David Baird is a highly ambitious young coach, currently working with Heart of Midlothian FC in Scotland. He has been a practitioner of coaching for over 10 years and I has gained experience in Scotland, Dubai and the United States. His @DavidBairdSC Twitter account is a ‘must follow’ for coaches and he shares new sessions and content on a daily basis. His First Touch session below is designed for players at U-8 to U-14 level.
Description: Starting on the right, the pass is played in the direction shown with the player following his pass. The next player takes a first touch that allows him to drive the ball forward and follow the pass. The top player scans as the ball is approaching to see the empty cone that he must take a positive first touch towards and drive there. Drill is now repeated on the other side with the aim to keep both balls alive. Progression = press your passes when you play them.
Coaching Points: 1) Receive on the safe side. 2) First touch away from the defender and in the direction you wish to go. 3) Scan to see the space Feint one way and go the other to take the approaching player out of the game.
Game Related Practice:
Description: Depending on ability level make the team seven or with roaming players who play for the team in possession. The ball must travel through the box in the middle before a goal is scored, which encourages firm passes and quick first touch to secure and play or to knock the ball into space and drive forward:
Coaching Points: 1) Not a lot of time and space in the middle so touch to the safe side and play quick. More space out wide to take a positive first touch forward. 2) If it’s not on to go forward go through the square again.
Pattern Option 1:
Description: GK to RB – RB receive on back foot and touch forward CM – receive to open out and switch the play – Striker receive with back to goal to set a wide player – from Striker touch play 3v2 to goal (ST/LM/RM)
Coaching Points: 1) Scanning 2) Decision Making: Defenders offer realistic pressure so Striker must decide where/who to play
Pattern Option 2:
Description: GK to RB – RB to CM – CM scans to see he can’t open up and drops it back RB – RB plays through the lines into ST – ST receives to bring wingers into game or if it’s on turn to shoot 3V2 to goal.
Progression: If defenders win the ball go and score in the other goal.
First Touch Conditioned Game:
Description: Minimum 2 touch, look in for coaching opportunities in the game to bring out what has been addressed in the session. Encourage players to hold their formation and bring out the patterns from previous drill when possible.
Coaching Points: 1) Scanning 2) Directional first touches 3) Receiving on correct foot in given situations.
You can keep up to date with David’s content on his @DavidBairdSC Twitter account.