Soccer IQ’s Collect or Return

I posted a while back a genius SSG from @SoccerIQ as a Drill of the Day called ‘Collect or Return’. Last Friday I had the opportunity to use this drill and it didn’t dissapoint. My field was split evenly into 4 horizontally, and had 2 goals at either end, a larger one with a goalkeeper and a pug goal without. Also, each team had one player in a different colour. They weren’t expressly neutral and were assigned to one team only. These parameters were hangovers from the previous practice and I was confident in the drill’s versatility as well as the player’s creativity to use these to great affect.

I assigned the green cones as the coach’s challenge, and one colour to each team for the player’s challenge. The players took 1 minute to discuss what there challenge would be.

My challenges over 3 games were;
1 Perform an overlap at any point in the build up to a goal
2 Ball touches the ground in all 4 sections
3 ‘Magic’ player scores (differently coloured player)

These all were continuations of themes we had worked on that week.

The players challenges were;
1 Volley to score
2 Header to score
3 Goal from exactly half way
4 Goal from behind the 1/4 line
5 1 touch assist
6 Original celebration.

6 is definitely my favourite!

I fashioned a bag each out of a bib for the players to put their cones in or raid the opposition team’s bag to return a cone.

It was fascinating over the course of the games to hear the players’ discussions as they sought the balance of difficulty. Too easy and both teams would be able to achieve the challenge too often. Too hard and the challenge becomes obsolete.

It was also interesting to see those who knew it was still advantageous just to score and those who squandered goal scoring opportunities in order to attempt a challenge. Is either of these approaches inherently incorrect?

This drill could be used in a myriad of ways. With a coach’s challenge there’s the ability to run a fun SSG whilst maintaining some focus on the theme of your session.

I have also wondered whether it could be used to simulate game-situation problems. Perhaps 1 team is a man down. That team gains cones for winning possession, keeping the ball and scoring. The team with the player advantage gains cones for drawing players out into their final third, a split pass, and a goal from a maximum of 3 touches per player. Better yet don’t allow the opposition to know these challenges so that they also have to work out what they are in game. This gives the game some scope for use with older players.

Massive thanks to SoccerIQ for posting this game. It is now firmly part of my coaching arsenal!

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