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Developmental Academy Coaching Sessions

Week 4 - Spacing
by Darren Beesley, (USSF A / UEFA A)

Warm Up - 10mins

King of the Ring -  Each player has a ball.  Players begin by dribbling around inside the ring in any direction whilst keeping their own ball under close control they must try to knock another players ball out of the ring whilst keeping their ball close to their feet. Players that have their ball knocked out of the ring initially need to do a skill to re-enter. That may be a juggle, a turn or a move on the outside of the ring

To be successful players must decide who to attack and use defensive skills to knock their ball out, while being aware that they might be attacked from a different angle and look to find space.

Coaching Point - Encourage each player to keep their heads up, they should be aware of what's around them at all times, both opposing players and where the space is to exploit.

Make it fun - This can be turned into a team game not just Individuals. You can add a defender no ball who can enter at times to speed the game up and make it fun.

King of the Ring.png

3v3v3 Transfer Game - 10mins

Three Zones/Channels. x3 Teams of three or four players. The team in the middle are the defending team. The team in possession have to move the ball side to side to create space to play to through the middle to the opposing team. Point each team you transfer the ball through the middle to the opposing side. 

Coaching Point -  Spacing, moving the ball side to side creates space and gaps between the defenders to play through. Decision making, timing, passing.

Make it Fun - time the defending team x2 mins or if the exercise progresses the defending team rotates with the attacking team.

Transition Passing.png

4 Goal Game - 10mins

4 Goal Game - 4v4. Each team attacks in two of the opposite corner goals. You could add a third gate in the middle that provides an alternative option to dribble through. the corner goals you score a point by scoring, central gate can be two points by dribbling through. 

Coaching Point - Focus on spacing, using the width available. Moving the ball side to side quickly will create chances to score or an option to attack and dribble through the central gate if added.

Make it Fun - team thats ahead in scoring must score twice in the central gate prior to resuming scoring 9n the corner goals. It will emphasize spacing and how difficult it is if you do not use the width or space. 

4 Goal Game.png

4v4 Game (Man to Man Marking) - 10mins

Two Teams - 4v4 Man to marking. Each player partners up with an opposing player. That player can only tackle the player that he is marking. 

Coaching Point - Encourage each player to find space. The defender marking them will at some point will lose concentration and be drawn to the ball. Players should be vocal in asking or shouting for the ball when in a position to receive the ball.

Make it Fun - Switch and take turns who marks who. Try to match up whoever scores the most goals with each other.

4v4 Man to Man.png

4v4 Game 20mins

4v4 Game. Try to play 4v4 whenever possible to reinforce the shape of a diamond whilst playing 4v4. If need be rotate players in and out to allow them to get used to game days on a Saturday.

Coaching Point - Diamond Shape, Spacing. Encourage all aspects of the Session/Spacing.

Wk 3. 4v4 Diamond Shape (Game).png
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