Shuffling and cross-over steps are essential skills for a defender to react to a change of direction of an attacker. Work on these in the development of your players’ tackling progression. MORE
Pick, pass and support
Timing the run is a tricky skill that requires setting up lots of scenarios in training. Use this busy activity to mess up the running lines of support players before they readjust to take a pass at pace.
Support players often arrive from different angles. They need to time their runs to take the ball at pace.
Put three players at one end of the box 2m from two groups of three coloured cones placed randomly – say, three red cones and three blue.
Put a ball just beyond the cones towards the middle of the box. Shout a colour, and the players run to one each of that coloured cone.
The nearest player to the ball picks it up.
He pops it up to another player, who passes to the last player who races to the far end.
Develop by adding a defender, who starts level with the group of cones. On your call of a colour, he runs to the far end of the box and turns to defend, aiming to touch the ball carrier.
- Call for the ball.
- Take the ball at pace.
- Pass for the receiver to run onto.