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Supporting Your Teammate in Possession
Supporting Your Teammate In Possession Game (animation below) helps identify those players who naturally move to be in the "best position" to support their teammate with the ball.
Print Assessment Form (link opens in new tab). Enter players name or uniform number in 1st column.
In the 2nd column score players to whom the ball can be passed. Enter their score in a small box for each opportunity to move to support a teammate with the ball as follows:
In the 3rd column score players receiving the ball. Enter their score in a small box for each opportunity to receive the ball as follows:
Assessment Game Rules
DO NOT tell players this is an assessment game, what you are looking to learn or how the game is scored. You want to assess their usual playing behavior. If you tell them more than the basic rules of the game they will modify their behavior.
In this version of the "Knock Out" game all players are attackers, except for two defenders. Only defenders knock balls out of the area. At the end of each game two attackers replace the two defenders. To identify defenders they can hold a scrimmage vest in a hand. It delays the game if defenders stop to put scrimmage vests on.
Attackers start dribbling in a grid or the center circle. On "GO" the first defender enters the area and knocks an attacker's ball out of the area and instantly go back to the back of the defender's line. The next defender goes into the area, knocks an attacker's ball out of the area and goes to the back of the defenders line. Defenders continue this rotation until all balls are knocked out of the area.
Attackers must stay in the area after their ball is knocked out and they instantly become a supporting teammate to whom the ball can be passed by a teammate with the ball. Balls can be passed to supporting players or to a player who already has a ball. Game ends when all balls are knocked out of the area.
Players lose focus, become bored and do not play as well when there are too many players in this game. If you have 14 or more players consider dividing them into two groups and playing two side by side games. To get a fair evaluation move players between games from time to time.
"Best Supporting Position"
This game will tell you what each player still needs to learn to do during the coming soccer season. This is the practice material that doesn't take long to teach in practices but makes a world of difference in team performance.
Don't teach during the assessment. Score what each player does. Their score and how they play in the assessment tells you what they need to learn in season practices.
In soccer supporting players should instantly move to be in the "Best Position" to support their teammate with the ball. In soccer "Best Positions" include:
Coffin Corners in Soccer
Another lesson for your season practices is on where to be on the field to be in the best position. The best possible supporting position in soccer is usually not in a corner of the field. Why?
In a corner a player who receives the ball only has a 90 degree angle to work with and can be more easily trapped and guarded by an opponent.
A supporting position in the middle of the field gives you a 360 degree angle to work with when you receive the ball. The disadvantage of a supporting position in the middle of the field is an opponent can play on your blindside where you can't see them. Then they can quickly apply pressure as you receive the ball, or step in front of you to steal the ball.
A supporting position along a sideline, with your back to the sideline, gives you about a 200 degree angle to work with and is often better because you can see all of your teammates and all of your opponents.
"Supporting Your Teammate with The Ball is a Full Time Job"
In an 11-a-side soccer game your team, on average, will have the ball a third (33.33%) of the time. Each player will have the ball 3.03% of the time and should be moving to support their teammate in possession of the ball the other 30% of the time they are playing on the field. What your players do when they should be moving to support their teammate with the ball determines how well your players and team plays.
Most inexperienced players do not move to support their teammate with the ball and score almost all "0's" in this assessment because they:
Player Risk Taking Assessment
Supporting Teammate With the Ball
1st Defender Assessment
2nd Defender Assessment