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Trapattoni

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi Coaches,

I was wondering if we could have a roundtable of sorts on this crucial topic. Share as much or as little infomation as you want... if you prefer just offer some of the coaching cues and points you use or go in depth and give progressions, methodology, drills. Do you think your methods work well or do you feel like you could do better at teaching the concept? Just wondering what are some of different approaches out there. Personally I'm rethinking my appoach in coaching this concept.

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benji

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Reply with quote  #2 
I have a little saying I use:  "Can the ball see you?"  I phrase it backwards because the kids can always see the ball; they just forget to see the defenders in between.   If the ball can see you, you must be in an open lane.

The second part is "Find some useful space."  Even if the ball gets to you, if you are in the middle of traffic (no space) you won't have helped much.  Kids need to think about where the space is on the field, not just where the ball is.  That useful space may be forward, but it may be square or even behind.

A great game for working on this is a variation of Ultimate frisbee, if you've ever played it.  Essentially, it is a game with no dribbling allowed.  To make it work with less-skilled players, give the rule that once a player receives and controls the ball (usually indicated by putting a foot on top of it), they cannot be challenged, and all defenders must give 2-3 arm-lengths away from the ball carrier.  The ball carrier may turn with the ball but can't dribble more than a yard away from the spot where they controlled the ball.  Score by passing to a teammate over the end-line of the grid.

In this game the player with the ball is stationary, and all the movement must be off-ball.  It forces the off-ball players to get open, in useful space where the ball can see them.

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vandamanfan

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Reply with quote  #3 

Great topic.  I have told high school players they are not open, and they reply "Yes I am" even though they have their back to goal and two defenders on them waiting to steal any pass that comes their way.

 

I hope people have some good suggestions.

I have noticed that with 1 and 2 touch restrictions, players have to get open at least enough to do something with the ball TOWARDS  A TEAMMATE or the goal w/out over-dribbling and bulling their way through a defender, so at least they are forced to find some space before receiving the ball.

 

 

GA_Coach

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Reply with quote  #4 

I teach what I call, "Personal space," As players we all have personal space around us. We can all see the space in front, but you have to be aware of the space to your sides and behind.

 

So I want to see my players looking around them ALL the time checking their "Personal Space" one of my favourite ways of doing this is to play a normal game of soccer with the following exceptions to the rules:

 

1/ I as the coach can blow the whistle to stop the game at anytime, and the players must freeze.

 

2/ The players then close their eyes.

 

3/ I ask one of the players a question such as who is behind him, to the left of him, to the right of him or even how close their opponent is.

 

If he gets this correct his team gets 1 point, if he gets it wrong the opponents get 1 point.

 

At the end of the game the winning team chooses the "punishment" for the losers. i.e. Each player on the losing team has to juggle the ball a certain number of times etc.

 

It is amazing how quickly they learn their personal space.

 

 


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MrSoccer

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Reply with quote  #5 
No one mentioned this yet, but team mates off ball movement helps other teammats, and the dribbler by clearing out defenders to get space to play in.
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coachkev

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Reply with quote  #6 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapattoni
Hi Coaches,

I was wondering if we could have a roundtable of sorts on this crucial topic. Share as much or as little infomation as you want... if you prefer just offer some of the coaching cues and points you use or go in depth and give progressions, methodology, drills. Do you think your methods work well or do you feel like you could do better at teaching the concept? Just wondering what are some of different approaches out there. Personally I'm rethinking my appoach in coaching this concept.

First,

You have to know what you wish to achieve by Getting Open

Is it to receive a pass?

Is it to cause confusion in the oppositions defense?

Is it a decoy run for another player?

 

Second,

By its very nature, Getting Open is an attacking tactic which all players should practice ( especially Target Players )

I constantly challenge my players to :

1) CREATE SPACE

2) USE THE SPACE CREATED

 

To do this they must try to stick to an aim:

ONE RUN FOR OPPONENTS, ONE RUN FOR YOU.

They do this by constantly assessing their position from the start point of being in the middle of a giant 'X'. In this way all their runs will be at an angle from their previous one.

This is coupled with the old maxim of:

ANGLED RUN    = STRAIGHT PASS

STRAIGHT RUN = ANGLED PASS

 

So now we have a scenario where the forwards know that they must try and make 2 runs per attack adjusting their positions from this 'X'.

