AMHERST SOCCER ASSOCIATION ATTACKING SET PLAYS

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1 Statistics indicate that restarts, or dead-ball situations, provide some of the best opportunities in soccer to create goal-scoring chances. Because so many goals result from restarts it makes sense to spend time at your practice sessions on set plays, such as corner kicks, free kicks (direct & in-direct) and even throw-ins. Quality of service remains an obvious key. If your team does not have a player that can consistently serve accurate balls into danger areas then you should emphasize possession passes. If you team does have a player who can deliver wickedly accurate balls, then you can go more direct. Whether playing short or long, the team must maintain shape and balance to prevent counterattacks. At the same time you should be aware that too much regimentation can make attacks predictable and easy to defend. Therefore when organizing practice situations for corners and any other set-plays strike a balance between organization and creativity, for that is the key to all soccer tactics. When practicing set plays, keep in mind the following key points: Organize players where they will be most dangerous, regardless of positions. (Positions are used the in diagrams for organizational purpose) Runs should be from key players and to the key areas although these players should alter their runs and adjust angles to avoid being to predictable. Emphasize that although just two to four players might be directly involved, everyone needs to be alert and moving off the ball so that all options are available for an effective attack. Plus they should be alert for any re-bounds Emphasize constant adjustment of runs to react to the serve and the positioning of defenders. Runs need not be from long distances. Sometimes short, precise, explosive movements are better. Encourage improvisation Flank players should generally take throws because they are most likely to be closest to the ball. As quick throw-ins are sometimes more beneficial do not stop the play just to have the appropriate player in position. When practicing set plays, follow this pattern of player and pressure variations, these numbers are set up as if your team would be playing 11 v vs. 0 un-pressured set plays with timing of runs and execution of various options vs. 3 three defenders added to cover vital areas vs. 6 pressure added in the vital areas forcing the team to adjust their runs and serves vs. 11 using passive pressure vs using full pressure in a controlled scrimmage

2 Although these patterns are ones that I have created or borrowed form other coaches, I urge you to use your creativity and ingenuity to devise your own variations. Regardless of individual, all set plays should conform to the following guidelines:? Simplicity: Keep the play simple. The more complex and intricate the plan the less likely it is to work! As a rule use one or two passes to create a strike at goal.? Organization: Each player must understand his or her role in the set play? Deception: Movement before the kick, including dummy runs over the ball, may cause defenders to readjust their positions and create open space in which to strike the ball on goal.? Test the goalkeeper: A free kick that does not produce a shot at goal is a failure.

3 CF RM LM CB CB CF RB * Center Forward starts on the penalty spot, checks away and checks back sharply to receive a short pass * At the same time the Right Back comes charging in yelling for the ball to be played short to him/her * As the Center Forward receives the short pass they turn their body to the side so that they are no facing the Right Back * Right Mid, checks out and then checks back towards the line, as they do this the Center Forward can back heal it into their path * The Right Mid now dribbles along the touch line, looking for runs to be made * The other Center Forward pulls off the GK looking for a pull back * The Right back now checks their run to the near post * The group including the two Center Backs and the Left midfielder now attack the vital areas of the goal including the Center and the back Post When the Center Forward receives the pass they can lay it back to the right back who then delivers a direct cross into the area. The players still make the same runs

4 RM CF LM CB CF CB RB * Right Midfielder looks to play the ball deep into the penalty box * The Left Full Back comes from deep to receive a short corner * The Right Midfielder plays the ball to the and come around the to receive a pass in the space * The plays back to the RM who then delivers a whipped ball across the front of the area * One player from the pack spins off to receive anything at the back post * One attacks the front post * The other two attack the center of the goal * Always put one player in front of the GK to distract them Left Back instead of playing back to the Right Midfielder takes it to the end line and delivers a driven cross themselves

5 LM CF CB CF RM CB RB * LM plays an out swinger to the near post for the CF to come of the Goalkeeper * CF then lays the ball back first time to the on the edge of the box. * comes to meet the ball and take the shot * RM, CB and CF attack the vital areas of the goal * Other CB and stay out for rebounds or deep crosses * CF flicks the ball on looking for the runs of the other players * LM plays a long out swinger corner for the CB that s does not make a run. In turn the head it back across the goal * play direct looking for one of the runners to connect with it in one of the vital areas Key Points * Players must make their runs late in order to be able to attack the ball * Consistently keep moving to distract the defenders and the GK * Do not play the cross to close to the Goal-Keeper

