Drag-back 1


Drag-back 1.

  • Session starts with players in the Skill Squares upon arrival
Inside Hook,Outside Hook,Bounce Juggles and combinations of all
1. Unopposed 15 mins
Allow the players free roam of the grid practising the Drag-back at they’re pleasure letting them figure it out for themselves without being spoon fed.The Coach ghost coaches around the grid making sure each player is comfortable with the skill enough to move on to the next stage.Remember to practise with both feet.
Sub Routine of Skill
  1. Standing foot next to the ball
  2. Bottom of the foot near the toes on top of the ball
  3. Drag the ball behind you with that foot
  4. Turn your hips with the drag
  5. Which ever foot you use for the drag-back , it’s the shoulder on the same side that turns/spins with the movement.If you use your right foot turn right shoulder with it!
  6. Turn the opposite way you are facing
  7. Positive touch at the end and explode with pace (Ronaldo)
 2.Unopposed Competition 15 mins

Players find space in the grid and are given 2 minutes to complete as many drag backs as they can.Switch feet and give a point if they beat they’re personal best after repeating.Give them a little extra time to reinforce positive feedback.After this bring in different combinations such as one left drag back/one right drag-back/Inside Hook/Outside Hook.Use the whole sequence to score 1 point, how many points can they score in one minute ?.Keep changing the combination to help them get uncomfortable with completing a number of skills in one sequence.

  • Left Footed
  • Right Footed
  • Combinations
  • How many points can they score ?

3. Opposed 15 mins -Drag-back Thief

Players Are split into 4 small teams.Set up a circle of cones in the middle of the grid and have all the balls placed in there.The objective is for the players to run from theyre teams zones to the middle and perform a drag-back and accelerate away with the winning team being the team with the most balls at the end.This is made more difficult by placing a defender inside the circle who will watch players perform the skill and if anybody doesnt perform the right technique or cheats shall be chased down by the defender in a 1v1 situation with the ball returning to the middle.It is important to get every player moving and gaining as many touches on the ball as possible by keeping the teams numbers down to a minimum so if you have good numbers make more than four teams and have 2 man to a team.

Progression

Make one player the “attacking thief” who searches the grid for other teams zones and collections of balls.The player steals those balls by performing a drag-back and dribbling the ball back to their zone.Now all players will be getting as many touches on the ball and performing as many drag-backs as possible.

4. Conditioned Skill Related Game

Players split into two teams.The objective is to have the players get comfortable with using the drag-back to keep possession of the ball and win the small battles on the field which will help them toughen up and use the skill to break free.The attacking team will have one fewer players, the extra man the defending team have will be used to pressure the offensive team and force them to shield the ball and use the drag-back in a game related situation.

  • How many drag-backs can they complete before losing the ball
  • Defenders start as obstacles
  • Defenders then become active opponents
  • 3 drag backs completed successfully to score a goal
  • Switch attackers and defenders frequently

5. Final Match – Skill Match 30 mins (finish at around 27 mins so that cone pick up finishes on time for parents arrival)

  • Normal 1 point for a goal
  • 5 points for an Inside Hook anywhere on the field
  • 5 points for an Outside Hook anywhere on the field
  • 5 points for a Drag-back anywhere on the field
  • 10 points for beating an opponent with a Drag-back
  • 10 points for beating an opponent with an Outside Hook
  • 10 points for beating an opponent with an inside hook
  • 15 Points for a double hook that beats a number of opponents or combination of both

6. Cone Pick Up

When the final game finishes.Have the players quickly take their balls back and dribble to every cone on the field and perform an Inside Hook and an Outside Hook, picking up a cone as they go, Once there are no cones left the players will dribble they’re balls to the coach or coaches assistant and place the balls in the bag and the cones in a pile.This will demonstrate a great level of respect and install responsibility to the children.After a few weeks you will find that the players will instantly seek out they’re ball after the game to be the quickest back to the coach with his/her ball and cones.
  • Have the balls placed all together just before the end game starts so it is easy for the players to collect at the end.

Coaching Points

  1. Standing foot next to the ball
  2. Bottom of the foot near the toes on top of the ball
  3. Drag the ball behind you with that foot
  4. Turn your hips with the drag
  5. Which ever foot you use for the drag-back , it’s the shoulder on the same side that turns/spins with the movement.If you use your right foot turn right shoulder with it!
  6. Turn the opposite way you are facing
  7. Positive touch at the end and explode with pace (Ronaldo)
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Outside Hook 1


Outside Hook 1.

Allow the players free roam of the grid practising the outside hook at they’re pleasure letting them figure it out for themselves without being spoon fed.Coach, ghost coaches around the grid making sure each player is comfortable with the skill enough to move on to the next stage.

 

Combo Attack Begginners


 

Split the players into 2 teams and have them lineup side by side on each sideline.The game can be adapted to suit younger age groups and groups where fun is the main aim and not development.I have done this with 6+ yr olds in fun sessions and called it “Save My Bacon” as it is a really simple drill.Or you can make it hard and challenging for older development groups by adding skills and objectives.This is a very simple and easy to do activity with lots of benefits to the players and also it is a good way to break a session up with abit of fun!.

Combo Attack Begginners.

Aerial Control


Bounce Juggles and Aerial Manipulation

Beckham Juggling the ball with his Head

Bounce Juggles can be very beneficial to the players as this involves one of the main issues which surrounds youth football as a skill.What is meant by this is that it is very important for children to learn how to bring the ball out of the air as quick and as efficient as possible in order to win possession for they’re teams. I have found in my experience that youth teams that are able to do this have a much higher chance of victory than if they cant.The strange thing is this is a neglected area in the sport even with its importance to the match, it is one of the most annoying segments of watching a game that I’m coaching and it is one of those things that grinds my gears when I see a goal kick and the ball flying in the air and the ball approaching the ground with a youth player attempting to track the ball, missing the ball again and again and again and again,the ball bouncing three or four times before a player brings the ball under control.It is a frustrating issue to have due to how different a teams fortunes could be with the simple ability to control the ball out of the air and look for a pass and sadly it is rare that I see a coach spending any time on this especially here in England although i did see it more often in the USA.

The one excuse i have heard a lot when i have asked coaches about how much they work on this is that there isn’t enough time to work on this or prioritize a session to controlling the ball out of the air.This is wrong as you don’t need to prioritize a session towards this if you have committed your plans to work on something else but you can use time where there are delays and gaps to use this and also times of the session where the coach needs a minute to change one or two things.The main time where this can be implemented is the beginning of the session,as explained in the Skills Squares section in the U8 category the children will never all arrive at the same time so i put them into skill squares but there is no law against which skills or techniques you use in those skill squares so why cant you have one of the squares to practice control out of the air or even a few, you could even prioritize some weeks to having 5 minutes at the beginning of the session before you move onto the main objectives of the session to practice this.As you can see just because you don’t want to commit to train sessions on this there are ways to implement the technique without disrupting the nucleus of you’re sessions.Another way of nurturing this technique is to change the way you give them the ball back in play in practice, instead of passing them the ball with you’re feet ,start to underarm throw the ball in the air to them to force them to bring the ball under control.

Clint Dempsey of Fulham controlling the ball out of the air

The Bounce Juggles are pretty self explanatory.Have the players stand with the ball in their square and ask them to throw the ball in the air just in front of themselves.At first you want them to have that first bounce so that they can train their body to judge the movement of the ball and coordinate they’re reaction time with that movement so maybe you would start with a target of three bounce juggles so once that ball bounces can they use the laces to juggle the ball back into the air and judge the movement of the ball in order to juggle a further two times allowing the ball to bounce.Once the players are used to this make it more difficult.

  • can they achieve 20 bounce juggles ?
  • just how many can they do? 
  • can they bring another part of the body into it ?
  • Can they attempt 3 bounce juggles leading to two thigh touches ? 
  • The challenges are limitless

Once you have seen improvement and the players are comfortable with the movement of the ball when it is falling from a greater height you can then start to challenge them by using they’re laces to bring the ball down into they’re running path so maybe you would have them throw the ball higher and further into the distance so they have to move to the target and have them practice trapping the ball using timing as the key influence and the laces bring down which keeps the ball in control but moving to keep the flow of the possession of the ball and over the weeks that they get more and more developed with this technique you can start to add the other parts of the body like you’re chest and the head.
The options and different ways of doing this are endless, I just wanted to give you an example of how these techniques can be achieved without much effort over time.These are based on my experience and observations in Youth Football where it generally tends to be the teams that can manipulate the ball out of the air and have a great knowledge of the different supporting runs to coincide with that.