Small-Sided Attacking Training Session

This session was presented at the 2018 Soccer Champions Coaches' Clinic by Mario Prata. Register today for the 2019 Soccer Champions Coaches' Clinic.


Goal: Improve building up in opponent’s half in order to create chances

Player Actions: Spread out, create a 2v1 and 1v1, pass or dribble forward

Key Qualities: Read game/make decisions, take initiative/be proactive, technical execution


1st Phase Play: Intentional Free Play

Prata 1.png

Objective: To pass or dribble forward and score goals

Organization: Mark out two 32 x 20-yard fields, each with two mini goals. Play 3v3, Free play, kick-ins. Play for 30 minutes with two breaks.

Guided Questions:

  1. How can you find an opening?

  2. What can you do if you see an opening?

Answers:

  1. Look at the position of the opponent

  2. Pass or dribble through it

Notes:

1st break: Coach ask questions, players continue playing to discover answers.

2nd break: Players share answers with coach and each other.

The blue line is the build-out line according to the PDIs and is not relevant at this 1st Play Phase.


Practice (core activity): 3v2

Objective: To create 2v1 and 1v1, pass or dribble forward

Prata 2.png

Organization: Play 3v2+GK in 24 x 24 yard space with a regular goal and two small goals. Blue players dribble or pass in. Defenders start at the top of the box, try to win ball and score in small goals. Play 2-3 minute reps. Red (including GK) rotates each rep. Blue also rotates each rep. Play for 30 minutes with two breaks.

Keywords: Opening, take him/her on, head up, Go!, pass/dribble

Guided Questions:

  1. How can you find an opening?

  2. What can you do if you see an opening?

  3. How can you create an opening?

Answers:

  1. Look at the position of the opponent

  2. Pass or dribble through it

  3. Make the opponent move

Notes: Start here at the Core Activity after the first play phase. If the challenge is too difficult, move to the Less Challenging Activity. If it’s too easy, move to the More Challenging Activity. Spend a total of 30 minutes in the Practice phase.


Practice (less challenging): 2v1

Objective: To create a 2v1 and 1v1, pass or dribble forward

Prata 3.png

Organization: Same as Core Activity, except teams play 2v1+GK, Red (including GK) rotates each rep. Blue also rotates each rep. Blue rotates their two players each time.

Keywords: Opening, take him/her on, Heads up, go!, pass/dribble

Guided Questions:

  1. How can you find an opening?

  2. What can you do if you see an opening?

  3. How can you create an opening?

Answers:

  1. Look at the position of the opponent

  2. Pass or dribble through it

  3. Make the opponent move

Notes: Start with the Core Activity and decide whether the level of challenge is appropriate for the players. Move to this Less Challenging Activity if the Core Activity is too difficult. Spend a total of 30 minutes in the Practice Phase.


Practice (more challenging): 4v3

Objective: To create 2v1 and 1v1, pass or dribble forward

Prata 4.png

Organization: Same as Core Activity, except teams play 4v3+GK in half of a field. Red (including GK) rotates each rep. Blue also rotates each rep. Blue rotates their two players each time.

Keywords: Opening, Take him/her on, head up, go!, pass/dribble

Guided Questions:

  1. How can you find an opening?

  2. What can you do if you see an opening?

  3. How can you create an opening?

Answers:

  1. Look at the position of the opponent

  2. Pass or dribble through it

  3. Make the opponent move

Notes: Start with the Core Activity and decide whether the level of challenge is appropriate for the players. Move to this More Challenging Activity if the Core Activity is too easy. Spend a total of 30 minutes in the Practice Phase.


2nd Play Phase: The Game

Prata 5.png

Objective: To play forward, create chances and score goals

Organization: Play 6v6 game on 65 x 45 yard field with build-out lines and regular goals with goalkeepers. Both teams play a 1-2-1-2 formation. LOTG. Play for 30 minutes including one “halftime” (5 minutes max).

Keywords: Opening, take him/her on, head up, go!, pass/dribble

Guided Questions:

  1. How can you find an opening?

  2. What can you do if you see an opening?

  3. How can you create an opening?

Answers:

  1. Look at the position of the opponent

  2. Pass or dribble through it

  3. Make the opponent move

Notes: Play use the Laws of the Game (LOTG) and according to the standards of play found in the U.S. Soccer Player Development Initiatives (PDIs)


Five Elements of a Training Activity

  1. Organized: Is the activity organized in the right way?

  2. Game-like: Is the activity game-like?

  3. Repetition: Is there repetition, when looking at the overall goal of the session?

  4. Challenging: Are the players being challenged? (Is there the right balance between being successful and unsuccessful?)

  5. Coaching: Is there effective coaching, based on the age and level of the players?

Training Session Self-Reflection Questions

  1. How did you do in achieving the goals of the training session?

  2. What did you do well?

  3. What could you do better?