6 As previously mentioned in the first part of the handout, keep your restarts simple. If you want to have a chance to score on every play you need to have a shot on net with each free kick that you perform in a game. The fewer passes you make before you shoot the likely it is that you will get a shot on goal. The best play is a direct shot on goal, you will be likely to receive a direct shot if the referee awards your team with a free kick for one of the following reasons: 1. Kicking or attempting to kick an opponent 2. Striking or attempting to strike an opponent 3. Tripping or attempting to trip an opponent 4. a hand ball 5. a hand ball by the goalkeeper outside the 18 yard box 6. pushing or holding and opponent 7. a violent charge You may not have a David Beckham, Roberto Carlos or Zinedine Zidane, playing for your team but players need to learn the technique of striking a ball, or bending it around the wall, so individuals skills in set plays are just as essential as working together as the team to put the whole puzzle together. Teaching these individual techniques can be difficult, but during preseason you should identify players who will be taking the set plays. Review, fine tune and teach techniques that players will need before they practice them on their own. Players taken free kicks (especially direct) should spend and at least an extra 15 minutes every practice perfecting their skills. A major factor in getting the ball to bend is to put spin on the ball with enough power as to make it shift. Your non-kicking foot plays a major role in the procedure, if you are going to bend the pass or shot using your right foot so that it goes to the left, you should plant you standing foot a couple of inches closer to the ball then when you would when taking a normal pass or shot. By doing this your foot will make impact an inch or two from the center and away from the side of the ball closest to you. This will help create the spinning on the ball and if hit with enough force the spin will cause the ball to begin to bend. The harder the ball is struck, the more the ball will spin. The more the ball spins, the more the ball will bend. A harder and more complex way of making the ball bend is to have the ball bend over the opponent and down to the target. This is usually done to shoot over the wall and into the bottom corner away from the goal-keepers reach. Practice this method by planting your non kicking foot next to the ball but an inch or two slightly in front of what you would when playing a normal pass. You should intend to make contact with the ball slightly above the center. This should help

7 create enough top spin to cause the ball to dip down shortly after being struck. Allowing the shot to clear the wall but not the goal. When wanting to bend or curl the ball, it is important to hit the ball in the correct spot and with enough power to generate the spin required to make the ball move. Keep your eye on the ball through out the whole shot or pass and understand that technique and where on the ball your foot makes impact is more important than anything else.

8 CF CB CF RB RM LM CB * RM & LM are on the ball * Set up are wall half way between the defensive wall and the ball (use two of your bigger players in the wall) * Players on the ball pretty much start at the same time, the first player steps over the ball, leaving it for the second player to take. * He/She plays it into the wall, who lays it off first time into the path of the runners * The runners now have the options of either: 1. Shoot 2. Play the ball into the space for the pack of runners charging the goal * The wall plays out to the RB who can either shoot or cross for the pack running in * The RM does not make a run, so the wall plays the ball directly back to them, in return he/she chips the ball into the space for the pack to charge onto Timing and communication play a very important part in this set-play

9 CB CF CF RM LM RB CB * RM & LM and one are on the ball * RM stands on the ball and plays it across to the who is standing no further than 1 yard away * He/She stops the ball looking like they are setting it up for the LM to strike the ball * Instead they back heal the ball for the coming into the frame late to strike the ball instead * The other players attacking the goal * The RB makes a late run around the outside as a distraction * LM does actually strike the ball * Ball is played into the path of the RB whom is making an overlapping run * Ball is played into the pack directly

10 RM CF CB CF LM RB CB * A Center Midfielder and Left Midfielder line up on the ball * The two Center Forwards, 1 Center back and one Center Mid line up at the far post corner of the 18 yard box * The Right Midfielder lines up on the outside of the wall * The furthest CF away runs across the front of the other three * Has this happens, the LM fakes to take the free kick stepping over the ball and carry on with their run. * Also at the same time the RM spins off the wall to create some space for the LM * The other players now make their runs * The is one the ball and looks like they are going to take a shot, but play a ball into the CF that spun off the from the furthest side. * The CF now plays the ball first time into the path of the LM who has continued their run on the blindside of the wall. * taking the free kick plays it square to the right back who either riffles a long range effort or plays it down the line for the who has spun off to put in a cross.

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