Small sided games that incorporate attacking principles using midfield players to create numbers up situations going to goal!
- Encourage creativity with the ball and movement to become a more effective team
- Learn to deal with differently weighted passes and successfully distribute them
- Gain a better understanding of how body position and awareness benefit players
with Brandon Koons,
Otterbein University Head Women's Soccer Coach;
2010 NCAA D-III Final Four; 8x Ohio Athletic Conference regular-season and 5x OAC Tournament Champions;
5x OAC Coach of the Year; has earned a USSF "B" License and an NSCAA Premier Diploma
Games at the highest level are won or lost in the midfield third, and coaches are always seeking the upper hand to dominate this key area. Your midfield players must possess the technical skill to be able to expose the spaces in front, behind, and in the flanks of the opposition.
Brandon Koons demonstrates a series of small-sided games he uses to build exceptional midfield players, which has made his teams an attacking threat en route to 13 conference titles. Coach Koons breaks up this video into six keys games. Within each game, he breaks down and shows numerous progressions that will help your team be dangerous in the midfield.
Using in-depth illustrations, both on a white board and on the field, Koons explains the teaching points he emphasizes during the exercises:
- The movement and angles needed from supporting players.
- Reading the play and making proper decisions based on positioning to find numbers-up situations.
- What runs trigger other runs to penetrate going forward.
- The importance of scanning and checking your shoulder for better vision.
Center midfielders need to practice the critical skill of turning, as well as connecting right-to-left and back-to-front. Watch as Coach Koons sets up a series of small sided games that focus on quick ball movement in a small space. These transition games teach players how to defend in a frantic environment as well as how to counterattack quickly when winning the ball. The progressions build these games up from an individual focus to a team focus to drive home the concept.
Passing and Dribbling
See how space manipulation within the small-sided games determines the speed and quality of passing and dribbling required for the center midfielder to control the game. These games force players to perform under controlled defensive pressure and be aware of maximizing the space available to play in. The fast and chaotic pace of these transition games forces players to be very aware of how the game develops in order to be successful.
All of the small sided games presented by Coach Koons are excellent training methods to help develop field awareness. These games involve constant movement within a quick and ever-changing environment. In addition to building on individual skills, these games develop knowing where players are within the game and how they're impacting it. These games tie the technical, tactical, and cognitive skills of the center midfielder together.
Small Sided Games
The games presented on this video include:
- North, South, East, West - The emphasis in this physical and psychologically-demanding game is on developing transition. As the game progresses in numbers, the angles of support are critical to maintain possession and build.
- End Zone Game - This is where Coach Koons trains players to evaluate the spaces and options given to them by the defenders. It's during this game that Koons stresses which balls to play based on straight or angles runs and how important verbal and non-verbal communication can be in the midfield.
- Double End Zone Game - Here, Koons teaches players to play off a forward's feet and what runs can be made off of it to be dangerous. He reiterates the importance of the different types of runs his players can make to not only create space for themselves, but also the ability to combine and find third-man runners.
- The Mourinho Game - In this game, players are always on their toes and ready to not only take advantage of numbers-up situations, but also to delay and defend based