THE LANDING PAD

Summary
In this drill and multiple progressions aimed at beginners and younger players, you’ll help them start to gain an awareness of their landing foot, and develop their landing skills to allow them to perform an outside pivot on both feet.

Level
Basic

Players
4+

Equipment
1 ball
2 cones

Coaching points
– Set up your players in two lines, behind a cone at either end of the centre third. The first player in one line has possession of the ball.
– The first player in the line without the ball must drive forward to receive a pass, landing with TWO feet simultaneously in (or very close to) the centre circle, before pivoting on one foot and returning a pass back to the line they’ve come from.
– As they’ve landed with two feet at the same time, they can choose which foot to pivot on. Whichever foot they choose, they must pivot to the OUTSIDE. i.e. if they’re pivoting on their right foot, they’ll turn outside to the right, or if they’re pivoting on their left foot, they’ll turn outside to their left.
– Ensure players practice pivoting on both feet, so they’re proficient at pivoting both ways before progressing the skill.
– To progress the skill, now ask your players to land on a particular foot. This not only develops the skill of being able to land and pivot proficiently on either foot, it also improves their awareness of which foot they need to take off on, in order to land on a particular foot.
– Again, look for your players to pivot to the OUTSIDE, as this becomes important in the next progression.
– Progress the drill to an outside pivot by asking the players to drive on an angle out to either side. If they drive to their left, they’ll land on their left foot, continue pivoting around to their left and return to the pass back to their line, and vice versa for the right.
– Some players may find this progression challenging (as you’ll see at one point in the video, some players will want to land on their most comfortable foot every time, no matter which side they drive to). If so, you can remove the ball for them, and just get them to practice driving and landing on the correct foot for an outside pivot. Once they’re confident with this, you can reintroduce the ball.
– Progress the drill further by adding some passive defence on the driving player, or asking the driving player to also complete a small preliminary move.