Every academy session (whatever the syllabus topic) will begin with individual ball manipulation and “Rondo” based pass, touch and move drills.
We will focus the start of every session on improving and sharpening up the player’s individual ability with the ball, ability out of individual possession, receiving skills, body shape and ability to move the ball.
The syllabus we have designed is heavily focused on our tagline “A player should never panic or look uncomfortable with the ball at their feet, no matter what the situation”.
The players will also do many topics and drills within a match format. This helps us translate the coaching points to realistic and easily identifiable situations that take place during a match.
In every session and every topic of the season we will focus on (1) in possession (2) out of possession and (3) transitional factors.
BLOCK 1: PASSING & MOVING/POSSESSION BASED
Short passes, long passes, driven passes, lofted passes, passing through the thirds, playing into the channels, keeping the ball moving, one touch/two touch, playing out from the back, breaking lines/penetrating, playing in behind, passing under pressure, body shape & safe side/ball protection.
BLOCK 2: RECEIVING THE BALL/SPACIAL AWARENESS/SUPPORT ANGLES
How to receive, receiving body shape, variation of receiving touches, receiving positioning, creating space/ showing feet, combination play/overlaps, third man runs, timing of runs and movement, isolations, player rotation, first line of support, backward options & checking shoulders/taking pictures.
BLOCK 3: TRANSITIONAL PLAY/COUNTER ATTACKS/OVERLOAD SITUATIONS
Defence to attack/attack to defence, forward options, 1v1’s, recognising overloads, creating overloads, exploiting overloads, speed and awareness & decision making.
BLOCK 4: SWITCHING PLAY AND RECYCLING
When, why and how, switch in 1, switch in multiple passes, recycling pattern, angles, & movement to make the switch/recycle available
BLOCK 5: DEFENDING
Pressing, unit defending/slide & screen, 1v1 defending, team defending, recovery, communication & shape, in balance/out of balance, facing overload, delay & deny.
BLOCK 6: CHANCES/FINISHING AND ATTACKING MOVEMENT
Creativity/innovation, roaming/rotation, 1v1 finishing, movement off the ball, spin runs, diagonal runs/passes, how/when to get in behind, finishing on the floor, finishing in the air, split passes, crosses, body shape, receiving skills/touch to shoot, shifting the ball & shooting under pressure.
BLOCK 7: MATCH PLAY/POSITIONAL
Match play, topical & position specific.
Lots of our topics cross over and many of the same coaching points will be relevant in multiple syllabus topics.
We aim to continue using and accumulating the coaching points and terminology of previous blocks throughout the season, to really cement the coaching points into the player’s heads.
For example, by block 7 (Match Play) we will be using the coaching points and terminology we have been using in the previous 6 blocks.
‘’You play at the rhythm you train. If you train badly, you play badly. If you work like a beast, you play the same way’’ – Pep Guardiola