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Stay goalside and touch tight
The Principles of defence:
The most important aspect of defending is the ability to delay the attack - by shutting down the space ahead of the player with the ball - this action gives the player with the ball only two options - to attack and take you, the defender on, or to pass the ball.
If the player decides to attack you should “back away” and show the attacking player a certain channel in which YOU will allow him/her to progress - this is delay - holding up the advance of the player so that other defenders can get behind the ball.
Don’t commit yourself to a tackle unless - there is a another covering player behind you - or - you are absolutely sure that you can win the ball.
When confronting the player with the ball - don’t get square - approaching side-on so that if he changes direction - you - the defender can - back away - saving yourself time.
TEAM WORK: In the modern game - most teams will play with just two attacking players - these are arguably their best players. It is important to identify these players and then delegate which one of the defenders will mark them. Usually the two middle defenders will pick up the opposing players while the outside defenders will pick up wide players.
Stay in contact with your goalkeeper
COMMUNICATION - It is vital to communicate with your team-mates around you - keep working as a team.
CONCENTRATION - when confronted by an attacker with the ball - watch the ball - never the player.
BE AWARE - Remember to take a quick glance around you when the attacking team in advancing towards you.
STAYING GOAL-SIDE: Put yourself in between the attacking players and the goal - making a shield - remember you are defending your goal.
CLOSING DOWN - Never allow a striker a direct line to goal - by closing down - getting in front of the attacker you are not allowing a shot at goal.
OFFSIDE - an effective and powerful defensive strategy: if executed correctly will not only kill the offensive momentum of the opposing side but will give you possession of the ball.
Don't commit - unless your 100% sure of winning the ball
One Defensive player should be ultimately responsible for calling the defensive players out - the defensive captain - knowing the exact moment when to spring the trap is vital and when it is called - there MUST BE NO hesitation.
YOUR NUTRITIONAL GAME PLAN
The importance of good nutrition and the effect it has on performance is widely accepted. An adequate diet, in both quality and quantity before, during and after training and competition will maximise performance. Sound nutrition is not only important for the elite athlete, the benefits are there for the weekend warrior as well as top performers.
Whatever the sport, nutrition should be an integral part of training strategies.
The primary concern for any athlete is energy - that is: Calories.
Calories are fuel and too much or too little will affect performance.
What calories are made up of is also crucially important if the athlete is going to get the best out of the food they eat.
In the optimum diet for sport: Carbohydrate should contribute about 60/70% of total energy intake and protein about 12%; with the remainder 18% coming from fats.
Adequate fluid is necessary to avoid dehydration - an area most athletes could improve on.
Sports generally involve periods of aerobic and anaerobic exercise: Aerobic exercise: which is dependent on free air (oxygen), using and strengthening the heart and lungs and increasing capacity. i.e: running, swimming.Anaerobic: Exercises which are not dependent on air or oxygen: static; i.e. weight training etc.
The overall aim of sports nutrition is to: (a) provide sufficient energy to support consistent and intensive training; (b) increase carbohydrate intake to 60/70% of total energy intake: (c) to ensure adequate fluid intake to maintain hydration and (d) maintain variety of food choices to avoid nutrient deficiencies.
Carbohydrate is a crucial fuel for exercise - all forms of exercise whether aerobic of anaerobic use carbohydrate. During aerobic exercise (running) the body uses a mixture of fat and carbohydrate, whereas in more intense anaerobic work (Weights) only carbohydrate or glycogen (the storage form of carbohydrate) can meet the high energy demands. However the snag with glycogen is that only limited amounts of it can be stored. Regular training and competition results in low or depleted glycogen stores which leads to a more sluggish performance and increased risk of injury. Strategies to minimise this problem should include; eating a high carbohydrate diet the whole time during the training season to avoid burn-out; consuming carbohydrate during long bouts of exercise to maintain energy levels ; refuelling properly after exercise sessions to replenish supply.
How much Carbohydrate do athletes need?
Athletes in regular intensive training should aim for 7-10g carbohydrate per Kg of body weight per day. For a 70Kg male this would mean a daily intake of 500/700g - a lot of carbohydrate.
To get the proper amount of calories in as carbohydrate, fat intake needs to be reduced to prevent unnecessary weight gain. However a certain amount of fat is needed to provide essential vitamins and care should be taken not to cut out valuable foods such as dairy products, meats and oily fish just because they contain some fat.
Base all meals around carbohydrate rich foods, they should take up half the plate: Potatoes; Rice; Pasta and Noodles - Breads and Breakfast Cereals; Fruits - Fresh, tinned or dried starchy Vegetables - Beans, Peas and Pulses.
Fit your Training around eating: eat lower carbohydrate foods 2/3 hours before Matches: foods such as white bread, sandwiches, rolls, pitta bread, scones or pancakes.
Eat or drink carbohydrates as soon as possible after exercise to refuel - more frequent smaller meals may be more suitable than only 3 meals a day.
The muscles refuel best during the first few hours after exercise so carbohydrate as foods or fluid (1g per Kg body weight every 2 hours) should be taken as soon as possible. This is vital when repeated bouts of exercise are demanded.
Seventy per cent of the body is water. During exertion water is lost through sweating and rapid breathing.Loss of 1-2% of the body weight causes a deterioration in performance and may be the reason why goals are often conceded towards the end of a match. Plenty of drinks should be taken during training days and in the days leading up to a game. Thirst is an unreliable indicator of need. Water is best in the hour before a game (half to one pint) and a 5% solution of glucose at half time.
Try to drink water during stoppages in the game, and obviously the hotter the weather the more should be drunk.
PREPARE TO PLAY
SUMMARY: BE WELL HYDRATED BEFORE EXERCISE; HAVE FLUIDS ON HAND AND PRACTISE DRINKING REGULARLY DURING TRAINING; CHOOSE FLUIDS THAT ARE COOL AND PALATABLE; REHYDRATE WELL AFTER EXERCISES WITH WATER OR AN ISOTONIC DRINK - ALCOHOL AND CAFFEINE CONTAINING DRINKS ENCOURAGE THE BODY TO LOSE FLUID AND ARE NOT GOOD FOR REHYDRATION
IT IS STRESSED THAT THE ABOVE IS ONLY A GUIDE BASED ON A REPORT BY RUTH WOOD-MARTIN, ACCREDITED SPORTS DIETITIAN AND ATHLETES SHOULD CONSULT NUTRITIONAL EXPERTS BEFORE UNDERTAKING ANY EXCESSIVE OR INTENSIVE NUTRITIONAL PROGRAMME.
PASSING THE BALL
WHAT PART OF THE BODY DO WE USE MOST TO PLAY FOOTBALL?
A question posed to a group of very enthusiastic young players at a recent school of soccer - was met with a chorus of quite reasonable and predictable answers.
The modern game is played primarily with the brain, a good player is not necessarily the most talented or even the most intelligent - it's the player most aware of what has just happened, what is about the happen and what is actually happening - the player who ‘reads’ the game is probably the most well equipped. Of the Premiership teams - players like Paul Scoles (Man. United), Xani (Barcelona), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) and although not strikers of their respective sides, but are regarded as midfield generals but the pundits.
The movement of the ball is therefore an area where this type of player presides and conquers with a combinations of ability, vision and timing. Here we look at the very basic elements of football - passing the ball - looking at the technique and the elements of the perfect pass - even today, at every premiership game featured on Match of The Day - we still see players, banking a huge ransom for the ability to play the game, displace an quite shameful number of simple passes - so here we take you right down to the basics, as coached to the youngest candidates of the beautiful game.
The ball is moved forward by PASSING.
We have to look at how to deliver the perfect pass.
WHY IS PASSING SO IMPORTANT?
By controlling the ball with good passing, a team can arguably control the game by:
1. RETAIN POSSESSION to INCREASE THEIR CHANCES OF SCORING.
2. KEEP THE BALL OFF THE OPPOSITION therefore DECREASE THEIR OPPONENTS CHANCES OF SCORING.
HOW DO WE PASS THE BALL WELL?
The three elements of achieving Good Passing?
The most important aspect of the pass is the accuracy. To complete this exercise we need to set up correctly when addressing the ball by (a) getting the supporting leg (non kicking) into position (knee bent - balance) with the toes ideally pointing directly at the intended target, and using the biggest area of the striking foot the inside of the kicking foot to execute the pass and (b) by striking the centre of the ball - ensuring that the ball will go straight and directly to the target.
Striking under the centre of the ball will lift the ball up and make it difficult to control.
The ball then has to be delivered with the right pace to reach its target, a pass hit too soft will not reach the target and possibly gives up possession, where as a pass struck too hard, becomes a very difficult ball for your team-mate to control.
When to play the pass. Having got the ball at our feet the player has then to decide when to play the pass - head up and release the ball at the right time - a mistimed pass is an often inaccurate one.
So having got the ball under control we look up and select our target and then deliver that ball along the ground and directly to the target.
Practise makes perfect - and it is a good exercise to have a ball between two players, about six feet apart, and just play the wall pass, at pass made with one touch, with the inside of the kicking foot - moving the ball back and forth - starting at first slowly but increasing the pace of the ball gradually, keeping the ball down and moving rapidly between the two players. Try to pass to feet - develop by widening the gap between the players. When mastered to a satisfactory degree, players can then increase the difficulty of the drill by using only the outside of the foot, moving on to the non-kicking foot. foot.
The Driven Pass
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