Back To Training: Tactics

  • June 4th, 2020
  • Matt Morrison

The latest update in our back to training blog series and this week we look at how you can set up a safe session whilst working on your side's tactics.

To ensure players keep their distance and they are able to visualise this, continue to use an individual playing square or area using cones or discs and ensure these are at least 2 meters apart.

Normally, tactical work can get overlooked as we like to deliver sessions that are more skills based. Tactical sessions get players thinking differently and you can find this has a positive impact on your teams performance when you get back into matches. The long term effect of this might be that you add more tactical work to your coaching catalogue. Read on to see our tips on how you can structure a tactical session.

Break Down to Defensive & Attack

Split your group up into positional units so they can focus on tactics and formations specific to their position. You can get your defenders practicing their channeling, passing along the backline or marking a shooter.

Midfielders can work on receiving from the defenders and linking play into the attackers. How can midfielders successfully link play through the pitch? This might be to keep passing until there is enough space to break forward, so challenge your midfielders to make 20-30 passes before they can go forward.

Attackers can work on sharp movements to shake off defenders or spinning away from defenders to receive a ball into the channel. In this example, the attackers must work together to receive the ball in each box, but must not be in the same box, nor the same side of the court - they must balance it. A great drill to learn to react to teammates movement.

Full Team Formation

It's beneficial for your players to understand how they can build an attack from back to front unopposed. Defenders can practice recycling the ball along the backline, always looking for options to get the ball into midfield. You can place individual position channels down on the pitch, using cones, so players know the area they have to keep to. Add defending channels in too, between the lines to make it difficult to play through the thirds.

You can also work on defensive team tactics. Are you going to sit in and be hard to break down or are you going to play a high intensity pressing game from the front? Help your players understand their individual roles when you're trying to achieve a collective defensive shape. You can work on trigger calls - when to press and who leads the press.

Set Plays

Do your team accumulate corners but never seem to score from them? Do you want your players to be more positive from a centre pass? Now is the time to fine tune your set pieces and get your players in sync from the still ball. Don't just have one option available, build up a catalogue of set-piece options for your players to call upon in matches.

Some players might struggle to fully engage with a tactical session. Therefore see if you can make it into a competition! Split set plays into 2 teams and challenge each team to see who can execute more successful set plays. In a full team formation, see how many times your team can get the ball into the attacking end in a set time limit.

You can also encourage your players to get involved with putting tactical ideas forward. Create a discussion so you can see what they think works well on the pitch. It could be one of your players' set-play ideas that means you finally start converting corners!