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how can I progress this session?


Condition your players, to one touch/two touch. Condition your wide players that they must make so many/so few passes before crossing the ball. Overload your central area. Split area into three (attacking third, central area, defending third) overload if required, so many passes in each third prior to ball going wide for the cross. play with four small goals at either end instead of two, which makes the wide players think more? Be creative & innovative - Ask the players opinion you will be surprised? Remember player/coach is a two way thing.   

You could post the wide players along a line from which they cannot move infield, so they can move along the line. This makes it more difficult for the inside players to reach them but easier for the wide men to cross.

You can also post one 'free' player in the middle who only plays for the team in possession.

You can decide that the first touch is always with the weak(er) foot (also in addition to what other posters said).

Furthermore, you can decide that all balls cannot go higher than knee-height (or all balls in the middle part cannot go higher than). This places more emphasis on movement off the ball.

add in another goal and make it a 3v3 in the middle area and it becomes a game.  5 consecutive passes out to a wide player, cross and finish.  just like the wingers game really but with stipulations, you could do 3 passes out wide and focus on a swith of play through the middle area again before you can attack and cross and finish.


you could make it into zones that when the crosser gets the ball only 2 players can attack a defined area and only one defender (if you are looking for success going forward) or more competition 2v2 in the attacking zone...whatever you decide or whatever you are wanting to achieve from the session.

My last answer I posted disappeared so I'll try again! (You might see two different replies saying the same thing though!). Maybe try:

1. Reducing the size of one or more of the zones to make it harder

2. Changing the rules so that the wide players can also be tackled by the opposing player - 2 v 1 - or take one out and create a 1 v 1

3. Reward the team who uses the wide players for intelligent play. I'm thinking instead of them going wide and the wide players putting in a cross (sometimes blindly because that's the current rule), you reward them for recycling the ball if the cross isn't on. So if they go back into the centre and the other wing crosses and they score, the goal counts double.



Progressing this is the same for most drills, reduce the restrictions and move it onto free flowing 'game like' play while still focusing on the 'session topic'.

So, for this one I would retain the challenges for both the mid section and the wing channels but allow players to go where they want but no more than 2 players from each team allowed in the wide areas, while the central players have 3 touch maximum challenge to get a ball wide to a crosser.

Another progression would be that the challenge is one touch to control in the wide channels, second touch is a cross for goal.

Another would be to keep all players out of the wide channels until a teammate plays into the wide channel where a teammate can run into to complete the cross.

Further ideas:

* Wide players receiving must complete a one two with a central teammate before crossing

* On possession, the ball must visit both wide channels before a cross with the receiving wide player plays their first pass at an angle towards their OWN goal for that player to switch the ball to the other channel.

* When the cross comes in goals scored from a first time strike count treble (you need to reward the skill rather than restrict)





Over load the wide area  ? When the ball goes into him allow one central player to  enter the wide zone and overlap them creating a 2 vs 1 situation on the full back

-You could also make your wide man take a MINIMUM of 5 touches, encouraging him to dribble

Just to add that another easy progression would be that the player that passes out to the wide channel player swaps so that the receiving wide player attacks inside with the ball while the passer takes their place as the wide player.

All passes should be played at speed but leave the decision as to how many touches to use to the players to encourage decision making with confidence.

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  • or access our tried and tested plans