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Academy 1 - Session 1


Set up a playing grid and place several players on the outside of the grids each with a ball to their side they will be neutrals in the game and will be there to receive passes from players in possession and play passes in to players in possession. In the middle of the playing grid put players into partners one player has the ball the other player is trying to steal the ball. The player with the ball must keep the ball for a minimum of 5 seconds then they can pass the ball to any of the neutral players on the outside. Once they have passed the ball to one of the neutrals they must receive a pass from a different neutral and keep the ball from their partner for another 5 seconds before passing to another neutral.

If the partner steals the ball from their partner then they will be the player making and receiving the passes. Play for 2 minutes rounds then switch the neutrals with the players in the playing grid. Switch Partners also.

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Set up a playing grid split into two halves with a target player at each end of the playing grid, the blue team starts with the ball in their half of the grid and must try and keep possession of the ball in their half for as long as they can from two of the green players who are trying to win the ball from them. The third green player waits in the other half the grid and should be moving ready to support their teammates when they win the ball. The blue team can also use the target player as an additional player.

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Start out with a 4v4 rondo in the inner playing grid as shown in grey below and position 4 neutrals on the outside of the larger playing grid. Do not make the inner grid too large as you want to force turnovers in possession so they players can practice securing the ball.  If your grid is too large it will make it too easy for the team with the ball to keep possession and then you do not create enough moments when the ball can be secured. Green team and blue team plays a simple 4v4 rondo inside the inner grid until one of the green players wins the ball from the blue team.

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Finish your session with a variety of small sided games either have two pitches so all players are playing and rotate the teams. Or have 3 larger teams and play a winner stays on format. In all of the games you should actively be looking to coach Securing the Ball whenever there is a change of possession.