When a player intercepts a pass from the opposition that is considered gold. The more possession your team earns, pressure is taken off the shooters and invariably more points will appear on the board.
Never assume your players can intercept a pass. There is a skill to intercepting that requires attention at training. Players need to be coached in ‘The Art of Intercepting’.
I hear many coaches asking for more intercepts during the breaks and also during the match. Whatever age you are coaching if you have not worked on this at training you shouldn’t expect players to perform a skill that has not been coached especially during a game.
Intercepting is all about anticipation. Not over running the ball rather timing. Knowing when to leave the player and hunt down the ball.
When coaching intercepting, think about these teaching points:
- Starting position with feet, eg is the player starting the takeoff movement from a square stance or one foot in front of the other. Look at efficient technique when taking off
- Confusing the space. Making the opposition feel safe when releasing the pass although your player has the space covered
- Eyes up looking for the ball
- Driving hard onto the ball with two hands when taking the intercept
- Offload of ball on transition after the intercept is taken, looking downcourt to release
If players practice this at training they will include it in their library of skills. Practice makes perfect. Intercepting is fun and a game changer or even a match winner so give your team an advantage and incorporate intercepting drills in your trainings sessions. It’s unbelievable how soon you will see the results on the scoreboard.
There is one amazing effect intercepting has on a team and that is it builds ‘Confidence’.