FeelCoaching team is always looking for improvement on and off the pitch. In this post, we present a small correction for drills implementing and improving the dynamic technique.
Most of the time coaches are using cones, silhouettes, stick and other coaching equipment to restrict movements and controlling the flow of the session. Imagine the usual circular drill for improving the dynamic technique in rhomboid shape
Actually, it is nothing wrong with this drill if you want to improve dynamic technique, body position before receiving the ball, improving receiving the ball in space with outer foot et cetera. This drill is even suggested to be used for improving dynamic technique. However, this drill has a number of limitations when looking from the perspective of individual and group tactics.
Usually, coaches will decide to go step further in teaching methodology and start implementing the dynamic technique, individual and group tactics in small sided games experiencing big gap as players will not understand how to open themselves and position their body. Too many passes will be intercepted, too many players will support each other at the wrong angle thinking they are free etc. We can all remember players holding their hands up, expecting the pass but being well covered by a defender who could easily intercept it.
What is the limitation of the above drill and how could we improve it to have a quicker impact on our game and smoother transition to the next step in your teaching methodology?
- Cone is not a good representation of real opponent. It is too small and static, while the opponent is bigger and dynamic. Further, to notice the cone you have to stare at the ground. We want our players to observe the field and to feel the opponent not staring at the ground.
- No variability. Players will remember the pattern of the drill after 2-3 repetitions. They will know “my co-player will be there, I just need to pass” and players will stop thinking about drill – they will simply execute it. Coach needs to be involved all the time to motivate players, correct their movements and technique.
- The opening of the player receiving the ball is not correct most of the time as the cone is not a good representation of the opponent. Openings are made too close to the opponent and at the bad angle (usually behind the cone at a small angle). In the real game situation player receiving the ball is well covered by the defender as a defender could easily intercept the ball. If the ball is passed so that defender is not able to intercept it than the player receiving the ball will receive it behind his back using his inner foot. Body position in this situation is very bad and could lead only to backpass in real game situation.
- Most of the passes made are too close to the cone (opponent). In the real game situation, these passes will be easily intercepted. This is consequence due to the limitation #1 and #3. Players will try to pass the ball to the outer foot in front of their co-player. However, as the receiving player is not opened enough pass will be made to close to the opponent. And there are more than 80% of such passes.
To improve the representation of the defender we can substitute cone with the real player – restricted passive defender. To keep good dynamic we restrict defender with hoop (see picture below). The defender can intercept any pass but keep one leg in the hoop. For example, a defender within the hoop could intercept the pass outside the hoop with left leg while keeping the right leg within the hoop.
Good dynamic and a lot of repetitions are key to good drills. The player passing the ball should substitute the defender and defender should move to become the player receiving the ball.
This way we force our players passing the ball to always check where the ball should be passed. On the other side, the player receiving the ball is forced to open enough and at the correct angle otherwise, the ball will be intercepted and the drill will be stopped.
We believe such approach could have a better and quicker impact on real game situations by reducing the gap between total isolation and real game situations. It is up to coaches to understand the context of their teams and decide when to move from total isolation to “semi-isolation” (presented in this post) and to small sided games.