Interesting session last night. I finally had a good number of players. And I had in mind that I had to do something to prepair for a friendly internal game that we would have two days later against the U13s NPL. Since I wouldn’t have a full squad, I would use some of the U13 Div 1s. And I thought of something I could prepare and assess on that game. I had enough defensive players to set up a back line of GK, RB, CB, CB, LB and CDM.
I confess I didn’t feel prepaired enough to run a positioning session, even though I had in mind what I wanted to do. As I said here the coach needs to thing about the activities in detail, predicting what’s gonna happen when the game is live and if the activity is helping them achieve the session’s objective.
So yesterday my objective was to give the players that were coming back from vacation a run and start shaping my defense. One thing that I think I can improve straight away is the framing of my sessions. To explain what we’re doing and why we are doing it. I did explain it to them last night but I feel there’s room for a lot of improvement.
I did frame the first part of the session philosophycally, saying that I wanted to see as much 1-on-1s as possible. I want players that are not afraid of taking on opponents. If you can dribble eleven opponents and score a goal, why wouldn’t you do so? I have a few players who will instinctively do it, what makes my job easier, but I want to encourage it even further.
In the second part, the defensive exercise itself was really simple. I just positioned the backline and told them to keep the shape and the distance between the players. The cover system I used was simple, with only 1 line of cover. The player confronting the ball carrier will be closer to him and the others should slide to keep the shape and provide cover. This is provided the player on the ball is facing forward, otherwise the defence can push up. When I starte a live game the players struggled to keep the shape of the back four. My center back would close number 10 down leaving the back line open and man on man. This is an interesting dylemma. When to close down an opposing player and abandon the back line? The priority should be to defend the option that offers more threat. Number 10 should only be closed down in case he’s about to shoot. Otherwise the backline should stick to mark the front three and defend the space behind it.
1 – Warm Up
2 – Rondo
3 – Conditioning
4 – 1 v 1s, 1v2s, 3v2s
5 – Positioning
6 – Game