With the barrage of snow seemingly never coming to an end, GPS were forced back inside for this week’s professional development sessions, which were lead by Rohit Gautam and Peter Bradley at the Union Point Sports Complex in Weymouth.
Rohit’s session was focused on 7v7 situations as they pertain to the U9/U10 age groups with an emphasis on Finishing/Shooting.
His warm up involved all players together in a 10x10 box where they were encouraged to use different parts of their feet (soles, laces, outside of the feet) in order to maneuver. Periodically, Rohit would add a defender into the mix to provide pressure.
Following the warm up, selected players created an outer ring with the remaining players staying in the middle. Players on the outside would then lob balls to the inside players, who would return the ball first time before moving onto another outside person. Halfway through the drill, commands were shouted out requiring players to use their weaker foot or return the ball using a specific part of their foot.
Rohit’s final drill combined the skills reinforced throughout the session. Players would form two lines on either side of the net. They would dribble between a set of cones before laying off a pass to a player directly opposite of them facing the net. The player receiving the pass would take one touch before taking a shot on net. Rohit required players to strike the ball using their laces, a point he had been emphasizing all session.
In keeping with the other drills from his session, Rohit would yell out commands randomly, calling for the player to hit the ball 1st time or for the passer to complete a dribble move before passing.
Rohit ended the session with a 6v6 game. Rather than be completely unstructured, the game came with the stipulation that scoring with a laces shot would count as 3 points.
The key to running a proper session, according to Rohit, is building one that can be easily adapted based on the number of players present or space available. When talking with the staff observing the session, he made a point to highlight the importance of not swamping young players with too much information too quickly.
While Rohit’s session was aimed towards the younger age groups in the GPS system, Peter Bradley’s focused on the older groups.
His session began with a small activation warm up which required players to pass the ball to a player on the other side but it could not be a straight pass, forcing them to play a ball diagonally. This drill was done with 4 balls simultaneously, not only forcing players to stay on their toes and be active physically but to be active mentally.
The session then transitioned into a 11v11 situation which dealt with getting bodies into the box as a front 6 with an emphasis on working on the quality and timing of runs. This drill was actually an adapted session provided by FC Bayern Munich on passing and finishing that is used by their 1st team.
To see some of the goals and saves that came out of that session make sure to check out the video recap of this week's session on our Facebook.
GPS staff engages in Professional Development on a weekly basis with all the 2 hour sessions being led by fellow GPS staff. The goal of these sessions is to further develop as a group, ensuring that all are in line with and are adhering to the club’s vision, in order to provide an elite setting from which to develop players in.
We can’t tell you who is running professional development next week or what the topics will be so you will have to keep an eye on the website and our social media accounts next week to see what we worked on!