The passers know that the first run is the decoy and by quickly seeing whether the second run is at an angle or straight, they can apply the necessary pass

 

KeiththeKoach

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Reply with quote  #7 

Its a good topic with an inexhaustible number of coaching situations.

 

Being open means different things in different parts of the field.  Width and depth are fairly easy to appreciate and to apply in the back third. The middle third mechanics of play are quite different because there are usually more players in front and behind.  The front third is different again in that often all others are behind the strike forces.

 

The idea that the same simple rules about "getting open' apply up and down the park does not hold water for me.  The idea that you should make sure the ball sees you is one of those great coaching lines that has spread like wild fire around the coaching world but means very little.  Yep, the ball can see me but it can also see this opponent standing between me and the goal!!! 

 

At the back, width and depth need to be established as quickly as possible.  This requires players to learn patterns of play that maximise safety as well as providing opportunties for forward progression.  Being open in the back third is the least difficult of the three thirds.

 

The middle third is the most difficult because it presents the most choices and the greatest variety of possible passing options.  Which passing pattern is best. The switch, the one two, the set up, a cross over and not forgetting the through ball in front of a tight marked striker.  In midfield it isn't just about being open.  It is quite often about the correct placement of the pass to the receiver's correct foot to give him an advantage over a defender that you know he is capable of exploiting.

 

Getting open up front requires a different mindset since the strikers are hog tied by the offside limitation.  Lateral runs play a large part and being first is as important as being free.  Penetration up front is most often created by a pass that goes to a 1 v 1 situation.  1 v 1 gives the attack the advantage since there is no cover, or balance.

 

Getting open is less important than being able to create personal space and time to view the field in tight situations.  All of which comes down to the mechanics of passing, receiving and controlling.  At the highest level the close support players (second attacker) will find that the defender will always be where the ball can see him too.

 

 

themuzicman

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Reply with quote  #8 
One thing that has helped my daughter see open space is that she points to where she wants to receive the ball.  Whether it's a throw-in, kick, or doing the run of play, she points to the space that she wants to utilize.  That helps her see the space she wants to us, and helps the passer to see where the ball needs to go.

This has two effects:

1) The defender frequently can't see where she's pointing, so it's better than yelling the ball handler's name and alerting everyone to the space she wants to use.

2) It eliminates standing in an unusable space, because pointing to an area where there is a defender, or to where the passer can't put the ball will make you look silly really quick.

Muz


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JeffS

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Reply with quote  #9 

OK some of you might think this is stupid but.... Here goes, with my U11 team I have carried a roll of kite string and when I see/hear a player call for the ball that is not "open" I will freeze play and have her hold the end of the string then I place the other end under the ball, this is the path the ball will take if a Defender can reach the ball, is in the path etc... the player is not open. You can also illustrate support angles in this way.

 

If anyone else is silly enough to do this don't over use it one or twice is enough in a single session.


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MrSoccer

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Reply with quote  #10 
Keith said "The idea that you should make sure the ball sees you is one of those great coaching lines that has spread like wild fire around the coaching world but means very little. Yep, the ball can see me but it can also see this opponent standing between me and the goal!!! "

It's if you can see the ball that means there is no one between you and the ball. So you can be passed to by a dribbler. Sometimes you have to go meet the ball, but if you can see it you can get it.

In the old days when you and I played we didn't always do that. So we gave our passes eyes. We put spin on the ball to make it go around the defender to get to our receiver.

You don't see that much anymore because players try to make sure there in a position to see the ball.

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KeiththeKoach

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Reply with quote  #11 

The problem is, Mr Soccer, that these trite phrases produce robots and even some chaos.  Imagine if every support player runs to where "the ball can see you".  Whoops, no one behind the ball carrier or maybe we've all gone left side.  Its too much of an absolute.  It is right in a particular situation but only in a particular situation.

 

Being open is very often only being JUST open and in these circumstances the direction of the pass and its weight are the points to make, not the support players position.  It also makes the very large assumption that defenders are going to allow you to be open.  How often do players get into a position where they can see the ball but they are not open.  Underlines the point that the choice of the passer relating to direction and weight need to be part of any passing coaching session.

Mchill

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Reply with quote  #12 

you're not saying that teaching kids to find gaps and check into gaps to receive a ball is a bad thing are you? i've never heard of "being where the ball can see you" but it certainly makes sense and can be helpful for players that keep getting stuck behind defenders, making them useless, unless the dribbler can create a new angle or another players creates a play that brings them into the game. i keep hearing these "robot" statements. i hope coaches aren't hiding behind this and not teaching kids "ways" to play. of course not many things are "absolutes" in any games. you can win in poker playing a 2 and a 7 hand every once in a while, but your not gonna win many games like that. even though its not an absolute, you shouldn't play that hand often.

