to talk to my players and I never impose anything, I always give them the chance to make their own choices."
Zico, legendary Brazilian player and Fenerbahce coach
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