INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

Playing through the spine

This session improves the ability to maintain possession using the “spine” of the team: The goalkeeper, central defenders, central midfielders and central attacker.

What this session is about

  1.  Keeping possession.
  2.  Playing through the centre of the pitch.
  3.  Using the team’s “spine”.

What to think about

The world’s top teams build their success on having a strong “spine”. An example is FC Barcelona (Valdes, Pique & Puyol, Xavi & Iniesta, Messi). These players all play in the centre and are used to control the tempo of the game and build attacks.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
15 minutes10 minutes10 minutes10 minutes15 minutes

What you get your players to do

  •  Mark out a 30x15yd area divided in two.
  •  Place a player in the middle of each line – these are the “spine” players.
  •  Play 3v3 inside one half. The team in possession use the spine players to make eight successive passes (5 v 3) then switch boxes.
  •  If the defence gets the ball, they quickly move it to the next box and try and make eight passes in a row themselves.
  •  Play three games. Each game lasts around 3 minutes with a one-minute break between each.
  •  Each time, rotate the spine players so everyone has a turn.
Play 3v3 in one half with attackers using the “spine” players (S) to make eight successive passes.

Play 3v3 in one half with attackers using the “spine” players (S) to make eight successive passes.


Development

  •  Continue on the same size pitch but remove central line.
  •  Add two mini goals to each end line.
  •  Play 3v3 with spine players placed as before.
  •  Each team attacks and defends two mini goals.
  •  The aim is to score by passing to the spine players and getting the ball back to create overlaps.
  •  Play three games of four minutes with a one minute break in between.
  •  Rotate the three spine players each time.
Play 3v3 using spine players (S) to create an overlap and score in the mini goals.

Play 3v3 using spine players (S) to create an overlap and score in the mini goals.


Game situation

  •  Mark out a 40x30yd pitch using cones.
  •  Place a manned goal at each end.
  •  Play 4v4 – one spine player plays for the team in possession.
  •  One team passes, the other defends. The passers can use the spine player and goalkeepers to keep possession. This creates a 7v4.
  •  If the defenders get the ball they are allowed to shoot at goal.
  •  After a goal rotate teams.
Passers look to keep possession using a neutral spine player (S). Defenders can score if they win the ball.

Passers look to keep possession using a neutral spine player (S). Defenders can score if they win the ball.


What to call out

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