GA_Coach

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Reply with quote  #13 

No Mchill, I believe what mrsoccer and KTK are saying is the phrase, "Can the ball see you" is not an absolute.

 

As a player it is more about utilizing your personal space than "Can the ball see you," We are taught how to put the ball, "Around the corner" when the ball can't see you, as an example.

 

 

Another example is the one above, when one of the players in the center of the field has the ball and is looking to spread play to his wing. He wants his winger to be on the shoulder of the defender, so that he can play the ball behind the defender into the path of the winger, who the ball cannot see!

 

I could go on and on with examples of good soccer when the ball cannot see you. But as you can see mrsoccer and KTK make good points.

 

                                   


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Trapattoni

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Reply with quote  #14 
Bear with me with this post please. But if you don't have the patience , check out the last paragraph- IMO it should spark some lively discussion.

I. DRILLS . Drills that I've used to teach "getting open" initially are 2v1 in a grid and the open corner(spare man) game. I like to play that game in a diamond instead of a square to encourage diagonal, not square , passes and angles of support.

Also initially putting in a lot of work on teaching players to check to the ball. Drills such as 1v1 with a server and pattern play drills work well. Also 3v2 v 3v2 + 2GK with half -way line restriction works well as well.

II. COACHING POINTS - In terms of cues and coaching points , intially I tell my players to "get out of the shadow" of the (1st) defender. I teach my players to be side-on to the ball so that they can see the ball and their marker at the same time. That makes a big difference. Another coaching point I use with them is what I call the "EITHER -OR" concept. The defender can EITHER mark you OR the space behind you. If he's stuck on you like glue then that means that you should look for a pass into the space behind the defender instead of coming closer to the ball. If the defender plays off you then you should check in.

III. MISTAKES- On of the biggest mistakes I see is that instead of doing a a sharp 3-5yd check to the ball player will literally try and jog 10-15 yard toward the ball. The other one of course is lack of communciation- especially eye contact.


IV. NEW CONCEPTS- I've progressed to teaching space with 2v1 and 3v2 + GK with counter. When you pace the attackers in a directional situation like that you notice how little movement there is. Basically it's just one player dribbling and the other supporting square. So I'll start the practice by introducing a concept such as a wall pass, overlap or diagonal run using pattern play on a big goal and progress to the above games. This helps a lot and after a few practices the difference is in the players' mobility and decision making is astounding.

V. CHALLENGING THE CONCEPT OF "FINDING SPACE"- What I've always done and I think what most coaches have done is to teach players how to find space. Now I realize that (IMO) that is NOT THE BEST WAY. In other words - It's INCORRECT. I think what the smartest player often do is :

First -igure out WHERE IDEALLY they want to recieve the ball

Second- if neccesary make a FAKE movement that would open up the above mentioned space

Third - Make a RUN into their IDEAL SPACE and recieve the ball.

Basically it comes down to you controlling your opponent instead of your opponent controlling you.

You see youth players getting open in a inefficient manner all the time. For example a striker running away from the center(which is the best place for a striker) and itno the corner to recieve the ball because that's the space that the defenders left open. I

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Mchill

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Reply with quote  #15 

got it...yes they both make good points about off the ball movement.  thanks 4 clearing that up.

LFSC

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Reply with quote  #16 
Hi Everybody, Great thread!  

Any advice on how to talk to the team about coordinating their use of space?  In other words, what has worked as coaching points to the team on adjusting their use of space during the game to minimize the other team's manner of attack or to exploit the other team's weakness in defense.  I don't have any experience on this topic, but wonder if there are teams that have cultivated the ability to identify, diagnose, and coordinate a reaction to how space is being used during the game.  If, "Yes", how would a coach structure that development progression?    I often wonder while watching a high level game, if the team that is having the bigger problems is working together to adjust their approach vs. being back on their heels and unable to coordinate their collective response.  I look at my youth teams and wonder if I there is an approach I can teach that would be the equivalent of US Football's huddle, where the team re-groups and coordinates their attacking or defensive approach.  I know soccer is more dynamic, but wonder if recognizing opportunities to adjust is best developed through running complex combination pattern drills, video review, chalk talk, or coaching in the game.  

Thanks,
Mike
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