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Implementing Position-Specific Training

This week on the MSC Breakdown, we look at ways that coaches can incorporate position-specific training in their environment. These exercises can be used as warm-up exercise, post-training work, or even unit based training sessions. As game models evolve and develop, it's easy for individual practice time to drop, but there are solutions that can incorporate both. We have just released a new MSC Positional Training eBook (PowerPoint format) with over 30 exercises, all split into positional categories, the exercises in this presentation are easily adapted to offer players different pictures, experiences and challenges. There is also space for each coach to look at the work and adapt to suit their team and coaching style. All exercises are available to watch in video format, along with recommended dimensions and times.

Below is a YouTube breakdown detailing three different patterns and we also explain the organization of each one. If you enjoy this content, please subscribe to our MSC YouTube page.

Below is the breakdown of all the exercises shown in the video.

Center Backs Reading and Stepping In

  • 15x20 yard area with two mannequins and one mini-goal

  • Two center backs start behind each mannequin

  • As soon as server passes left or right, the ‘strong side’ center back must read forward pass into mannequin and step in front

  • Weak side defender must shift and cover

  • After winning ball, defender plays into mini-goal

  • Play 5x2 minute sets with 60 seconds recovery between each one

Full-Backs Possession and Final Third Work

  • Minimum 2 players involved on each side

  • 20x20 yard area and final third required

  • One full-back starts on each side and two center forwards start outside the box

  • Ball One: Coach serves and full-back can play into either mini-goal

  • Ball Two: Full-back continues their run, coach plays into forward who then passes to oncoming full-back for a cross into the box for forward to finish on goal

  • Repeat 10 times and alternate sides for the recovery

Defensive Midfielder Passing Angles and Speed of Play

  • One player and server required

  • 20x20 yard area with mannequin in middle and four mini-goals in corner numbered 1-4

  • Coach plays ball and calls number

  • Play one touch into 1-2

  • Play two touches into 3-4

  • Work at maximum speed for 90 seconds for 5 sets

Forwards (7/11s) Timing of Central Runs

  • 6 players required

  • Final 3rd area with mannequins 15 yards apart

  • Central player starts by dribbling through cones

  • First wide forward arcs run to receive in front of mannequins

  • Second forward times run to receive pass from central player behind the mannequins

  • Alternate sides and 10 sets each

If you would like to follow up with Gary Curneen about personal consultation, please email him at:

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