PRINT One of the best ways to coach simple defensive soccer tactics, such as the offside rule , is to use games of 3v3. In these small-sided games, you can change the soccer tactics so defenders face different situations, for instance, attacks down the wing or through the middle. If you start your attackers off using the wings, they will quickly see the effect this has on the defending team as it pulls them wide and they have more space to cover. Players will also notice that attacking in small-sided games can leave the team open to counter-attacks. So they must always be alert to what is happening. For this reason, use 3v3s to work on having the correct defensive depth and how to use the offside rule as a tactic.
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Thus 3v3 soccer drills as they are called in soccer parlance help you better understand your options with the ball at your feet during the game. The drills also help you realize the importance of running into empty space where you can receive the ball or how to snag a pass sent to the space rather than to your feet. It can serve as one of the most fundamental drills for full-team soccer or help you prepare for summer tournaments in the 3v3 format.
Set up a marked small field with cones, perhaps 20 by 40 yards, with two small portable goals or goals demarcated by paired cones at each end.
Set up a red and a yellow team wearing colored practice vests or pinnies. Play a scrimmage where you are allowed to touch the ball only two times before passing it away. If you are coaching, blow a whistle and give the ball to the other team if a player touches the ball a third time. You also learn where to be when you are off the ball waiting to receive it, versus standing around waiting. Since one person is taking the corner kick, that leaves her team of two receiving players with the challenge of trying to score on three defenders.
This drill forces the players to make smart runs into the goal and work on headers, quick shots and savvy passes to break down the defense. Playing the Ball In 3v3 tournaments, held nationwide each summer, require players to inbound the ball with a kick instead of a thrown-in.
Have one player stand just outside the touch line, in American football called the sideline, of the small marked field. He places the ball on the ground and tries to pass it inbound to one of two teammates, again marked by three defenders. Tournament 3v3 rules require the defenders to stay at least five yards from the person playing the ball in.
Teach your players to patiently practice asking for this amount of space to be enforced by the referee. Have players receiving the ball focus on never turning their back to the inbounder. Players in red and yellow pinnies play a game within the box. Six players also split between the yellow and red teams stand just outside the box.
The team in possession must play the ball to a teammate outside the box. The receiving teammate joins the 3v3 game inside the ball and is free to shoot on goal, while the player inside the box moves outside it.
The game must be dynamic, with players switching roles constantly, working on their attacking and shooting skills. This world adventurer and travel book author, who graduates summa cum laude in journalism from the University of Maryland, specializes in travel and food -- as well as sports and fitness.
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