The 11th in our series of the favorite exercises of college coaches comes from Brian Copham. Coach Copham is the head women’s soccer coach at Jacksonville University. Prior to JU, he spent nine years as an assistant at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He has attained the USSF A license and the following is his favorite activity:
Two teams of 8.
Split into 4’s.

Field: 25yds wide by 32 long. Field is split into 1/4s (8 yard sections)

4 green in section 1 and 3

4 gold in section 2 and 4

Teams must stay in their grid.

Coach starts with ball at middle and plays it in to one team.

Ball must never stop moving.

Team with ball plays 2 touch, looking for an opportunity to play to their teammates (the other group of 4).

The defensive team between the two must move and shift to not allow team to connect the pass through them.

Offensive team gets a point for every split.

If defensive team stops/wins ball as it is played through their grid, they then try to connect with their teammates.

Coaching Points

Prepared to receive/play ball
Looking to attack
Quick ball movement to catch Defense shifting

Stay organized
Communicate shifting
Cut passing lanes
Closest to ball -pressure (close to line to cut angle as much as possible)
Must move as ball moves to cut lanes of play.

Play for a time then switch grids with teammates (1 to 3 and 2to 4)
As teams get hang of it, you can allow 1 defender into the opposing teams grid to pressure or win ball.
This will force attacking players to be on their toes because they can be dispossessed in their own grid.
Only one defender can be in at a time.
Defenders must choose wisely when to step into grid. If they go to early or reckless they will be wall passed or just passed through the whole they left.
Also, if you want to make it more difficult for attackers, they can play 1 touch.


5 responses to “Brian Copham Favorite Activity”

  1. im4christ says:

    I really like this activity. What I have found is that once a defender can step into the grid, you will (as coach) very likely get a coaching point, because that first defender who steps in has a tendency to chase the ball and make it easier for the attacking team to connect a penetrating pass.

  2. Footie4Life says:

    I like the progression where a player is allowed to enter the opponents grid. I think it makes it more real and allows the attackers exploit the space the defender vacated.

  3. Aron says:

    Agree with the two other posts and I think this is a brilliant exercise. I have never seen it before but definetely would like to give it a try. It gives you the opportunity to work so many different things whether it be with the attack or defense

  4. Kwah says:

    I like the condition that the ball must never stop moving. Our players have to get used to a higher-level speed of play…and I know that this is not the purpose of this drill, but it stuck out in my mind and should be a condition in almost everything you do.

  5. John J Mendoza says:

    Good job “B”. I have done this drill with 3 lines before, but l really like it with 4 lines. Drill will help with overall team defending.
    “Bobby Flay”

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