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How do I encourage my players to come towards the ball?

I have a child on my team who is a good little player but she is being left out during the transport of the ball from the defence end to the attack end. She runs in line with the ball but passes to her get intercepted as she is running away from and not to the ball. The others don't see her most of the time and don't look for her

you just need to do a lot of drills that have her running to find space and then running towards the ball to get a pass.  also do a lot of getting free drills with her, and make sure she is not stopping before she gets the ball, to allow the intercept.  you can do this by having her leap up to get a pass and land with 2 feet.  once she gets confident in taking a pass from the air rather than waiting for to get to her, you need to work on the team to have confidence in her ability to get the pass.  it will all take time, but persistance is the key, and make sure you tell the team that all team members need to be included in play.  but becareful that this player hasnt been put in a division too high for her, as it just shatters their confidence when everyone else in the team and division know she is not a strong player.  if there is a big difference in skill, you might wish to talk with the club, and the parent to see if there is a more suited team for her to develop he skills in.  it just depends on how behind she is and if you think she will be able to catch up and not feel left out.

A sinple drill for this  be:  work in threes, 1 feeder 1 attacker  1 defence feeder stands three feet away facing attack, defence in front of attacker ready to move.  Attacker is on balls of feet ready to move in either direction where feeder will make pass. The attacker has to drive forward in front of defender to receive the pass.  three goes each then rotate so all three players work on the drill.  You could start with defence only working 50% until girls know what to do then increase intensity .   Move the players further away  and attack has to drive  harder towards the ball etc.

Just thought I would add a little bit more in to the mix.  It is common for inexperienced players  to run in the same direction as the ball travels running behind and away from their opposition & the ball. You can try coaching positional play where players return to their starting positions when the ball has left their area of play (no backs to the ball though) so then they are ready for the next delivery into their area.  This helps with practising the drive towards the ball rather than away from it and helps keep an area clear to drive into.  It also helps by teaching the clear and drive routine which is covered elsewhere in Sportplan.  It is hard to single out one player so include the whole team in some games/routines where ball can only be caught by a cut to the ball and not away from it e.g. 4on4 in one third.    

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  • or access our tried and tested plans