By Sean Reed –
This is a session that focus’s on possession with an overload and the transition in gaining and losing possession.
Set Up – Possession
The session is set up within an area approx 15-20yds x 15-20yds. The game is set up as a 6v3. The ball will always start with the team with the greater number. The objective for the team in possession is to maintain possession without the opposition getting contact on the ball or forcing a mistake. The objective for the team out of possession is to force as many mistakes or getting a touch on the ball as possible with the allocated time.
The length of time can be dependent on the physical outcome and the decision of the coach. See Diagram 1
• Restrictions on the number of touches
• Number of consecutive passes will provide an extra goal
Set Up – Possession with Transition
The session is set up as within the previous session. Within this session the objective for the team defending is to win possession either by gaining possession or forcing the team in possession to put the ball out of the area, which would then see the ball played to the team with 3 players. Total number of passes made within the allocated time. See Diagram 2.
• Restrictions on the number of touches
• Set number of passes made to score a goal
• Highest number of consecutive passes made
Set Up – Possession with Transition & Goals
The session is set up as within the previous session. For this session four goals are introduced, one being placed on each side of the pitch. The team that are defending (less players), when they win possession of the ball they are now looking to score in one of the four goals. See Diagram 3.
• Restriction on the number of touches
• Mix up the number of goals available to score in
Some Coaching Points
• Movement to receive the ball
• Quality of passing
• Creating space for self and others
• Angles of support
• Awareness of next touch / pass / movement
• Setting traps to win possession / force the mistake
• Timing and movement to get up to the ball
• First pass on the turnover
• First response to win the ball back when possession is lost
By Sean Reed
Former First Team Coach of Championship team Fulham FC. Sean is a UEFA A Coach with a Masters in Sport Coaching. He has over 15 years of experience working in professional football from Academy through to First team in the Premiership and Championship.
Web – www.seanjreed.com
Twitter – @SeanJReed
By Sean Pearson
Area: 34 x 46 yards
Time: 15 mins
• To recognize triggers to press as a team
• To compact the space around the ball to win the ball or force mistakes
The playing area is 3 zones one large middle zone with 2 end zones. Both teams set up in a 2-3-1 (however they can set up in any formation you wish) and if you have extra players use them as feeders outside the end zones to play the ball into the middle.
The aim is to win the ball high up the field as possible and dribble or receive the ball inside the opponent’s end zone.
Look for the triggers of the ball being passed to one center back. As this is occurring the striker cuts of the line to the other center back and presses the ball to win. This small detail should tell the striker to get close enough to the center back to win the ball rather than stop before reaching the center back.
The rest of the team uses the same trigger as the striker (as well as the striker’s movement) to compact the area and restrict space making it harder for the team in possession to retain the ball.
Below we see all players have come over to almost half the size of the playing area. This clearly leaves space on the opposite side for the balls to be hit too, so players must pressure the person on the ball instantly to not allow that to happen. If they are late, then there is a possibility it will happen and therein lies a coaching point for the team/individual.
When either winning possession off of a tackle or a misplaced pass, the objective is to get the ball into the end zone by either dribble or receiving a pass. However, a coaching point should be to recognize where the space is before making this decision. If there is no space, then the team should go backwards to maintain possession.
The press should be applied for a short time period because it is high energy and players can’t sprint flat out forever. I would suggest the Barcelona 6 second rule that if the team pressing doesn’t win it inside of 6 seconds, their defending objective changes from pressing to dropping and containing to deny penetration, either until the team wins possession that way or they see an opportunity to press again.
• Change formations
• Add feeders
By Sean Pearson
Area: 36 x 44 yards
• To be compact while defending and then quickly spread out when possession is won
• To connect passes in a composed manner in a tight area in front of goal.
The playing area is twice the size of the 18-yard area with the defending team set up in a 4-2-3-1 without the wingers or striker. The attacking team is in a 4-3-3 formation without the defenders. There are two neutrals outside the area.
When the attacking team start with the ball all players must stay in the boundaries of the 18-yard area. The defending team stays compact to stop penetration and frustrate the attacking team. When they win the ball, there needs to be instant transition to open up the field. The FB’s are allowed outside the area to stretch the field but no other players are. The CB’s should drop down and out to get into as much space as possible.
It is important that the player that wins the ball, because the team is in the defensive third, is careful with their pass selection.
1) Pass out wide to a FB
2) Pass down to a CB
3) Pass to another player who is open
The connection of these passes is critical not just of the first pass but until the team is able to play the ball forward to either the neutrals or up to the level of the neutrals while still in control of the ball. What you are trying to educate the players on is to move instantly for the player on the ball into areas where pressure can be released while remaining composed and not rushing the decision.
Encourage the attacking team to press when they lose the ball to simulate game speed and scenarios. It is then up to the team in possession to maintain their cool and play simple passes to release the pressure from their defensive third.
1) There should always be the option of playing back to the GK and because the FB’s are allowed outside the area the GK can switch the ball to the opposite side. The FB can then dribble up. Make sure the defensive line also pushes up to simulate the game.
2) The player on the ball can either find the neutral on the ground or clip the ball over the top of the pressing attackers.
3) If the pass has not gone to the FB straight away, the FB’s need to understand that they are an outlet and move again to be available for the team to play forward.
• Allow all players to move outside of the width of the 18-yard area once the defending team wins possession
• Add the neutrals to the attacking team to play 8v8 and increase the difficulty of playing out
• Vary the formation of both teams and the starting point of where the attacking team starts
By Sean Pearson
Area: 30 x 44 yards
• To understand the roles of specific players in stopping the switch
• To compact the area around the ball and cut off passing lanes
Both teams play with 2 central midfielders, 2 wingers, an attacking midfielder and a striker. There are 4 gates, 2 on each corner of the area and a line of flat cones in the middle to help the player visualize their objective.
The aim is for the team that starts with the ball to score in one of the goals by dribbling through it. The defending team condense the area to pressure the attacking team into making a mistake as well as restrict passing options. The striker cuts off the pass to the other center midfielder, the winger presses while cutting off the pass to their winger. This gives the player on the ball less time to make a good decision.
The attacking midfielder steps in front of the opposing attacking midfielder the central midfielder on the opposite side comes across to cut the pass to the striker off and the opposite winger tucks in to help compact the space around the ball.
When the defending team wins the ball, they can attack and (1) dribble through the gate if it is on, to give them 2 points or (2) pass centrally and dribble pass the line between the gates for 1 point.
When the defending team wins possession, the objective is then transferred to the team who has just lost possession to stop the now attacking team from changing the point of attack. They do this by again cutting off passing lines and pressing the player on the ball to force mistakes.
• Increase the size of the area
• Add a neutral to underload the defense and challenge them
• Completely take out the gates