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In the last week our State Association has announced that the changes to age groups and small-sided game formats will be implemented at the beginning of the 2016/2017 soccer year.
This was not a surprise to most coaches and administrators but it this announcement makes the decision official.
As part of the announcement US Youth Soccer provided a number of documents to help player, parents, coaches and administrators understand the reasons for these changes. The first is a Question and Answer sheet that covers the most commonly asked questions. The second is survey of more than 30 countries that asks them to describe the types of formats used for their young teams. The survey provides some useful comparisons to our new system.
One Hour Attacking Session
Dribbling across the court and back
- Inside and Outside
- Walking it next to them
- Lots of small touches
- Stop and back up halfway
- Facing up
- Pull Back and Push in (backward)
Four players on a cone each. One ball.
Basic Pass and Follow
- Pass to the player on your right and follow
- Receiving player faces up using the sole and then passes to the right
- Fourth player dribbles to the empty cone, faces up, passes and follows
Same going the other direction
Passing and Moving
- Player A passes to Player B next to him and follows his pass
- Player C checks diagonally into the middle
- Player B completes a Give-and-Go with Player C
- Player D slides to the open cone
Scrimmage to Finish
- Require the players to receive with the sole
- Decisions when to face and when to shield
- Movement of players without the ball
- Basic defending concepts
This is a basic introduction to the skills. In future sessions we would progress each of these exercises to include more complexity and pressure.
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In the Next Episode
With Thanksgiving (in the US) coming up next week I’ll be in a turkey coma on Friday so I won’t have a full podcast but I will share one of my favorite exercises. I like it so much because it includes passing, receiving, changes of direction, 1 v 1 (attacking and defending) and shooting. It can also be made into a team game so that the competitive nature of it raises the level of pressure and intensity.