Team shape – pass from the back

This session is about team shape right up the pitch – it is aimed at encouraging your players to bring the ball out from the back and attack while keeping possession so they are playing through the thirds.

Why use it

Teams that can play out from the back have more chance of keeping the ball to move it through the thirds and create scoring chances. If teams kick long, it clears the immediate danger but loses possession and the ball will come back time and time again.

Set up

You need balls and two goals using your full pitch. We used 11 players.

How to do it

A waiting player passes to the right-back (player 1) on the corner of the penalty box. Player 1 chips it to player 3 – a striker coming to the ball to receive it – who sets it back to player 2. Player 2 passes the ball to wide running player 4 to cross for the twin strikers, who make split runs to the near and far posts. The players then rotate positions: a spare feeder player from the queue becomes 1; player 1 becomes 2; player 2 becomes 3; player 3 becomes 4; and 4 joins the line of spare players for the next run through.


Good passing (weight and direction), movement and pace make this a great session to practise moving the ball from one end of the pitch to the other

Play out from the back

    1. The session starts with a pass from the waiting player to the right-back
    2. The right-back controls the ball and dribbles a couple of paces before chipping a pass to midfielder 3

From the back passing

    3. Deep lying midfielder 2 now makes a run into the opposition half to receive the ball and play a first-time pass to the winger 4, who is on the move
    4. The winger times his run so he meets the ball high up the pitch and crosses first time

Playing out

    5. The strikers must time their runs so they are in scoring positions when the cross comes over
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