GPS staff met up at Veterans Field in Waltham this Monday to participate in another Professional Development session after a week break.
As usual, the day consisted of two separate sessions being run by GPS coaches. The first session of the day was focused on small sided games with an emphasis on being positive and creative on the ball in order to beat players one on one.
The opening part of the session saw players working on a variety of 1v1 moves, such as rolling the ball, scissors and feints- all of which had an emphasis on the player incorporating their body movement in order to throw the defender off.
The session then transitioned into an actual 1v1 drill that required players to receive a pass from the player opposite of them, who would immediately apply pressure, with a positive first touch before then trying to beat their defender and dribble through one of either two gates in order to earn a point.
The drill focused on having a positive first touch in order to drive at the defender with pace, applying the skills worked on in the first part of the session.
The third part of the session had two gates as goals that the players would have to dribble through, with the ball under control, in order to score. Extra points were given out for players beating their defender in order to encourage the use of techniques from the prior drills.
Key points of the session for players were: to be positive and brave when receiving the ball, making sure to have a positive first touch to get the ball out from under their feet, keeping their head up when dribbling and trying to be creative in order to take on players 1v1.
The second session of the day focused on counter attacking, both from an attacking standpoint and a defensive one.
It began with a 4v2 rondo drill with the two defending players in the middle of a box with the 4 offensive players assigned to a specific side of the box. Defenders would look to win the ball and immediately drive out of the box, with the offensive players being responsible for defending their side.
This emphasized the quality of pass in both weight and direction while forcing players to properly read angles all while being under constant pressure.
The session then progressed into a 5v5 drill, with 2 neutral players, in a large box where one team would look to keep possession while the defending team was tasked with winning the ball back and driving through one of the 4 gates located in each corner. The teams would then rotate every two minutes.
The goal of this drill was to force both sides to be quick thinking. The team tasked with keeping possession was under constant pressure forcing quick decisions to be made while the defensive team needed to react quickly in order to score once they won the ball back.
The gates in the corners were removed in favor of having a 3 goals set up, one large net set up on one side of the box with two smaller ones set up in the corners opposite of that net. One neutral player stayed in the middle while the other became a GK who acted as part of the team in possession. The object of the drill was similar in that one team kept possession while the other looked to win the ball back and score in any of the three nets.
The drill progressed with added stipulations such as allowing the team tasked with keeping possession to score in one of the nets while the defense earned extra points for scoring within 6 seconds of winning the ball. As with the drill earlier, the teams would rotate after a set amount of time, in this case 7 minutes.
GPS staff participates in Professional Development sessions every Monday, with each one being led by a fellow GPS staff member. Make sure to keep an eye out for our PD recap videos every Wednesday on our social media accounts to see what we have been up to!