The Elite Phase: The Full Bloom (U-19)
Development of functional and team play:
Fulfillment of a player’s potential depends on his or her own efforts, the support of teammates and the unselfish guidance of her coach. He or she must be exposed to a playing and training environment, which extends her mental, physical, tactical and technical capabilities to the limit. He or she must have a sound understanding of the game’s principles and concepts. Players should show emotional stability when confronted with pressure situations. Demanding and challenging training sessions and matches are a must.
Coach must be: Charismatic, well informed, up to date, experienced, knowledgeable, articulate, a disciplinarian. No doubts about his/her authority; managerial know-how.
- Mastered skills leading to artistry. All at speed under match conditions, demanding excellence. Individual skill covered during warm-up and competitive situations.
Increase tactical speed (decision-making) with increased pressure and competition. Having the ability to change and adapt to game dynamics, up or down a goal, management of the clock and flow of the game.
In attack: A good deal of time spent in functional training environments
- Decisions based on thirds of the field
- Comfort in playing in the different areas of the field/team (back, middle, front, center, wide).
- Confidence to hold possession as an individual
- Solve problems at the individual level.
In defense: Clear understanding of how the quality of pressure affects the ability of the team to defend
- Decisions based on thirds of the field.
- Comfort at playing two different positions
- Improvisation/deception encouraged
- Advanced understanding of combination play and how to combine to break down a defense
- Balance of possession and penetration with a purpose to score goals
- Recognize opportunities to penetrate by a variety of means
- Attacking in groups of three (forwards, midfielders and defenders)
- Pressure, cover, balance
- Control of the game’s speed and direction due to defending decisions
- Recognition of double team opportunities
- Defending in groups of three (forwards, midfielders and defenders)
Team: Understanding of lines and linkage between lines. Understand positional and team needs.
- Comfort with direct and indirect styles of play
- Combination play with tactical implications
- Sustained possession as a means to break down the opponent’s defense
- Speed of play; the game is faster and more physical
- Creativity, quality of final ball to beat backs
- Understanding how and when to counterattack
- Serving runners in the box
- Organizing the box with runners (penetration, width and support)
- Decisions based on thirds of the fields
- Set plays (80 percent success rate where we get: 1) goal; 2) shot on goal; or 3) corner kick
- Comfort with “high pressure” and “delayed high pressure” styles
- Understanding of zonal and man-to-man marking play
- Goalkeeper as the last defender
- Keeping good team compactness
- Stopping the counterattack
- Decisions based on thirds of the field and different systems of play
- Pressing (when and where to pressure, channel and dictate defensively)
Systems: The recommended system – all. Based on a variety of factors (individual/team abilities, opponent, field conditions, game management etc.). The Women’s National Team, U-21, U-19 and U-16 National Teams predominantly employ three forwards using a 3-4-3 and 4-3-3 system.
Note: A great deal of coaching/teaching within 9 v. 9 and 11 v. 11 games.
Fitness work with and without the ball
- Flexibility – static stretching after training/matches
- Dynamic flexibility – partner stretching
- Importance of discipline for warm-up and cool-down
- Agility – with and without the ball
- durance – aerobic and anaerobic
- Strength – upper and lower body. Core strength/stability
- Nutrition – proper diet pre-game, post-game, tournaments
- Prevention and care of injuries
- Importance of rest/recovery – schedule issues relative to the physical demands
- Increased concentration
- Leadership and increased player responsibility
- Goal setting
- Respect for the game
- Self-confidence, self-motivation, goal setting
- Vary program – satisfy players’ urge for competition. Will to win.
- Mental toughness/competitive mentality
- Establish pre-practice and pre-game routine (as individuals and teams)
- Encourage players/teams to watch professional and National Team games on television
- 11 v. 11