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THE SILENT GAME

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Using body language for communication

a2s1A. 6v6 + 2 (8v6) on a 30X40 yards field

2 teams of 6 + 2 extra “neutral” players, who always join the team in ball possession, thus creating an 8v6 scenario, play a free-flowing possession game.
The emphasis is not just on keeping the ball, but on making creative runs off the ball ahead of time. In the first picture the blue team and the two extra red players are in possession of the ball. The Coach should have extra soccer balls and a good vantage point.

(Coaching points are marked with ->)

-> Can the players recognize the space where no defenders are present, and run into those areas to receive the ball?

-> Advanced level: can they get into tight spaces where pressure is present, but making their moves proactively and lightning fast?

-> Can they “Get In – Get Done – and Get Out? . . . meaning: with quick execution check in to pressure, get a one touch pass done, and get out of there?

Limit the touches on the ball based on the players’ ability level: 3 – 2 – 1 touch passes.

a2s2B. 7v7 a 30X40 yards field

Two even teams of 7 players continue playing as it was established in Game A. In the second picture the yellow team has the ball and their players must make their movements for support. The only restriction every player has to adapt now is that they can’t talk, can’t shout, can’t whistle or handclap. No verbal communication and making noises of any kind is allowed. They can only use body language for communication. No pointing to directions either.

-> By using body language only, they can disguise their intentions and make it difficult for the defensive team to predict the movements of attackers.

-> By using body language only, the attackers must lift their heads and put them on the swivel, must look for and read each other’s signaling, respond to them accordingly, therefore think ahead and pro-act.

-> By using body language only, they will develop a keener sense of spatial awareness.

Such body language is: eye contact, open face, open shoulders and hips (instead of turning them away), the direction, the angle, the pace and most of all the timing of runs.

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POSSESSION

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a1s1

Step 1
30 x 30 grid
12 players (4 blues, 4 purples, 4 reds) are randomly passing around with 6 balls.
Players with the ball are looking for open team mates, and players without the ball looking to connect for receiving a pass. Coach must have extra soccer balls and a good view for the whole grid.

1st Restriction: everyone must be on the move and the ball can never stop; it can only change direction.

(Coaching points are marked with ->)

->first touch to space or toward support – the player receiving the ball has to have an idea
->prepare body position according to that idea – early action will ensure smooth ball circulation

a1s2

Step 2
30 x 30 grid
Coach must have extra soccer balls and a good view of the whole grid.
12 players with one ball are playing a Three Teams Possession game
(4 blues and 4 purples vs. the 4 reds creating an all time 8v4 scenario).
Whichever team loses possession to another or plays the ball out of bounce, becomes the defending team (e. g.: if a purple player loses the ball to the reds, now the purples defend while the reds join the blues and create a new group of 8 attacking players). 1st Restriction and all coaching points are in effect. Start out with a free flowing 8v4.

2nd Restriction: the player receiving the pass can’t pass it back to the server. He/she must pass it to a third player. We are now looking for the third player on the move. This tiny adjustment will facilitate movements with and without the ball, thus moving as a team from one place to another.

-> point out the visual cue: when A passes to B, C in the same time is already on the move to support B; then while B passes to C, D is already on the move, and so on . . .

3rd Restriction: the 8 attacking players must alternate colors as they pass the ball among themselves (blue – purple – blue – purple . . .)

4th Restriction: limited touches on the ball. 3 then 2 touches on the ball allowed.

-> first touch,  body position, idea

a1s3

Step 3
30 x 30 grid
4 reds collectively apply greater pressure on the 8 attackers, thus forcing them to think and play faster.

-> constant movements off the ball will ensure higher number of short and long supports