How much percent of preparation and dedication do the actions of set pieces plays in high performance soccer deserve? For us a lot. But first of all and first of all, it is important to emphasize the context on which we are focusing, which is the high performance stage.
Why is it important to emphasize this?
After many experiences, study, analysis, and training in youth football, we detected a tendency to want to professionalize young players who practice this sport, dedicating the training time to aspects that search results and not player development, such as the actions of set pieces. It is a mistake for example to see U-8 teams that have 10 different set pieces prepared to throw a corner, and which do not receive guidance to understand the game from a cognitivist vision of it.
Said that, and understanding that we are already in an adult stage in the practice of sports, we see how more and more the analysis and preparation of matches is more professional and successful. The professional clubs devote more and more resources to their area of Game Analysis, since this aspect is understood as a key factor for the performance of the team itself and the search to overcome the rival team.
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This means that the teams that face each other know each other very well, and often the forces of both are balanced. In these contexts, the role of the set pieces hold a tremendous importance, since a play rehearsed of corner, or lateral fault, can decant the balance and award the 3 points or the classification of a tie to the team that best has dominated (both offensively and defensively).
A clear example of this, we see it in the last FIFA World Cup, where teams like Gareth Southgate’s England drew a lot of performance from them. As your coach tells us, one of the keys was to be inspired by other sports such as basketball or football: read article related.
Interesting aspects to handle in the set pieces:
- In offense: Occupation of the area, movements, feints, blocks, spaces to attack, players that dominate the air game, types of throws, etc.
- In defensive: Occupation of the area, domain of the second actions, capacity of exit of the goalkeeper, types of markings, etc.
Infinity of concepts to study, train and put into practice to get the most out of their own, and defend as best as possible those of the rival.