This episode of the podcast was originally a blog post published by 3four3.
Today, we’re going to talk about possession soccer. Because people have a hard time understanding what possession soccer actually is and what it does for real player development. They say possession soccer is dead. They say all kinds of crazy things. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
But it just so happens that 3four3 are the proven leaders in possession-based soccer coaching education here in the united states. Go figure! So, I’m going to take full advantage of this opportunity and talk to you about what we believe in and what we’ve demonstrated a variety of levels.
Brian Kleiban, the architect of the 3four3 coaching curriculum, might be the best example when it comes to teaching possession based soccer and what it can do for true player development here in America.
Possession soccer is the precursor to so many things.
You want to counter-attack under control and a specific way?
You want to learn how to press and win the ball as a team?
You want your team to be organized when they have the ball?
All of these things are critical aspects of the 3four3 curriculum and yes, possession soccer helps teach them to players.
The “Possession Movement” Has Finally Hit American Shores: How Prepared Are You?
Written by Gary Kleiban.
There is a movement towards possession-based soccer in our country – and it’s about time.
The possession-based game, in one manifestation or another, has dominated global football for decades. But unfortunately, it has taken an extreme interpretation and execution of possession, in Barcelona/Spain, to awaken us in the United States.
As a result, the word ‘possession’ is now commonplace.
Commonplace in American media, commonplace in the household, and becoming more commonplace on the training grounds.
The gap and challenge, however, is in going from mere use of the word to its understanding, implementation, and execution on the field.
And it’s a challenge that requires not only a big commitment in time and effort but essentially a complete overhaul – even abandonment – of what’s been traditionally done in soccer at all levels.
As a result, there is a lot of friction by established coaches and others in the community whose expertise does not reside in the possession-based game.
So I was delighted when clubs and coaches started reaching out to 3four3.
It’s a sign that there are organizations and individuals trying to overcome this friction and better align themselves with global football. Which really means, better align themselves with the fundamentals of the game.
Now, what is often cited as an opposing view is that there are many “styles” in soccer, and one is not preferred to another.
Well, leaving the professional game aside for the moment, and focussing on youth player development … this objection has short legs.
You see, a possession-based style taxes a players technical and tactical abilities (the brain) far more than any “route 1” or direct-based style, or just “letting the youth play”. As such, implementing a possession-based team game is akin to developing players technically and tactically.
In other words; “development”.
And the more technical and tactical a player is, the more malleable they become and able to adapt to any future ‘style’ a coach may want to implement.
At our seminar/clinic(s), we’ve found ourselves with attentive coaches open to learning. Open to a lot of things that may fly in the face of what’s been the traditional American soccer narrative.
Thankfully, we have a library of video which showcases our teams in action and helps to convince others that it is possible. And we’re willing to share how we’ve done it across age groups, levels, and genders.
We didn’t invent these activities or this general philosophy. What we’ve done is taken what’s done elsewhere, for instance, Barcelona, and been able to adapt it to the American soccer environment. It is in that adaptation, that many struggle, and where we can help.
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