Pre-Season Session 13: Attacking

Tonight I had a very disorganized, yet productive session where I worked in attacking concepts in a more dynamic way. After beginning the session with another continuous run exercise (17 minutes, with long ball included), I ran a simple attack versus defense exercise where 4 players would attack against 2 defenders (rotating every round), so there would be repetition of attacking situations.

It was a bit disorganized because I didn’t know the Fitness Coach would come and because I can’t set up in advance because I’m coaching the academy in the previous hour and haven’t found a way to overcome that.

Despite all the good work and improvement so far, it still amazes me how our players lack peripheral vision. Or how sometimes they see the easy play but decide not to play it. And coaching U11s tonight I can see that the root is there. They’re insisting in through balls in overloaded areas when there are wide players free. I’ll run one thousand identical sessions until they get those concepts right. It’s amazing how what happens in training is exactly what happens in the game. Players and coaches can’t fool themselves thinking their behavior will change. That’s why you have to stop it when you see it.


The good think about this session is that it works well as a football specific interval-training exercise and it’s highly motivating to the players. At these younger age groups the motivation plays a decisive role in the intensity of the session, thus the coaches HAVE to be careful to still make it fun to the players. Unless you have 100% switched on, single-minded players who understand the importance of every moment in the session, which won’t happen very often.

After that I played a 8v7 game where I didn’t coach much. I just gave individual feedback and stopped once to correct the positioning of the wingers when opponent is playing out from the back. Wingers should be wide closing down the full-backs but close enough the center backs in case there’s a chance to double up on them. While the CBs are engaged by #9 and #10 as a back cover. If I ever play a well-trained team playing out from the back I might keep #10 with #6 because I don’t think any CBs in Div 1 will be instructed to attack space, which makes it easier four our #9 to press.

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