This clinic was given by April Heinrichs, Head Women’s Soccer Coach, University of Virginia, Women’s National U19 Coach. It is here reported by Gene Pitstick, with illustrations by Gene Pitstick.

April Heinrichs likes to encourage her plays to make runs for an assists and does give an assist to a run which aids in a goal being scored.
Triangle passing drill – 6 players 30 yd. Apart, two lines, start with one player with the ball mid way between the two end lines, This mid player starts the drill by passing to one end, when the pass comes to end player they are to stop it dead and run to mid way, the former mid runs to end and passes to the new mid, who passes to opposite end and runs to that end, etc.
Bender (#2)- added end player making stop dead then a bending run.

Coaching point : for player making the bending run – run wide, then run high, with purpose, speed, and vision to get re-involved in game. Run with conviction.

Changed the direction of bending run.
Double pass drill (#3)- added player in middle : play the ball to the middle player, lay off for passer who sprinted wide, middle spins and receives ball back from passer, middle passes to other end, follows to that end, opposite end passer becomes new middle.

Coaching point: encouraged middle to spin and run wide then high.
Next drill (#4) – keeper in goal, 1v1 at 25 out, at 35 yards out players in line with balls, center player makes checking run to receive the ball (1), ball is passed to checking player from line of players (2), first passer makes bending run (3), depending on the defender the receiver could turn and shoot (4&6) or pass to first passer (5), if receiver passed then spin away (4) and look for return pass (7), if lay off pass (5) I made then receiver can either shot (9) or wall pass (7) to set up shot (10).

Spin with vision : spin away from pass when you pass with back to goal and get your eyes back on ball as you get wide

Changed drill in #4 to have 2 v2 in middle at the start

In diagram #4 if after your run (3) and if you do not see advantage in moving forward then make a Withdrawing run with vision : back pedal and face as much of the field as possible.

Coach Heinrichs finished the session with 3v3 with 2 goals and keepers and no restrictions

Summary and Coaching Notes
We as coaches need to reward the players who make runs off the ball with praise and accolades

An unbalancing run is one made away from the area attack to stretch the defense (i.e. in diagram #4 making run no.4 very wide)

The fifth type of run introduced was a run at the restraining line (offsides line) : across field behind all but last defender

We need to explain each piece of terminology we are going to use. Our language is very important : name the runs and create pictures for the for movement off the ball

She gives assist to player who makes a run which creates the goal scoring opportunity

Frequently remind them to make runs, praise and encourage when they do.

Reported by Gene Pitstick.


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