Saturday, June 5, 2010

5 - Better in Offense, means Better in Scoring Goals

In the previous post we centralized on the development of the team-functions. Using an example, in which better defense was the objective, we looked at a practical situation. In this article we will shed light on the team-function of offense.

If you arbitrarily ask any player what the main focus is in attack then his answer will be: "To score". There is a reason that scoring is a team task in the team-function of offense. Based on the definition of coaching (systematically influencing players with as goal to develop the performance) the coach tries, through a well thought plan, to make the players better in scoring goals.

Based on the developmental characteristics of the players (age, level of play, motivation and experience) the coach prepares a plan for practice in which scoring goals is centralized. Besides that, it is important that the coach has a clear vision of what he wants to see and wants to achieve. First of all, we must look at the actions that are required to score: to shoot, to head etc., and finally it must obviously lead to scoring a goal.

To create scoring chances one must first build-up. It may not happen that the build-up by itself becomes (too) much of an obstacle for the players during the practice. We will now outline a few steps that can be taken to make players better in scoring goals. When we look back to the article "The real game is the foundation for the practice", then it is logical that we search for training exercises that are recognizable from the game. The complexity of the exercises will depend on the developmental characteristics of the players. Once again, it is important to over emphasize that the various steps you take are not the end-all-be-all, but that the adjustments and variations are the determining factor in improving players’ performance. Adjustments like more or less players, the size of the playing field and the role of the opposing team, are all influential in the actions of the players. Based on his team the coach must make choices in the organization and coaching instructions to reach the eventual objective, improvement in scoring.

The training exercises, as given here, can be used for players at various levels. When coaching youth players the coach will focus more on the overall starting points that are influential in the improvement of the team function of offense. When working with adults or the more talented youth-players, a more detailed approach will occur and attention will be given to the team-organization and the tasks and function within that. Next to this, the coaching instructions made by the coach are related to the group (see the comments under TIC).

As a coach it is your responsibility to observe which steps are required to improve the players’ performance. Thinking about it, observe if the objective in games and practices is reached, and eventually adjusting the plans is the challenge for the coach and his contribution to scoring goals.

Objective: improvement of creating scoring chances and subsequently scoring itself.
Game: 2v2
Team organization/formation: 2 (1v1, with keeper)

TIC= Technique, Insight, Communication

T= technique of shooting after a dribble or after a pass; instep shot, inside of the foot shot, receiving the ball and dribbling.
I= Go towards the opposing goal to score: decisive moment (where is the defender?), when to shoot if the defender doesn’t attack the player with the ball (distance to the goal)
C= cooperation between the attackers: asking for the ball, fake-movements, creating width

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