Make the most of limited training space

Some teams have limited space available for training but clever coaches can turn this to their advantage and make tight training work for them.

Often in matches players will find little space to work in, and they will struggle to hold on to the ball when surrounded by opponents. Playing games in tight spaces helps players to practise for this and it gets them used to being pressed quickly so they develop the ability to shield the ball and know that fast passing can make life difficult for opponents.

Here is my advice and activities for coaches who have limited space – but they can also benefit all coaches.

Start with my blog on Coaching in tight areas and what coaches can hope to get out of week in week out using small areas to train in. Even if you have a whole pitch to yourself you will benefit from coaching players to keep possession when space is tight.

Good sessions that work in tight spaces puts the right kind of pressure on players looking to receive and pass. Box to box helps players work on the quality of the pass, and also first touch to get the ball into a position to pass in the right direction.

Of course if you are looking at coaching a possession based playing style then you will want to coach some sessions in tight spaces to help perfect the tactic. Tight targets is a game with pressing, movement, support, skills and accurate passing. It’s brilliant for possession and to teach players how to move the ball quickly in a small area.

You may have to coach on an area that is very thin as well as small. This means you have to adapt your coaching session to fit the space. No problem with that! Triangles – one-touch play uses a thin pitch which you can alter to fit your area in length as well as width. it’s a session aimed at getting midfielders to play off each other in order to bring attackers into the game and provide support in attack, taking shooting chances when they are created. Great for counter attacking too.

Dave Clarke

About Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke is head coach and editor of Soccer Coach Weekly, providing thousands of subscribers worldwide with drills, insight and advice covering all aspects of coaching.

As well as being a skilled journalist and editor, Dave has excellent coaching credentials, having coached U9s – U16s at grassroots level for over 20 years.

He holds a UEFA B license and is qualified in FA Youth Award modules 1, 2 and 3, as well as the Coerver Youth Diploma Module.


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