Switching play to find space

If there’s one thing you need to make your young players understand, it’s that in situations where little space is available, they should try to switch the play. If they are finding it difficult to work the ball on one flank, they will need to shift it to the other, or to where ever space has opened up. To be effective it must be done quickly or the opposition will have time to shift and reorganise.

The training sessions below will help you coach your team to understand and appreciate the concept of switching play – either with one well struck and probably lofted cross field pass or a sequence of short but efficient passes.

Top tips for switching play

If you want your players to get the best out of switching play, make sure they…
> Wait till the opposition compress to one side of the pitch
> Have a sequence of two or three players who can rotate the ball crossfield efficiently
> Move the ball quickly
> Ensure a winger or a fullback is available to put in a good cross

When a gap opens up on the other side of the opposition defence, how quickly can your team switch play to create a scoring chance? Use Find the gap to teach players how to do it.

Changing the direction of play requires players to scan the field, control the ball with an open body position and play passes in a different direction from where they received it. Switch on gets players to adopt the correct body position, enabling them to make quick switches and open up space to attack.

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