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In this World Cup we've seen coaches playing too defensive, packing the midfield area and all in all some very boring games have ensued. Even at junior and youth level, too many coaches try to over complicate the game by putting many tactical conditions on players and the team shape. This restricts players development and even takes away some of the enjoyment of the game.
While there is still a need to have a structure to the team... players should be let loose when they take to the field of play and allowed to develop their creativity.
Creative soccer promotes fast flowing attacking soccer.
Irrespective of final scores, when games are played in this manner with many chances created and goals scored, players and spectators get a huge amount of enjoyment out of the game.
So how can you make your training sessions more geared towards playing fast flowing attacking soccer?
To help your players get into this mode of thinking and style of play, set up little 4 x 4 small sided games in training. No goal keepers, just small goals... ideally you could use pop up goals or simply put some cones down. The key is to make the pitch quite lengthy... so that the ball must be carried or passed quickly from one end to the next when possession is won back.
Why does the pitch size make such a difference? Because it forces the players to win the ball back, and then attack with pace. Space is also available in such an area if players are constantly on the move.
Youth players (U12 - U16)
pitch size = 30 yards in width by 60 - 70 yards in length.
Junior players (U9 - U11)
pitch size = 20 yards in width by 45 - 50 yards in length.
For any players younger than this age, small sided 4 x 4 games on a pitch 20 yards x 35 yards is ideal... and almost all sessions should be developed in this area.
Now you can condition the game too, to say that at least 3 passes need to made before a goal can be attempted... this forces the players to work the ball up the pitch using short quick passes rather than giving it the player who can dribble the ball the fastest!
By playing small sided games like this, you'll quickly help
your players develop a style of breaking quickly and play
more direct attacking soccer.
Below is a video for circle passing drills. This drill can be used with an age group and can be modified to fit your teams level. This drill is designed to keep your players moving and communicating while they are working on their passing skills.
Follow the link below for some handy football drills: