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3-2-1 control and pass

Having players comfortable in possession, as well as being quick and accurate passers, are key elements to a winning team.

“3-2-1 control and pass” improves your players’ ability to control and pass the ball at different heights and speeds.

What this session is about

  1. Setting the ball up for a pass with the first touch.
  2. Improving touch.
  3. Passing.

What to think about

  • Use one touch to control, and the second touch to pass.
  • Move into line with the ball.
  • Have a positive first touch – “cushion” the ball, but get it out of the feet.
  • Use the inside and outside of both feet.
  • Head must be kept up.
  • Stay relaxed and balanced with a steady head, and on the toes to receive the ball.

Set-up

Have your team work in groups of four. Use two balls between three servers, with one player receiving.

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

The three servers stand side by side, with one yard between each of them. Two of the three servers have a ball. Opposite the central server, approximately 5 yards away, is the receiver.

The first server with a ball passes to the receiver, who must control with their first touch and pass with their second to the server who started without the ball. The receiver then gets a pass from the second server with a ball and repeats.

After a set time, rotate the servers to become the receiver. Ask the players to increase the tempo.

Using their hands, servers now throw the ball underarm so the receivers practise aerial control using their chest, thighs and boot laces. Let the servers choose the type of service – along the ground or in the air.

The receiver controls and passes back to a server without a ball, before quickly receiving another pass.

The receiver controls and passes back to a server without a ball, before quickly receiving another pass.


Development

Arrange two sets of servers and receivers so the receivers are standing back-to-back, 2 yards apart. On your command of either “left” or “right”, the receivers must quickly turn in the correct direction and swap positions to face the other trio of servers. They then receive a pass which they must control and return.

Two receivers stand back-to-back and must turn to receive and pass from the opposite servers.

Two receivers stand back-to-back and must turn to receive and pass from the opposite servers.


Game situation

Play 3v1 keep-away in a 10 yards by 10 yards playing area. Award a point to the attackers for completing a specified number of passes. The defender gets a point for stealing the ball or knocking it out of play.

Each time the ball goes out, the attacking team re-start with a throw in, forcing a team mate to use some form of aerial control.

In a game of 3v1 keep-away, award points for attackers making consecutive passes or the defender winning the ball.

In a game of 3v1 keep-away, award points for attackers making consecutive passes or the defender winning the ball.


What to call out

  • “Try to be relaxed”
  • “Eyes on the ball”
  • “Cushion the ball”
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