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Cal South E-News | April 2012 COACHING EDUCATION

April 20, 2012

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US Youth Soccer

Combination Play

Reprinted from the Coaching Blog on www.usyouthsoccer.org

By Tom Turner, Ohio Youth Soccer Association - North

Combination play can be defined in very narrow terms, such as wall passing or overlapping; more broadly, as in combinations that are initiated with vertical or horizontal passes; or, very generally, as in any movement or combination involving two or more players that maintains possession or achieves penetration. The organization of the practice space and numbers will be dependent on the definition used. For the purpose of this outline, the broader definition is applied. The practice numbers are assumed to be 5v5.

Activity in unrestricted space

• Provide half as many balls (5) as players (10) and circulate the balls within the team.
• Various combinations should be presented by the players or coach.
• Insist on longer passes to provide time and space.
• Insist on changes of pace.
• Bring out technical details as required.
• On the coach's signal, players contest possession for 10-15 second "rounds."

Activity in restricted space

• Numbers: 3v3+4 (bumper game)
• Area: 25' x 25' (square) / 20' x 30' (rectangle)
• Scoring: Combine in threes using a support player (bumper) as the second player.
• Conditions: Bumpers have one touch back into the game; otherwise, must play to another support player.
• Players can use the bumpers to keep possession (2-player connections).
• Winning: Play to 5 or 6 and rotate bumpers into the game.

Game to one goal with counter

• Numbers: 4 attackers versus 3 defenders and a GK. Two support/target players. This becomes 5v4 with the coach as the support player/target.
• Area: 35' x 30' for 4v3 or 35' x 44' for 5v4
• Scoring: Attackers play to goal. Defenders play to targets, with 5 passes to targets equal to a goal.
• Conditions: Attackers can be limited to 3 touches.
• Winning: First team to 2 goals wins the round.

Game to two goals

• Numbers: 5v5 / 5v5+1 with coach
• Area: 45' x 35'
• Scoring: Goals are worth 3 points. Any "realistic" combination is worth 1 point.
• Conditions: Can be limited to 3 touches; otherwise, free play.
• Winning: First team to 12 wins the round.