Small Numbered Sessions

Discussion in 'Training Tips & Coaching' started by F1-mania, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. F1-mania

    F1-mania FHF Legend

    May 17, 2009
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    I'm coaching a school Senior B team at the minute - so a bunch of guys who enjoy playing hockey, are relatively okay at the sport and don't take matters too seriously. We've had a decent enough turnout the first part of the year, but as things will go turn out is now dwindling with exams coming up and things like that. I've had to scrap a couple of session plans over the last few weeks as we've had only 6 odd people show up.

    I'd not describe myself as the greatest hockey coach in the world. I am quite good at tactics and set up, but I'm not the sort of guy that will teach you how to hit a ball (As a keeper I don't even know how to do it myself). Usually I am good working with set up, pressing, 4 v 3s and things down those lines where I can work on decision making. The low numbers make this difficult though - so I thought I'd ask the useful resource that is the coaches on FHF what sort of sessions they tend to do with small numbers. Ideally I'd have a resource of 5-10 activities that I could roll out as needed. We're often short a keeper, so pure shooting exercises are off the cards unfortunately, they'd normally have been my fall back as they're easy to do. Any suggestions?
  2. bigdave1981

    bigdave1981 FHF Top Player

    Jan 13, 2012
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    In my experience having small numbers creates issue... i used to do some dribbling/slalom drills to work on their forehand and back hand control.

    I did have 1 drill called "locked in" where you have 2 teams of 4 ,cone off an area (10m by 10m approx) and in 2 corners (opposite to eachother) mark out another small box/cell.Have 1 of each team in the box/cell anf their teammates have to complete 5 passes before passing to the "cellmate" to release them, the player who passed the ball then becomes locked in
    .. you can add 2 more boxes/cells if more numbers.
    Hope this helps?
  3. Nij

    Nij FHF All Time Great

    May 22, 2012
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    I've found a drill that encourages off-ball movement and pass anticipation very useful when the turnout is low or when a large number will arrive late (as you can effectively add singles and pairs or rebalance sides whenever you like).

    Set out a working zone with about five metres of width for each player on a team e.g. if it's five-on-five, you have a 25m×25m box. Adapt as you choose to encourage either many short passes or longer flat/short aerial passes.

    The rules are simple:
    • Contests for possession are okay, but once possession is clear, no tackles permitted.
    • Players can touch to control or avoid a contest, but once possession is clear, no dribbling permitted.
    • Defenders have to allow space.
    • Attackers have three seconds to move the ball, from when they have clear possession.
    To mix it up and make the movement more important, make it a three-team game. To enforce proactive defence, include an odd player who is always on the attacking team, and vice versa for movement, a permanent defender.
    TheThinkingCoach likes this.
  4. Mick Mason

    Mick Mason FHF Top Player

    Feb 25, 2016
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    Each week during the season I take small groups, around 6 players, for sessions to develop imagination and new skills. This is one of my favourite exercises for small groups (and the players enjoy it too). All our games are for points, and winners are grinners.
    You don't need a huge space, just enough to make them run and to make them fight for the 50-50 ball. The players wait behind the line, 2 at a time to start, and the coach puts the ball in play off the rebound board. The players fight it out, no hits, they must get the ball and keep the ball and run it to their goal. In a bigger area you can go 4 at a time, let them work out a plan and then see how they execute it. With 4 you allow push passes but if a player gets to the ball and just goes the push to their team mate waiting at the goal it gets boring (and is just a foot race to the ball) so you make an incomplete pass (for any reason at all) a point for the opponent. All the usual rules apply.

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  5. hcpagan

    hcpagan FHF Newbie

    May 7, 2016
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    God i only have 6 adults in my club

    And 6 children.

    Sent from my SM-A520F using Tapatalk
  6. TheThinkingCoach

    TheThinkingCoach FHF Newbie

    Sep 7, 2017
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    I really like this idea. I have done something similar before which involves improving man marking. Each team giving their players a number 1-5. Before the game starts you have to identify with your opposition who is who in terms of number. Now you are only aloud to tackle your opposite number. Often you will have one player dribbling with the ball and no one can tackle them because the opposite number has lost focus for a split second. Calls people out for lazy man marking!

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