Clinical Accuracy In Passing And Conditioning
Alvin Corneal, Head Coach Raleigh Wings, W-League, former head coach North Carolina
State Womens team, former player Trinidad national team.
Why this topic? Did three reports/analyses of US national mens team.
Strong points: Teams physical and mental approach is tremendous.
Weak points: Our players have not gotten past a certain level of technical ability.
There is an absence of good technical understanding by US players.
What must the young US player do to get to the next level?
Proper technique does not have to do with physical development or strength, but does
have to do with rhythm, feel, time, understanding, and finesse.
Any system of play is worth nothing without basic understanding of fundamentals.
We need to learn why, how, and where does player move.
Dont worry about tactics until players know fundamentals on techniques.
Too often, players pass in the direction of a player, instead of to
Must be able to play so that the recipient is comfortable with at the pass she
The pass must be clinically accurate so that the receiver can play the ball down so
they have time to look around make the best decision.
In Bolivia-US match, 60 % of the US passes went to opponents.
Passes to the wrong space resulted in numerous collisions with the opponent after
receiving the ball.
Dont practice passes in isolation, you must combine passing with running to mimic
match conditions. Each player must get in the habit of passing and moving, not just
passing and watching. The pass must be practiced together with a move after the pass.
Zig-Zag Wall Drill
Two lines 25 yd apart, Seven players lined up 7 yards apart, 4 one side 3 on the other.
x = dribblers, o = balls. ABC
ox ox ox ox ox ox ox
Player (x) dribbles toward player A, and makes a pass. A returns one-touch pass to x
from 5-7 yards and upon receipt, x turns quickly, and dribbles toward player B, makes the
pass and receives a return pass from B, and then turns to dribble/pass to C, etc. Sprint
back to starting point after complete seventh pass.
Emphasis on simple accuracy important to game. Pleasing to the eye. If you insist
on accurate passing at your level, will have a chemistry in soccer.
Suggested that the line player make first touch in direction of next player to create
time as you move to next player.
Make sure each pass is absolutely and totally accurate. Dont worry about speed at
first. Stop whenever there is a bad pass. As there is no opponent, no pressure, passes
should be accurate.
Recipient must be comfortable. Passes should be to feet, not to knees or wide.
Identify why is the pass inaccurate?
Each of the 7 line players had a ball in their hands. x moves to a ball thrown
to chest, and a returns a chest pass to line player - not a trap and pass, but a chest
Next, moved to chest trap, to foot pass back out of air. Pretend there is a defender on
your back. Dont let the ball hit the ground.
Next, moved to chest trap to thigh juggle , then foot pass back.
Develop a feel for the ball on various body parts. Have receiver head the ball back to
Most of these line drills were finished with a keeper in goal rolling a ball out for
the dribbler at the top of the 18 to finish with a one-touch shot. Then sprint back to
After a few repetitions, switch groups.
Emphasis on turn and sprint to next station immediately after pass. If receiver
passes and moves, she gives herself time to get open for a return pass. By passing and
watching, you give the defender time to recover.
For youth, start with a catch and throw back to teach them to get arms in proper place
for the chest trap. Proper posture for heading and chest receipt.
Stop if chest bounces ball too far away (form proper body arch). Again, interest is not
speed by accuracy. Should see the speed of the drill slow down as the players concentrate
on accuracy. Then, emphasize speed again.
Never move on without correcting poor execution. Ensure exercise is done properly.
When there is a breakdown, correct each component part
Discussed importance of changing the lines of attack.
Next, how to time passes and runs.
moved to x players being dribblers like first drill. Pass to line player and run behind
and around line player you pass to. Then, receive the ball back in space (to develop
skills for over laps). After series of passes, finish with a shot on goal. Then, dribble
back to start.
Had the line receiver play his first touch away from the side he will pass ball to
(to open space to receive the pass)
Receiver should develop a sense for the dribblers run.
Dribbler must talk to line player to tell him when to play ball back.
COMFORT IN HOLDING ON TO BALL BEFORE PASSING
Pass to line player, line player holds/screens ball for 3 seconds from original
dribbler, if he can hold for 3 sec then the line man takes the ball to the next station
with a dribble and the original dribbler becomes line man, if line man wins he dribbles to
next station. Important to practice everything, just as you do during the game.
Emphasized not shielding with arm away from body or pushing with hands- do spread
body - must teach to youth so they don't develop bad habits that result in fouls when
Want to teach players to be comfortable with possession of the ball. Thats the
next level for our game. There are too many one-touch kicks. Everyone is in too much of a
hurry and accuracy suffers.
Need receivers mentality to be "This is my ball, Im keeping it,"
so can develop confidence and composure.
x passes to A. x tries to dispossess A of ball. Whoever gains possession of ball after
ten seconds, passes to B and closes down on B for same drill. Loser stays at As spot
If receiver pushes opponent away with hands, FOUL.
US is good at heading to goal, but need to be able to head to feet.
Need accuracy to feet, not a pass up in the air, but down to feet.
Emphasize same principles, form arch with body, hands out for balance.
If develop proper action, becomes like a golf swing, have it for life.
Remember, there are two parts to drill. Head accurately AND move quickly so that as
defender turns to watch ball, header moves to space.
If cant pass, receive or run, cant play the game.
Next, moved to run at line player(in this one the 7 line players each had a ball in
their hands), line player throws ball to be headed back at 5 yards distance, runner heads
ball back to line players feet - need to be clinically accurate.
During the demonstration, noticed that players were not accurate, shows an absence of
technical skill. Blames coaches because we allow it to continue without correcting and
Finish with header to goal. Server tosses to x after she returns pass to last line
player. Sprint back to start.
Being more technically proficiency will yield less injuries.
Poor passes put receivers in bad situations after they receive.
Have to move to open space away from a D.
If speed alone was the answer, Carl Lewis would be a good soccer player.
Romario is slow, but his technical proficiency gives him time.
Too many coaches emphasize tactics over techniques, too early.
Instead of playing 11 v 11 for a half hour and play with bad habits.
Some say, the game is the best teacher, but you need technical skills.
Its necessary to teach when to pass, when to run, when to support.
How to pass, when not to run, when not to support.
Where to pass, where to run and always to understand what your next move is.
This session was covered by Rich Kriscuinas, RKRISCIU@CO.WAYNE.MI.US