Modernisation + Realism = Preseason

The basic definition of Pre Season is to prepare the squad for the season ahead, in terms of fitness and tactics. We can complicate these things by adding silly factors of periodization, testing and all the rest of it. This approach is complicated and tiresome. Keep it simple, basic and fun.

Everybody remembers the tiresome 10 mile runs, the cooper test (Continuous running for 12 minutes) and sprints down the beach/up a hill. How on earth do these exercises reflect what happens on a pitch?

The question is how does a coach relate pre-sea son to what happens on the pitch? To me, it’s a very simple solution. Use small sided games/tournaments and drills with a ball at their feet. That’s just common sense, develop the feel for the ball.

Hosting a 5 a side tournament against teams in the local 5 a side league. Holding an intra-squad competition in different conditioned small sided games. Everything should involve the sport and the ball. The SSG’s are the fitness exercises and tactic drills needed to develop the squad within pre-season.

Some examples of conditions can be:

  1. Limit touches of each player
  2. Number of passes before shooting
  3. Method of Scoring

These are simple conditions that make players think about their decision making. Therefore, it sharpens the players’ psychological state for the game. Fitness aspect also comes with this, as the effort put in increases.

We’ve all heard of suicides (as called in the epic movie ‘Coach Carter’). How can this be adapted to involving the ball? Simple, and it goes as follows:

  1. Pair players up
  2. Place 1 ball on start line
  3. Players perform traditional shuttles 2 reps – 1st rep without ball & 2nd with ball (touchline to 18, touchline to hallway, touchline to opposition 18, touchline to opposition touchline and repeat with ball)
  4. After 1st player completes the 2 reps, partner takes over and perform drill
  5. After completing drill, have the partner time the other and have them competing with each other.

These are very basic methods to keep the pre-season phase as simple as possible. Keep it fun and involve the ball in every game & drill.

Written by @CODSportsSource

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