EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Side Supports

Objectives: To improve passing and keeping possession.

Age group: U7s to U14s.

Set up: Create a 30×20 yard playing area with a small goal at each end. Divide your players into three teams of four.

How to play: Two teams play 8v8.

The third team (‘N’ in the image) act as side supports. They roam up and down the sidelines providing support to whichever team has the ball.

The side supports cannot dribble and must pass back to the team that touched the ball last.

Players on the field cannot take the ball away from a side support player.

If the ball goes past the side support player then it is a throw-in. Play ‘one goal wins the game’. The losing team become the new side supports.

Side Supports diagram: the side players support the team in possession.

Make sure the side supports move up and down the touchline calling 
for the ball. Don’t let them stand still!

Variations: Side supports must play the ball back with their first touch or dribble the ball down the touchline and cross it or immediately swap places with the player that passes the ball to them.

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