The pace of development quickens at this time due to the acceleration of physical and mental maturation. The demands of skill training as well as training loads should increase thus provoking improvement in mental toughness, concentration and diligence. Awareness of tactics within the game becomes important facet of the learning process.

Technique:

Continue to build on a solid base. This refers to the ability to dribble, receive and pass short, medium and long range ground / air passes; The development of individual skills under pressure of time, space, and an opponent.

Increased technical speed:

  • Dribbling: Encourage to take players on 1v1 – Feints / moves; Keep possession; Shielding / spin turns
  • Receiving: Quality of first touch – take balls out of the air / turning; all surfaces, on the run.
  • Shooting: On the run, on the turn; from all angles / crosses, volleys.
  • Passing: Short, long, bent, crosses, driven, chipped. All surfaces and all on the run.
  • Heading: To goal (shooting / glance), to pass, to clear
  • Tackling: Proper techniques

Tactics: “Increase tactical speed” (decision making under pressure)

At this phase of development, there is an increased emphasis on making the correct decisions under increased pressure from the opposition.

Individual : 1v1 – Attacking and Defending

Attacking:

  • Keep possession; Encourage risk taking: taking players on in the proper areas of the field.

Defending:

  • Proper pressure (in front / behind), Channelling player, immediate chase, angles of pressure, Understand individual roles in Zonal defending.

Small Group: Attacking and Defending 

  • 2v1, 2v2, 3v1, 3v2, 3v3, 4v2, 4v3, 4v4, 5v5, 6v6, 8v8

Attacking:

  • Keep possession: Support; Combination play – give / go, take-over, overlap, double pass, Width, depth, penetration; Crossing with proper runs in the box; Communication (who, what, where, when).

Defending:

  • Angle and distance of cover. Balance, Delaying and pressing as a group.
  • Defending in groups (defenders / mid fielders / forwards). Communication (who, what, where, when).

Team: Attacking and Defending 

Attacking:

  • Keep possession. Play ball away from pressure. Maintaining balance in the chosen system.
  • Interchange of positions during run of play. Encourage attackers to take defenders on in the final third.
  • Goal keeper as an integral part of the attack (play balls back to keeper). Players play a variety of positions.
  • Comfort with direct and indirect styles of play. Set plays

Defending:

  • Maintain good “shape”. Zonal concepts – knowing when to “delay” and “step.” Clear decision on where the “line of confrontation” will be.
  • Maintaining good “pressure and cover” through all thirds of the field. Staying compact and squeezing the field.
  • Set plays

Recommended Systems of Play:

Focus should be on teaching the principles of play and team shape. Players should enjoy playing the game. Neutral, Attacking and Defensive playing shapes: 4-3-3, 3-4-3, 4-4-2

Physical:

All fitness work should be done with the ball, in partners, and in fun engaging activities.

  • Flexibility – Static Stretching and Dynamic flexibility
  • Agility – Coordination with and without the ball
  • Speed – Proper running technique
  • Strength – non weight bearing, core strength and stability
  • Endurance
  • Balance

 Psychological:

The game should remain FUN and ENJOYABLE. Players should have a passion for the game.

  • Imagination / Creativity
  • Increased demands
  • Establish training targets / Goal setting
  • Maintain discipline
  • Encourage players / teams to watch professional and national team games on TV.
  • Academic – Good study habits, maintaining good grades and balance between sports / academics.

The Game: 11v11