Open Practice: Transition - Looking to Play Off Your Highest Player
Wake Forest University Head Men's Soccer Coach;
2016 NCAA College Cup Runner-up;
3 straight appearances in the quarterfinals (2015-2017);
Muuss' record in his first three years includes 55 wins - more than any other D I program in that same span.
3x ACC Coach of the Year;
former University of Denver Head Coach (2013 Summit League Coach of the Year);
former Assistant Coach at UConn (2000 NCAA Champions, 3x Big East Champions)
Discover different exercises to play off target players and how to get forward quickly!
- Use transitional moments to make your practice sessions as realistic as possible when addressing the attacking phase of the game
- Incorporate various aspects of your playing style while focusing on play off a target player to develop good habits
- Learn to take away time and space through TNT (Talk Now Time) in order to sort out chaos and defend effectively
Bobby Muuss shows how he teaches his players the importance of playing off target players and the movement needed to attack quickly using the "Wake Forest Way." He provides in-depth illustrations both on a white board and on the field to show different key elements for your players.
In this video, you'll learn how to train your team to play off target players. Coach Muuss explains the teaching points he emphasizes during the exercises:
- Movement and supporting angles going forward that create the most danger.
- Good reactions in transitional moments.
- Positioning of players in advanced areas and how to bring players into the match.
- Importance of finding a rhythm in the opponent's half of the field to find central areas.
Muuss includes six exercises that he uses at Wake Forest. He begins this session by putting his players through a warm-up. Here, he shows how to incorporate dynamic stretching, technical passing and first touch, speed and quickness, and injury prevention all within the warm up.
The second exercise that Coach Muuss shows is what he calls "6v6+4 Transfer Box." This game addresses attacking, defending, and his transitional style of play. It's during this game that players are put in an environment where they have two target players to find; the central midfielder and center striker. The players also have to play using the correct shape while making the right decisions to be able to play through pressure and tight spaces.
In the third activity, Muuss shows how he builds from an unopposed to opposed game with a 3v0 to 3v3 transition game. Throughout the session, he teaches his players the different types of runs they can make to not only create space for themselves, but also gain the ability to combine and find third man runners. As he adds three additional players, Muuss continues to stress how important off the ball movement can be to rip apart even the most compact defenses.
Next, Coach Muuss increases the amount of players to make a 5v5 transition game. Once the ball enters the field of play, he forces two players to have to recover from transition, giving the attacking team a numbers-up situation going to goal.
After the 5v5 game, Coach Muuss makes the situation more complex by making it 9v8. An element added is the use of "Area 14," which is a key area for successful attacking teams. Through the design of the session, players now have to recognize which area is best to attack based on the defending team and how they recover.
The sixth and final game is a 7v7+1 game with touch restrictions. Muuss uses this game to reinforce what was taught during the session and adds the touch restriction to continue to force his players to play at a high tempo.
No matter what system you play, you will need to learn how to play off certain key players to penetrate and go forward with pace. Coach Muuss does an excellent job of creating the right environment to teach his players, and this video allows you to take his techniques and imple