Saturday, August 18, 2012

District Program - 1v1 attacking - letting them play

I coached the Niagara District boys program for four years and last night I visited their weekend camp to deliver a session.

The District program is for players in their U12 year and prepares them for an identification showcase for the U13 Regional program every fall.  Our district covers the Niagara area.  Our Region (Region 2) covers Hamilton, Niagara all the way up to Brampton.  The players in the Regional program are working towards spots in the Provincial program during their u14 year.

This system will be changed in the near future.

The topic of my session 1v1 attacking.  My coaching points for 1v1 attack were:
  • See the ball, defender and space behind the defender
  • Attack the space behind the defender
  • Change of speed/direction (deception)
  • Accelerate after the move
  • Keep ball close when under pressure
When I arrived, I saw 28 boys and the weekend was just getting started.  I decided to coach the details less and reworked the session a bit and let the boys compete and play as much as possible.  It was a good opportunity to set the mood for the camp.

We reviewed the non-technical aspects of what the Regional coach will be looking for:
  • Compete for every ball, all the time, every day.
  • Show willingness to make an impact
  • Every pass to start a drill must be of high quality
We started off by doing a warm-up exercise where the boys were dribbling at full pace down a lane-way.  There were 2 players in the lane-way trying to knock your ball away.  This set the mood for 1v1 attack.

Next was a group dribbling drill review several 1v1 moves that can stem from a double tap of the ball.  This video from the Internet shows the little double-tap with the outside of the foot:

We then set up four 1v1 grids with mini-goals, 10x20 bordered by cones.  One player serves the other and they play.  We stopped them a few times for coaching points, but for the most part we let them play.

The intensity level was "OK".  We stepped in to influence the defending a bit and added pushups for the loser of each play-down.  The intensity went WAY UP, quickly.  Now, we were getting the boys ready for their showcase event. 

We them moved the boys to a 3v3 situation in a 20x30 grid.  To score, you had to dribble over the end line of the grid the other team is defending.  Coaching points:
  • Look to attack forward and with speed (attack open space)
  • Do not be afraid to take on a defender
  • For near shape, do not stand behind a defender who is pressuring your teammate.  By checking back at an angle you open up the ability for 1v1, give-and-go or a simple pass.
This was going well and got better when we made it a tournament.  The boys had pizza coming afterwards and the prize was the winners had their pizza served to them by the others.

When I saw how many boys there were upon arrival I had a nightmare of coaching details while a lot of restless boys listened.  We were successful in keeping the group active and moving with a ball.

I was hoping to arrive earlier to have everything setup for the boys when they arrived.  As a guest coach you don't want the players standing while you run around setting up your session.  It ended up being ready for the boys by 6pm, but I would have rather spent that time goofing around and getting to know them.

It was satisfying to see them all playing and whooping it up, and sticking to the theme of the evening.  I was also happy to be able to share some insight with them regarding the type of player who advances through the identification process.

It was also nice to see 8 boys that I've worked with before.  Letting a player know you remember them is important for their self-esteem.

No comments: