Key Coaching Points

Here are the key points we recommend that coaches (or parents!) try to get across in technical sessions.
 

Short Passing

Key technique aspects
  • Non-kicking foot close to the ball, pointing towards the target
  • Head still and over the ball
  • Kick with inside of foot, following through on line of target
  • Keep ball low, striking through middle of the ball
Key technical aspects:
  • Picture the target
  • Decision to pass first time or control
  • Accuracy, weight and timing of pass (preferably to "safe side" of receiver)
  • Awareness of where to pass if the recipient is moving (i.e., ahead of the player, rather than ‘at’ him)
  • Movement after the pass
 
  

Finishing

Key technique aspects: (instep shot)
  • head down / over ball
  • standing foot alongside the ball pointed at target
  • knee over ball
  • lock ankle
  • left arm out for balance (right footed player)
  • strike the ball with the ‘laces’ of the boot - follow through the ball
(Note that this is identical to volleying technique)
 
Key technical aspects:
  • Positive attitude
  • Early shot
  • Use an appropriate finishing technique
  • Accuracy
  • Shot across the goalkeeper from an angle
  • Following in for rebounds
  • Head up to assess whether to shoot, pass or dribble
 
 
 

Tackling

Key Techniques Aspects
  • Block Tackle
    • Weight Over the ball, upper body leaning forward
    • Non-Tackling foot placed firmly
    • Strike through the ball with the inside of the foot, keeping the leg firm.
    • Aim a small distance behind the ball to assist ‘follow through’
  • Poke Tackle
    • Very simply, this is just taking the opportunity to poke the ball away from the attacker
    • Timing is important – don’t commit unless the ball is winnable, since you’ll be off balance after you attempt to win the ball
  • Slide Tackle
    • Always approach from the side – never behind
    • Slide on the side of the leg/thigh (left side if tackling with the right foot)
    • Tacklers should keep their sliding leg unlocked with a slight bend.
    • Extend your tackling leg through the ball. Make sure you get the ball right on your shoelaces and swing your leg through it.
    • Get back up as quickly as possible
Key technical Aspects
  • Understanding the priorities
    • Attempt to delay/jockey first (don’t tackle unless it is necessary)
    • Poke or Block Tackle if delaying is not possible
    • Slide Tackle only as a last resort
 
  

1v1 Attacking Strategies

Key technique aspects:
  • There are 2 parts to the technique – A Trick, followed by A Get-Away
    • The Getaway is always similar, regardless of the Trick
      • Use the outside or instep (laces) of the kicking foot to move the ball away
      • At the same time, push off against the standing leg for a burst of speed
  • Some Basic Tricks
    • The Feint
      • Move the body to one side of the ball, to suggest a change of direction
      • Quickly use the get-away to burst in the opposite direction
    • The Step Over
      • Move the right foot over the ball in a big “C” shape
      • Move the left foot over the ball in a big “Reverse – C” shape
      • Use the standard get-away to burst in the opposite direction
      • Practice a variety of 1 and 2 step-over moves, with exit in different directions
    • The Fake Shot
      • Perform the ‘back swing’ of a shot/cross
      • Use the get-away to burst away instead of hitting the ball
    • The Stop-Go
      • Stop the ball using the sole of the foot on the top of the ball
      • Quickly perform the get-away to burst away, using the same foot to move the ball (once the Defender is off balanced)
    • Cruyff Turn
      • As you approach your opponent with the ball, position your body to feign a cross or shot.
      • Then hook the ball with the inside of your kicking foot, behind your standing leg.
      • Turn and move off in the opposition direction while the opponent is left wrong-footed.
Key technical aspects:
  • Using the technique will only gain a small time advantage – once performed the player must exit cleanly and quickly
  • Practice a variety of tricks, and exit to both sides
  • Tricks should always be exaggerated and performed with confidence
  • Players must initially have the ball in control, moving using good technique, to be able to perform any of these moves
 
 
 
 

