Westfield Soccer Association

Functional training to work on the build up from the back.

Friday 9/25/2015

Clinic for parent coaches – Friday 9/25/2015

Topic: Functional training to work on the build up from the back. Players have been introduced to the role of the goal player at U9 and U10.

In this session, players will learn to use the goalplayer to successful build from the defensive third in to the middle third of the field.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­As stated before, at U9 and U10 all players are introduced to the role of the goalplayer. Through the rotation over all positions our players in these 2 age groups will play in the goal a couple of times over the course of the year. This way they will understand what it means to play in the goal; recognize what kind of pressure you can be under in the goal and players will start to respect their team mates who play in the goal, through their own experience in the goal.

At U11 the group of potential goalplayers will be narrowed down from the entire team to 4-5 players who do well in the goal and like to play the position.

Through U10 the main focus, along with a couple of other priorities as shared with all parent coaches, is mostly on the shape of the team in possession of the ball. After 2 years in travel the players should have gained a decent understanding of how they can ensure their team has the right shape in possession of the ball; recognize how they can provide support for the player on the ball to open up a passing lane and since players have gained understanding of these 2 concepts, it will be a lot easier to make the right decision when in possession of the ball as well.

Although coaches will need to continue to emphasize these very important concepts we can now focus on functional training to improve the build up from the back. What makes the training functional? The players are placed in their positions as they would in a regular game to mimic real game situations Players are placed in position much like they would be during a game. The players involved will gain an understanding of their role in this type of situation through a progressive session. During the session the complexity and pressure will be increased by adding more opponents.

For this specific session I have chosen to focus on the shape of the backline and the midfield in possession of the ball. The ultimate goal during the buildup, when playing out of the back, is to advance forwards of course. This can only be achieved when your team is playing in the right shape and player’s adjust their position given where the ball is and where their opponents are. It is important to note that players will take the information they are provided with very literal. When we ask our players to spread the field, they will most certainly spread the field, but fail to move as soon as the ball starts moving from 1 area to the next.

As an example:

If during the buildup phase, the ball is played out through the right defender and the right midfielder, it is important for the left defender and left midfielder to alter their position slightly. The left defender needs to tuck in and play more central to back up the right defender in case the team loses possession of the ball during the buildup. Same goes for the left midfielder. If the ball would be played backwards, to relieve pressure, the left defender and left midfielder have to spread out again to ensure that there is enough space to play. When training your team it is important to keep an eye on the entire picture you are provided with to ensure you don’t lose out on these important coaching points.

If anyone has any questions about this sessions and the attached lesson plans please do not hesitate to contact me.

Playing Out of the Back 1-2-3-2


Ruben Vloedgraven

Director of Coaching – Westfield Soccer Association