by Coaches Colleague
Field Size – The size of the pitch the players have to operate in can affect their performance in many ways. The area can directly determine how many players can be realistically accommodated. It can also determine how much pressure the player in possession of the ball will experience. The smaller the area the more compact the play, therefore the greater the pressure on the ‘attacking’ team to create and utilise space, as the defending team has less ground to cover to apply the pressure.
Channels and Zones – These areas that can are clearly laid out with the pitch confines using markers and they provide the players with specially defined roles and restrictions. Channels run the length of the pitch and are usually used to encourage and enhance wing or counter attacking play. Zones run horizontally across the pitch and are mostly used to enhance the thirds of the pitch or to create designated scoring zones.
Overloading the Coached Team – By enabling the coached team to have a greater number of players the chance of their success is heightened (defensive or attacking orientated). Also with the opposition being outnumbered there are more opportunities for the superior team to interact.
Underloading the Coached Team – The intensity at which the players have to operate, to be successful, is increased when their numbers are lower than their opposition. They must work harder to regain and retain possession.
Floaters – Floaters are players that are given the freedom to play for either of the teams, when they are in possession of the ball, so that both teams experience an overload and underload scenario.
Target Player’s – These are individuals placed in positions to determine the direction of play.
Goalkeepers – By adding in goalkeepers the realism of the session is increased.
Methods to score
Full size (ensuring they are appropriate to the age of the players): Will provide the most realism.
Smaller sized: It is harder to score as the area to shoot at is reduced, more than two goals can also be placed within the field of play.
Triangular: Works on the goalkeepers foot movement and positioning. Can also increase the speed of play around the goals as players try to manoeuvre a shooting opportunity at an empty goal.
Double sided goals: Are placed within the confines of the pitch so that play can occur behind the goal. Creativity of the attackers is increased along with the concentration and movement of the defending side.
Number of goals: An increase in the number of goals gives the attacking team more than one option to head for. Also means the defending team has more than one consideration when deciding where to force the play.
End zones: Areas that are the width of the pitch where the players must run the ball into themselves or pass into for a team mate to run onto.
Gates within the pitch: Must pass the ball through to score. There can be numerous gates within the pitch.
Target areas: These are similar to zones in the way they work but are smaller and do not cover the entire width of the pitch.
These are restrictions that determine how goals are scored. These enforce players to utilise other techniques and approaches that they may not usually use or that are in accordance with the session topic. Some restrictions include:
•Weaker foot shooting.
Some restrictions can be introduced to adapt the session to constrict the player’s performance to focus on particular elements:
1.Minimum or maximum number of touches: A restriction on the maximum number of touches means that players have to create space quicker and also requires an increase in their awareness and communication. A limit on the minimum number of touches means that players must take more touches which places them in possession of the ball for a longer period. As a result they encounter more one versus one situations and also places more emphasis on increased foot speed.
2.Minimum or maximum number of passes before shooting: By setting a limit on the amount of passes can affect the manner and build up play of the teams. A maximum number of passes means that teams must incorporate quick play and counter attacking as they must seek to penetrate quickly and directly approach the opposition’s goal. By setting a minimum number of passes team mates are forced to support the man in possession to ensure the required number of passes is met. The focus becomes on possession retention before penetrating.
3.Everyone must touch the ball: Ensures that no players ‘hide’ as their team can not score until they have all been in possession. This restriction also ensures all players on both teams concentrate as they must be aware of who has touched the ball. Quick passing interchanges are also encouraged.
1.Size (as with the goals their maximum size should be age appropriate): Smaller balls, can be used to improve first touch. While softer balls can be used when introducing the concept of heading.
2.Number: By using more footballs the reaction, interaction and concentration of the players are all increased.