Develop the skills and tactics to return the ball from kicks to the sides of the pitch, between the 15m and 5m lines. A cross kick can isolate the defending winger. He needs to use kicking and running skills to avoid being caught away from his support. MORE
Kick start your counter attack
More teams are refusing to kick for touch, instead kicking for territory in a bid to launch counter attacks. This simple session helps players discover ways to perfect this and should be a standard session for every season.
Warm up time: 7-10
Session time: 10-15
Development time: 10-15
Game time: 10-15
Warm down time: 7-10
What to think about
Start by kicking or throwing a ball for players to catch. Encourage them to call loudly for the ball and jump while catching it.
Put the catchers various situations: Plenty of time and under a lot of pressure, always ensuring support players also read the situation. They must help him make the right decision by moving and talking to him before he catches the ball.
- Call for the ball loudly and early. Move quickly to catch it before it hits the ground. Jump while making the catch.
- If not involved in the catch, move into a position to collect any dropped balls or to take a pass from the fielding player. Talk to the catcher and let him know where you are.
- Once the ball is caught, sum up the situation then react – run, pass or do both.
- As support players, take the initial pass on the run and go forward.
What you get your players to do
Play in groups of 3v3. A 9 makes the first pass to a player who kicks the ball to one of the three opponents facing him and his two team mates chase the kick (see picture 1).
The three counter attackers have to field the ball then attack the two defenders chasing the kick. A variety of individual and collective techniques and skills can be used to beat the two chasing defenders (see picture 2).
Ask the kicker to use a variety of kicks – a punt, long grubber, up and under – so the ball lands on top of the catchers, in front or behind them.
Allow counter attackers to kick back.
Begin by playing 6v6, with two layers of three players in each team. The front three are the kickers and chasers, the back three are the fielders and counter attackers (see picture 3).
The game starts with one team kicking to the back three of the opposition and chasing the kick. The back three field it and counter attack with the support of their front three, who drop back making it a 6v3. When they counter attack back to the halfway line, they must kick to their opponent’s back three and so the game continues.
What to call out
“Look at the ball as it is kicked – then react and call”
“Turn your body sideways as you catch”
“If under pressure, jump and catch”
“Support from deep and run at the space”