Long passes can be a key way to open up an opposition defence or to find space on the pitch by switching play. A great way to help young players to spot longer passing options and to see beyond the first players in their line of vision. MORE
Switch to find space
By constantly probing the opposition’s defence by switching the point of the attack from side to side, eventually a space will open up that can be exploited.
This session will help you teach your players how to work the ball into such positions.
What this session is about
- Recognising that play is blocked down one side.
- Moving the ball from one side of the pitch to the other quickly.
What to think about
When trying to switch play from side to side, players need to:
- Spread out, but offer back-up support.
- Keep possession on one side of the pitch before attempting to penetrate the other.
- Use short passes or one long pass to move the ball.
- Play with their head up.
- Once space is created, the attacker must take advantage by moving forward at pace.
|Warm up||Session||Developments||Game Situation||Warm Down|
|10 minutes||10 minutes||30 minutes||10 minutes||5 minutes|
What you get your players to do
Mark out an area, split it into four equal zones and play 6v6, as shown in the top picture.
Each zone only has three players from one of the teams, and the zones must be populated by alternate teams. For example, three white, three black, three white, three black.
One team begins by passing the ball around until it can pass across the opponent’s zone to its team mates. Opposition players try to intercept the ball then pass to their team mates in a different zone.
Each successful pass to a team mate in the other zone is worth a point. Possession changes hands every time the ball goes out of play and the ball must not go over waist height.
To progress, add a time limit in which to play the penetration pass.
Mark out an area with three target goals along one of the long sides and a single target goal opposite as shown in the middle picture.
Play a 3v3 game. One team attacks the three target goals while the other team attacks the single target goal.
The reason for this exercise is so one team has to switch play wide to progress. And it will have good chances to do so because the opposition is targeting a central goal.
Teams switch roles after a set time.
Now set up three target goals at each end. Each team attacks three goals and defends three goals.
Add two players in sweeper roles behind the goals their team is defending, making a 4v4, as shown in the bottom picture.
Goals cannot be scored in a goal the sweeper has run to and is standing behind. Rotate sweeper players regularly and the team that scores most goals wins.