With younger players catching the ball can be a major issue, even without pressure and opposition. Use this graduated exercise to improve their confidence to catch.
This activity looks to make your players much more at ease catching the ball and in the longer term, excellent handlers that can cope under pressure. This graduated exercise can put different pressures on players, and you can adjust each to suit the abilities of the players you have.
When you start the activity ensure its coaches that are feeding the ball to the players.
This means that the weight of pass is consistent and the players quickly get used to this.
One player runs to the other group and while doing so takes and gives a pass.
This is then continually repeated with players from each side taking turns.
Develop with the coaches giving low or high passes.
Add in tackle tubes to act as obstacles. Again keep varying the passes for better players especially.
Finally develop with a defender coming forward to pressurise the catcher – but only if you think the players are competent.
Catch the ball in their hands, not against their body.
Make a target with their hands and try to encourage them to reach for the ball.
Hands, fingers and arms are relaxed and not tense.
Here’s a 30 minute upskill booster for either senior or junior players. It’s aimed to fit into your whole session. You’ve got 90 minutes at training. The first 10-15 minutes will be your warm-up. At the end, you will playing a game, plus add in some set-piece work. That leaves you with 30 minutes to... MORE
Help players practise the risk and reward elements of attempting to turnover the ball in the tackle area. It starts with good tackling and then decisions on whether to compete for the ball.
If the ball carrier is momentarily isolated, support players need to react quickly to secure the ball. MORE
Here are four great warm-up games to energise your players while working on skills and decision-making.
Notice that I'm keen to showcase player-led activities for warm-up games. This is a good chance to build more cohesion amongst the players, while you are still providing a certain amount of control on the direction of the session. MORE