Ball Holding/Shielding

Key technique aspects
  • Sideways on, body between the ball and the opponent
  • Foot on top of ball, making small movements
  • Bum sticking out, knees flexed
  • Arms down, but away from body to keep opponent away (make your body a large barrier)
  • Keep making small adjustments as opponent moves (ball stays fairly stationary, your body position moves around it)
  • Basic awareness of which direction to turn to keep away from opponent and towards ‘safe side’ of pitch
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Running With The Ball

Key technique aspects:
  • The knee of the dribbling leg is bent and the toes are pointed downwards and slightly inwards, so that the front of the foot comes into contact with the ball.
  • Contact with the ball is made with the laces of the shoe
  • The knee should be over the ball when contact is made, so that the gait itself is very similar to prancing.
  • As contact is made with the ball, the ball is dragged/pulled along by the dribbling foot, so that it comes to rest beside the dribbling foot when you step down again.
  • Short steps are used, and the ball stays in front of the torso at all times
  • To stop, press down on the top of the ball with the bottom of the foot (studs)
Key technical aspects:
  • Get in line with the pass
  • Positive first touch out of feet
  • Use laces (not side of foot)
  • Head up
  • Cover ground quickly i.e. long strides
 
 
 

Dribbling

Key technical aspects:
  • Head up to assess options
  • Receive ball out of feet and facing opponent - if the ball is delivered from behind try to receive  in an open stance (i.e. side on) with foot nearest the goal
  • Isolate defender 1v1
  • Collect defender  i.e. the point at which the defender becomes engaged
  • Use a dribbling trick e.g. big toe, then little toe to manipulate the ball, step over and then outside of the foot etc – tricks that keep the attacker's body between the ball and the opponent or generally preferred)
  • Change of pace and/or direction. To stop, press down on the top of the ball with the bottom of the foot
  • Positive end result e.g. effective cross
  • Other players to help create space for dribbling
 
 

Heading

Key technical aspects:
  • Timing of run and jump to meet the ball at the highest point
  • Angle of the run – with defender approaching along the line of the ball if possible
  • Extend neck and contact top or middle of ball to head down (attacking) or bottom to middle of ball for distance (if defending)
  • Eyes Open
  • Attack Ball
  • Head the ball back where it came from if defending
  • Use pace of the ball if possible when attacking
  • If defender can't get to a header, drop
 
 

Turning

Key technique aspects:
  • Outside Hook
    • Dribbling with the ball under control
    • Let the outside edge of one foot guide the ball outwards at right angles to the direction of travel (i.e., right foot to turn right, left foot to turn left)
    • As you’re doing this, turn your body so it’s following your foot and be on your way
    • Your marker should be on your opposite side the whole time, so you’re turning away and shielding the ball with your body.
  • Inside Hook
    • Dribbling with the ball under control
    • Let the inside edge of one foot guide the ball sideways at right angles to your direction of travel (i.e., left foot to turn right, right foot to turn left)
    • As you’re doing this, turn your body so it’s following your foot and then be on your way.
    • Your marker should be on your opposite side the whole time, so you’re turning away and shielding the ball with your body.
  • Drag Back
    • Stop the ball with your foot on top of it
    • Drag the ball back using the sole of the foot
    • Turn 180 degrees and exit – keep your body between the ball and the marker at all times
  • Dummy & Turn
    • Check that there is space behind you
    • As the ball is passed in to you from the front, step forward putting weight on the front foot
    • Allow the ball to run through your legs
    • Push off the front foot and turn 180 degrees to follow the ball
  • Cruyff Turn
    • See the ‘1v1 Attacking Strategies’ section (if you feel your kids are ready!)
  • Feints
    • Use a basic Shoulder Feint to fool your opponent before you turn
Key technical aspects:
  • Create space to turn into prior to receiving pass
  • Recognition of space, and position of defenders and team mates
  • Communication from support players letting the receiver know if they have time to turn
  • Using an appropriate turning technique (e.g. hook, drag back, Cruyff etc.) to keep your body between you and the defender
  • Head up to assess whether to shoot, pass or dribble
 
 
 
 
 
 
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