Session Plan – Passing to create an advantage

Last week, one of La Liga's top sides - Valencia C.F. - held a football camp for kids aged 5-18 years old in Albania. Head of Coaching Content Xhulio Zeneli had the opportunity to be one of the coaches of this camp, working with the youngest age group - 5-9. The camp lasted four days, with kids from different cities and countries taking part. One of the training days was focused entirely around passing, which Xhulio believes is the most important aspect of the game that a young player should learn. Passing may seem like a simple concept, but the art of passing extends to so much more beyond just technique. It extends to scanning of the field, receiving, moving into open space and recognizing how to take advantage of the opposition. So with that, here is a session plan all about how to pass to create an advantage.

Session Plan – Spatial Awareness & Switching Play

Recently I have heard much in the way of what I would classify as "misinformation" regarding the readiness of youth players to learn tactical concepts like switching play. Switching play as a tactical concept ultimately comes down to recognizing space and making decisions based on that spatial awareness. Switching play doesn't mean crossing a long-ball forty/fifty yards from one side of the field to the other. It is about recognizing the space to see the opportunity of when space is condensed, versus when space is available and what to do in both of those situations. It is therefore an essential concept that can be taught to players of just about any age. Here is a session plan and key coaching points to match, all about spatial awareness and switching play!

Home Training Session – Receiving, Turning & Finishing

Stuck inside with nothing to do? Not able to go out to the park and train? Fear not, because TheMastermindSite.com will be delivering several home training sessions over the next few weeks. Session ten is a ball and a wall session, all about receiving, turning and finishing. Coach Rhys will lead you through a series of exercises around this fun topic, and a juggling skills challenge. Now, enjoy this session all about receiving, turning and finishing.

Home Training Session – Ball Control Mixed Bag of Fun

Stuck inside with nothing to do? Not able to go out to the park and train? Fear not, because TheMastermindSite.com will be delivering several home training sessions over the next few weeks. Session nine is all a mixed bag of fun, centered mostly around ball control. The session also includes some passing and turning, skills moves and a fitness challenge as always to end off.

Home Training Session – Receiving under Pressure

Stuck inside with nothing to do? Not able to go out to the park and train? Fear not, because TheMastermindSite.com will be delivering several home training sessions over the next few weeks. Session seven is a four colour session, working on a variety of touches, fakes, rolls and turns. Coach Rhys will lead you through a series of exercises, a skills challenge and two fitness challenges this week to end off. Now, enjoy this four colour session!

Small Group Training Session – Spatial Awareness & Scanning

With all the restrictions going on in the world of COVID-19 right now, small group training sessions are becoming more and more common-place, as coaches are forced to split their groups into smaller numbers. Here is a session plan all about scanning & spatial awareness for 4 players.

13 Warm-Up Activities with the Ball

It's seen less and less often today, but back in time warm-ups were hardly ever done with a ball and incorporated things like running laps and static stretching. Luckily, coaches of today have realized that warm-up activities can incorporate the ball, whether it be gradually or right away, and achieve the same outcomes of "warming-up". In fact, these activities not only get players moving and hypothetically help to decrease the risk of injury as a good warm-up should; but they also get players to practice their technical and tactical skills. This allows players to warm-up not just their muscles, but their brains as well. Here are 13 warm-up activities for young players, aged 6-14.

Passing & Moving – Session Plan and Key Coaching Points

Although they should be considered completely different topics, coaches often link passing and moving together as items that need to be improved together. As every youth coach of ages 4-10 has found out, players in the initial stages of their soccer development often have trouble "spreading out" and understanding basic concepts of passing and moving. So with that, here is a session plan from The Mastermind Site all about passing and moving for ages 6-10!

Combination Play – Full Session Plan and Key Coaching Points

All of the best professional clubs in the world have some clearly defined method of combination play in the final-third of the pitch. Although our youth teams might never be able to achieve the attacking flair of Borussia Dortmund or Liverpool, working hard on the training ground on Combination Play can still be tremendously helpful in the quest for greater attacking prowess.

Progressive Possession (9v9)

There's a common saying in football: If you don't shoot, you don't score. Well if you don't keep possession of the ball, you'll have a lot more difficulty scoring. Many players that I've worked with over the years have had the common bad habit of simply just kicking the ball the second they get it. Sometimes even older players have this issue. The assumption for these players is if I can get the ball closer to the net then we as a team will have a better chance of scoring. But more often than not, all this does is present the other team with an opportunity to pick up the ball and go on the attack themselves. Players need to learn how to keep possession of the ball, particularly under pressure, and how to turn that possession into a goal scoring chance. Tiki taka football is nice and all, but possession needs to have a purpose and that is exactly what we are going to explore in this article about coaching Progressive Possession at the young ages.