Develop players’ balance and reaction in attack and defence. The session has lots of chances for good communication and teamwork. The movement disruption will mean players have to adjust their depth in attack or reconnect to the line in defence. MORE
Become the perfect decoy
A strike runner often makes his break because a decoy runner has drawn the defender. Decoy runners need to be credible and available to receive the pass. This session works on developing moves using decoy runners.
Warm up time: 7-10
Session time: 10-12
Development time: 10-15
Game time: 10-15
Warm down time: 7-10
What to think about
Decoy players must look as though they may receive the ball. To achieve this, tell the players they are all decoys and all strike runners. The first receiver chooses who to give the ball to.
- Move the ball to the strike player as quickly as possible while moving forward at pace. Start as simply as possible then increase levels of difficulty (see picture 1).
- Run at angles to create space for the receiver.
- Look as though you are going to get the ball.
- Everyone call for the ball apart from the strike player.
What you get your players to do
Work in groups of six or seven in a20m square. Players start in a normal attacking alignment. Nominate one or two different spaces to attack (see picture 2).
As the 10 moves with the ball, all the players move. Only one player becomes the strike runner and so after being decoys, players must change their role and support. In picture 2, 15 is the strike player, with 11, 12 and 13 all decoys. 14 is the immediate support player.
Add defenders, gradually increasing their number.
Let the players come up with their own ideas of decoys. Use questioning to determine what they are actually trying to do as regards moving the defence and creating space, then try it out (see picture 3).
Don’t just use players in the same position. Move them around to experience the different roles.
Set up a conditioned game of 8v8 on a 40m x 20m pitch. Begin by conditioning it so one team always has the ball. The attacking team is given several attempts to beat the defence, who can defend but must leave the ball alone in the tackle. In each attack everyone moves so there are several options and decoy runners.
What to call out
- “Go forward then pass”
- “Call for the ball”
- “Take the ball at full pace”
- “Decoy, then support”
- “Weight your pass”