How to coach intercepting
Ever wondered what makes a player good at intercepting? This article explores how The FA's core capabilities can help your team master this skill.
This capability focuses on how players use information to make decisions.
As a coach, you can help your team learn what to look for and when. To do this, ask them to keep an eye on both opponents' and teammates' positions and intentions. For example, analysing the space that players leave – or occupy – can help you decide if an interception will work.
To develop your team in this area, start by focusing on the position of relatively static objects. For example, player positions during restarts or corners. Then, progress to situations with lots of movements, such as open play.
This capability focuses on choosing when to act.
Successful interceptions depend on good timing. Picking the right moment to 'pounce' is a skill – and it's something that young players often struggle with.
The reason for this is clear. Timing relies on other capabilities, such as scanning and movement. Young players are still developing perceptual skills and learning to control their bodies. This means they need extra support in choosing when to act.
To work on timing, ask your team to predict what other players will do next. You could also practise games that involve timing but don't need your team to focus on ball control – like tag.