The Secret of Planning – part 2

The Secret of Planning – Part 2.

By Roger Wilkinson

Planning Step 2 – Tactical and Technical Breakdown

The coach should now take each component of the game style and break it down into the tactical and skill details needed to make each component of the game style work.   The coach breaks down each element to identify the TACTICAL PRINCIPLES.  

In breaking down the element, Keeping Possession the coach might consider some of the following:   Support play, mobility, creating space, when to pass or run forwards with the ball, when to go sideways and when to go backwards, when and how to go long, when to play shorter – through the thirds.

Having established the tactical principles needed to make the general elements happen the coach now identifies the skills needed to enable the players to operate successfully in their tactical blue print.

For example, with Keeping Possession the key skills the coach wants to develop might be; Running and turning with the ball, beating opponents, passing long and short, receiving balls in the air and on the ground, wall passing and take over’s, quick feet, body shapes, and “playing with your eyes up” .

So the breakdown of the technical and tactical/skill elements could look like this.

Component                               Technical Elements                  Tactical/Skill Elements

Govern the Ball. A team understanding of how to create and use space to keep the ball. To know and understand when to exploit playing long and when to exploit playing through the thirds. When and how to play round. Creating overloads. Recognising running in opportunities. Starting again. Benchmark football (playing long and ring fencing the ball and opponents). Running across defenders. Running with the ball with both feet. Turning, screening and tricks. Takeovers and wall passes. Support play. Soft passing. Touch-move. Long passing.
Going Forward With Certainty. A team understanding of how to attack with cleverness whilst maintaining possession and achieving good possession in dangerous areas. Playing from the back into midfield. Midfield play rounds. Creating playing and running in opportunities. Playing across the field to play through the field. Start agains. Counter attack.  Half positions. Running through space with both feet. Passing with the inside and outside of both feet. Turning, tricks, wall passes. “Opening the curtain”, body position – shoulders, 1st run-2nd run. Open and closed turns. Passing on the floor and in air.
Create Clever Finishing Opportunities. Creating and achieving various finishing opportunities in and around the box. Playing in areas, 2nd six yard box, 2nd penalty Area, POMO situations” Playing and running-in areas on the sides of the box. Creating opportunities on the edge of box. Playing and running into the box from wide positions. Creating crossing opportunities. Half positions Playing in balls. Disguise passing. Runs and tricks to get into the box. Feinting set ups to shoot. Crossing to near, far and 2nd six yard box. Pull backs from the touch-line.
Maximizing Finishing. Hitting the stanchions, 2 score easier than 1, following in for deflections and rebounds, quality heading, volleying and curling shots. Scoring runs and 3rd man runs. Working offside trap. Mobility and inter change. Dropping out. Using space. Power Striking. Wrapping toe round the ball. Accurate finishing. 2 men striking. Rebounding. Near post deflections.  Heading far post and central headers.
Defending aggressively. Attacking the opposition`s possession and winning the ball back in a quick clean and aggressive manner as individuals and as a team. Closing down as individual and as a group. Staying in the pack. Depth and support in defence. Double teaming when pressurizing. Recovery runs and positioning. Keeping the play in front. Pressure every move. Communication Closing down. Feet and body positions and distances. Support positions. Talking. Tackling with the front foot, blocking, mirroring. Heading. Tracking and marking. Distances – space and man. Pushing up as a team.
Maximizing possession and finishing opportunities on attacking set plays, corners, free kicks and throw ons. Throw ons. Corners. Back third free kicks, middle third free kicks and front third free kicks. Goal kicks. Creating space for effective delivery. Set play delivery – excellence of delivery. Timing of runs. Disguise and tricks.
Minimizing possession and finishing opportunities for the opposition on their set plays, corners, free kicks and throw ons. Blocking and sealing off key space and players. Mental Concentration and alertness. Effective walls and blocking. “know your job” Blocking and marking. Distances. Tracking. Heading. Alertness.
Team mobility. Players moving and creating support positions when in possession. Defensive shape – going narrow, squeezing and dropping in unison. Controlling opposition movement. Team shape. Stay in the pack. 30m rule Fluid reaction to situations. Make the field when big attacking and compact defending. Transition periods. Getting the attackers head down on ball. Angle off each other. Fluid and quick reactions to movement of ball. High tempo.


Part 3 of the Secret of Planning looks at how to put these components and elements of the game style into a season plan.


Part 3 of the Secret of Planning will be posted soon!


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