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How to stop playing panic soccer

Newer program, my kids for the majority play panic soccer, and just send the ball downfield. Any advice how to get them into a mindset of building the ball out and maintaining possession?

Hi Chris,

Modern football is moving towards a possession based game, focussing on keeping the ball therefore the sooner your players are comfortable with keeping the ball amongst the team, the better.

Any small unit play drill, including this Kabadi drill attached are perfect for getting them used to keeping possession of the ball in tight areas without panicking.

The movement off the ball, the pre-scanning before the ball arrives and then their first touch to be able to move it on again are all vital to the success of the drill and the teams progress.

Make sure you highlight the importance of each and allow them to make mistakes to learn from. 

Other drills such as rondo's and tiki-taka are great for this. The more time their spend playing like this, the more time they will create for themselves on the ball and the less panicked they will feel when they come to replicate it in a game. 

I hope this helps!

Kabadi: 4v1

Video / Animation
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Four players are placed in a grid next to another four players.

As soon as the ball is given to one group of four a player from the opposite four must enter the grid too win the ball back.

Once the ball is won the defender plays the ball back into their own grid and the roles are reversed.

Coaching Points:

Ensure pass is played with pace

Use of both pre and post vision

Use of both feet to pass

thank you very much!

It is common in  football at certain levels and frustrating , I use lots of rondo based drills and small sided games and practise lots on passing . I think one drill I found on here called Barca  where the two teams compete for possession  either in their own half or the opposition half . As their level rises I can fit this to the formation and practise recycling the ball and playing out . Because there is pressure from the other team it becomes more realistic . 
I also teach them to pass in triangles so there is always options and as we learn formations that allows them to put this in straight away . Pass and move is key for alot so those 2v1  drills are good where they must always find the line  or in the opposite way cut the line . It has helped me for sure with at least 4 hobby teams to make the steps to more competitive  levels 

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  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans