Pre-season Session 5: Switching Play

My last session was the beginning of a new focus of my tactical work: The switch of play. I’ll do a block of sessions where I try to develope in my players the instinct of looking to the oposite side of play, either to find space forward to attack or to just be able to have a more organized possession and regain the shape of the team.

The warm up had a few new coordenative exercises, as I feel more and more that the more varied movement experiences someone has, the more they will be able to learn new movements and be skilled in a particular one. This is a huge area of interest for me and I’ll put some hours of research into it: How to develop human coordination? How do people learn new movements? However I have to be careful to introduce those new concepts not wasting precious football time.

The next part was a passing practice using the same space I would use for the next game. This is something that I only learned after arriving in Australia: To make every part of the session related to one another, starting from the warm up, with optimal use of space, time and equipment.

The following exercise was another endzone game with free touches but this time the jokers were on the sidelines. Meaning that probably there would be a free man wide most of the time, inviting the players to switch play. It started slowly one more time, as some of the players are used to work in a low intensity and are hard to switch on, but then I joined, adding a third bouncer in the center and the intensity escalated. I’m still trying to find solutions to keep the intensity high during the whole session. It’s something non-negotiable for the playing style I want to implement.

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I had a problem with the last part of the session because I wanted to focus my game on wingplay, using wide corridors where there could only be 1v1, but the field was shortened in the middle of the session because the groundsman came in to close the goal mouth area, forcing me to decrease my width and allowing less space to the wingers. So the game moments I was trying to stimulate didn’t happen often. Also, my back line still has problems and I ended up instructing them as well, when I believe a session should be focused solely in one game moment.

But the session went well, the defender are slowly improving their positioning. The goalkeeper is getting more comfortable with on the ball and my full backs are crushing it as always. They will definitely be one of the strengths of the team.

1 – Warm Up
2 – Passing Practice
3 – Game Training 1 (End Zones)
4 – Game Training 2 (Wide Play)

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