KF-Trainerblog #5: D(F)B-Stützpunkt

Introduction

In the next 3-4 months I will have the pleasure to coach a pretty advanced local U15 team. In the upcoming weeks I will share 5 full session in order to give you a brief outlook on what I want to achieve with this team and how I set up my training sessions. Feedback is very much appreciated as I’m still in a learning/reflection process, you can get in touch me as well on twitter (@daniel_baehr_)

The players

In our so called „DFB-Stützpunkt“ we have some very skilled players from different clubs in a local area. Many players are already playing against bigger Bundesliga youth teams, so the overall skill level is pretty high. The training load is one session per week. Usually we are around 10-14 players.

The philosophy

With no pressure to get matchday results, my focus is on maximizing the qualities of Individual, Unit & Collective in order to achieve a development beyond the expectation of the players. My training approach is almost entirely game-based, which means that our sessions purely consist of games against opponents. From time to time we did some small fun games (especially for warm-up), but this was kept to a minimum. I want them to become better decision makers and better football players and this is, in my opinion, achieved only through football. Therefore most of our games are small sided games with high intensity. Besides that, I’m always trying to form the session in an „implicit-learning style“, so the players learn through positive/negative game experiences.

The First Training Session – „Getting Started!“ // 10 players

Warm-Up Game

In order to get started with each other we did a small warm-up game. I divided the group into 4 smaller groups (red, green, yellow & blue) with 2-3 players per colour. Every player started with a ball on their feet. From time to time they had to do small dribbling challenges (e.g. weak foot dribbling etc.) and also team challenges (e.g. “3 players with 3 colours together”) at the same time.
Duration: Approx. 10 minutes

Coordination game

Afterwards I decided to go on with a small coordination game I saw at Roger Schmidt’s first training session at PSV. It was very fun and I recommend it strongly if you want a small competitive game to start with. You can see it in this video at 19:22.
Duration: Approx. 12 minutes

First Rondo Game

As I elaborated earlier, I truly believe in the efficiency of small sided games // positional games, so I decided to start our process with a small Rondo game, which developed in a more advanced version later on.

Rules

Red plays against white with yellow in support (to create a 5 vs 2). Red tries to complete 5 passes and then they are allowed to change to the other side. White needs to win the ball and/or intercept the pass (at the beginning the two white players in the middle were not allowed to intercept).

Variations

#1 White players in the middle were allowed to intercept

#2 If White wins the ball they become the possession team

#3 Small Game: The first team with 10 points wins

Scoring Options

#1 5 passes and successful shift – 1 point

#2 5 passes and successful shift over “third man” – 2 points

Implicit Coaching Points

– Attract pressure to overplay

– Time your pass right – “When are the passing lanes open for a successful shift?”

– Looking for target player

– Quick orientation, positioning & Gegenpressing after losing the ball

– Playing into depth

– Using “Third man principle” to progress the ball

Explicit Coaching points

– “Open body position”

– “First look – deep”

– “Provide support after playing into depth”

Duration: 4 x 2:30 minutes

Advanced Rondo Form

After 10-12 minutes the players got along very well and showed some nice little combinations. So I decided to add two goals in order to increase the competitiveness. Furthermore I believe adding “real” targets are much needed in a young age (>15) to answer their need for gratification. Just playing to score “5 passes” etc. could get boring very quickly.

Rules

We played the same rules as before. The only variation was that after a successful shift (after 5 passes) the possession team was allowed to score (goals only counted one touch), so basically a “free game”.

Scoring Options

#1 5 passes and successful shift – 1 point

#2 5 passes and successful shift over “third man” – 2 points

#3 5 passes and successful shift over “third man” + goal – 3 points

Coaching Points

Coaching Points remain the same as before. Maybe a bit more focus on passing and switching “with a meaning”. When should I make the pass? What makes this pass “good”? What does “good” mean or require in this specific game context? Should I go for an easy pass, but my partner has difficulties to control it for “one point”? Or wait and hold the ball a bit longer? (High risk to lose the ball without scoring “one point”, but higher chance to score 3 points). Quite interesting thoughts.

Duration: 4 x 2:30 minutes

Closing Game „5 vs. 5 constant over-/ underload game“

To close our first training session I decided to play a small 5 vs. 5 game with only one small variation. If the ball went outside, the player had to bring it back. During these time the possession team could use another ball. With this variation the intensity was very high and 5 vs. 4, 4 vs 4 & 5 vs. 3 situations occurred regularly. The “outside-players” could also delay their return to wait for a specific moment (Pressing trigger!). Some of them tried to sneak back to surprise the player in possession. With this little adaption the players in possession were required to always check their positioning (check your shoulder) and the positioning of the opponents (on and off the field). Learnings were mostly implicit and I tried to interrupt as less as possible to get them playing. It was also quite fun when a player had to run 50 m after missing a shot (and his teammates complained while the opponents laughed).

Duration: 2 x 12 minutes

Conclusion

A challenging & rewarding evening comes to an end. Everyone was in a good mood and the exercises worked very well! Very happy with this session!

Über Daniel Bähr

Verfechter des Juego de Posicion, Marcelo Bielsa & radikalem Offensivfussball. Ansonsten Literatur, Philosophie & Studium in Mannheim.
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