This three-part session develops players’ awareness and ability to identify and exploit space in wide areas through creating overloads. By CARLY DAVIES MORE
Movement off the ball
WHY USE IT
This practice gets players’ feet on the ball as well as encouraging quality and timing of movement off the ball.
Set up poles as the start-point markers for the defender (blue) and attacker (red) just outside of the 18-yard box and place mannequins as obstacles in-between the two poles. Use a full-size goal.
HOW TO DO IT
Three players – one attacker, one defender, one server – set up outside the 18-yard box. The server starts with the ball. You can also use a goalkeeper if available. The server plays a one-two with the defender (blue) before playing a one-two with the attacker (red). The server then plays a through-ball for the attacker to run onto and try to score. As soon as the ball is played, the defender must also react and get into position to defend 1-v-1 and prevent a shot on goal.
This practice gets players on their toes and focuses them on providing a good weight of pass, adopting a good body shape, as well as developing an explosive movement once the through-ball is played. Encourage players to curve their run to stay onside and work on feints, double-feints and other movements to deceive defenders. The server can also work on disguising their through-ball with a no-look pass, using the outside of the foot or deceiving with their body shape.
This practice can be switched up in a few different ways, such as altering the number of passes before the through-ball is played. For example, another one-two could be played with the defender, or the through-ball could be played immediately after the first one-two, ensuring players remain on their toes and focused on their movement. Players can also work off different starting positions, or work on different combinations to create an opening. For example, the attacker could peel wide to receive, creating space for the server to drive between the mannequins and shoot themselves.
- Set up using half a pitch, with a server (black), defender (blue), attacker (red) and a goalkeeper.
- The server starts with the ball and plays a one-two with the defender, before playing a one-two with the attacker.
- The attacker then makes a forward run to receive a through-ball from the server, while the defender makes a recovery run for a 1-v-1 situation to goal.