Grassroots Coaching
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Coach your players to combine to finish in the final third

Manchester United had an unbelievable 45 passes before Juan Mata slotted home their 3rd goal against Southampton. No doubt, Southampton were worn out chasing the ball. But, the final couple of passes in the attacking 3rd were vital to creating the combination play that resulted in the goal.

This key attacking area is where we focus our Midfield break out game on.

This is a directional, rotating game designed to encourage midfield combination play in the attacking third. Once the midfield team have combined for an agreed number of passes, they can break out and look to combine with and support their forward and try and score. If the opposition win it, they can immediately break out and counter attack

Organisation

  • Two relevant sized goals to the age group with GK’s
  • Coach with supply of footballs – they are the server who restarts the game when the ball has gone dead.
  • Coned off midfield area, size to suit the age, number and ability of the players. Ends of the area to be approximately 23 – 30 yards from the goal.
  • Play 3 v 3 – or agreed number of players in this area.
  • Attacker and defender at both ends
  • Spare midfield players positioned outside of the midfield area

Structure

  • Coach serves the ball to one of the teams. They become the attacking team
  • They must complete agreed number of passes in the area, before breaking out and looking to combine to support their attacker to try and score. Opposition midfield can also break out and try and defend the attack.
  • Reset after the attack
  • After the attack, the spare midfield players on the side of the area, go into the midfield area to make it 3 v 3.
  • The attacker and defender become the spare players on the side of the area.
  • The midfield players who broke out to attack and defend become the attacker and defender.

New game

  • When the coach is happy that all the players have reset themselves, they serve a ball to the team that didn’t attack and the game continues
  • Opposition win the ball in the midfield area.
  • If the opposition win the ball in the midfield area, they can either put the ball out of play and the coach restarts. Or, immediately look to counter attack and break out to join their striker – they don’t have to make 3 passes.

Defender wins the ball

  • If the defender wins the ball, they can either put the ball out of play and the coach restarts the game. Or, look to pass into their midfield in the area, who can immediately look to counter attack and break out to join their striker – they don’t have to make 3 passes.

GK saves

  • If the GK saves the ball, they can either put the ball out of play and the coach restarts. Or, immediately look to distribute to their midfield players who can immediately counter attack and break out to join their striker – they don’t have to make 3 passes.

Coaching tips

  • Good passing, support and combination play in midfield
  • Movement from striker to create space – pull the defender out of position or movement to receive a pass from their midfield.
  • Timed break out movement from he midfield to break out and support their striker.
  • Accurate, composed finish and follow up for rebounds.
  • Good communication between players.
  • Good communication from players to get re organised
  • Defenders to try and defend well and recognise that if they win the ball, can they be positive and try and quickly create a counter attack for their team?

Progressions and challenges

  • Play with two end defenders and attackers
  • Make the midfield area bigger or smaller – if wider, will create break out and cross opportunities.
  • Play 2 v 2 or 4 v 4 in the midfield area.
  • Play games over a period of time – 10 minutes and see what team can score the most goals
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Attacking Attacking Sessions