Breaking Down a Block

SoccerSpecific

Breaking Down a Block focuses on improving a team’s ability to use their movement, ball circulation and understanding to break through an organized and compact block. This practice session focuses on improving the ability to play forward by moving before the ball arrives and receiving the ball facing forward.

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1. Breaking Down a Block – Technical Passing

Setup:

Body profile Technical passing- 4 players working per grid- use as many grids as necessary. 2 mins set x 4 sets.

Breaking Down a Block | SoccerSpecific.com

Instructions:

Ball starts on the same end for all teams.   Starting position is central for players in middle square.

Multiple variations;

  1. Ball played from player to player. Player changes angle of support to receive the ball on the back foot (not in a straight line).
  2. Ball played to first player who receives and turns (half turn) to pass forward, back and then to the end (up back and through).
  3. Each pass from player to player is an up, back and through to the end.

Coaching Points:

  • Pass detail- pass to back foot, correct weight of pass
  • Body shape and movement off the ball – timing and angle of movement
    Pre-movement- check shoulders/scan

2.  Functional Practice 1

Setup:

Central channel created with two mannequins positioned as a 6 and a 10 (defensively). Balls start with the RCB or LCB at the bottom of the grid. 6 players needed.

 

Breaking Down a Block | SoccerSpecific.com

Instructions:

Same as during technical practice, players will work on different combinations to advance in midfield.

  1. Ball enters from LCB played into the RCB (or vice versa). The defensive midfielder opens at an opposite angle of the mannequin for the CB to play into their feet. From their, the DM breaks the line from a pass into the attacking mid. The AM receives the ball forward to find a winger (7/11) to score in the mini goals.*Alternate pattern to go the opposite side, starting with opposite CB.
  2. Ball enters with CB, playing to opposite CB. The defensive mid again moves at an opposite angle of the mannequin. The CB bypasses the defensive midfielder to play the ball into the AM. The DM advances passed the mannequin and receives the ball from the AM who sets the ball back (up, back and through) to play the final ball into wingers 7/11 feet and finish.*Alternate pattern to go the opposite side, starting with opposite CB.

Coaching Points:

  • Supporting opposite angles to receive passes
  • Body profile to receive – open body to see the pitch. Central Players- Movement / Awareness of Defender + space = eyes continuously scanning looking for supporting angles
  • Quality and speed of play- passing /receiving with quality.

3.  Functional Practice 2

Setup:

Central channel occupied by one attacking midfielder and one defensive mid (in black) against three midfielders positioned as a 6, 8 and a 10 (in red). Balls start with the RCB or LCB at the bottom of the grid. 5 mins sets x 3 sets (2 min break).

 

Breaking Down a Block | SoccerSpecific.com

Instructions:

  1. Same set up as above, but now with pressure. Ball starts from one of the two center backs. The three center midfielders attempt to receive using the principles from the previous activity to break the line to a winger. The higher defender (in black) can choose to press the CB’s or drop to mark a CM. The second defender (in black) either marks or drops to block off passing lanes to the wingers. When the red team breaks the line in behind, the red team attacks the big goal with one winger, a striker and a midfielder Vs 2 center backs and one midfielder (in black). If black win the ball, they counter to the small goals.

Coaching Points:

  • Supporting opposite angles to receive passes
  • Body profile to receive – open body to see the pitch. Central Players: Orientation / Awareness of Defender + space = eyes continuously scanning looking for supporting angles
  • Quality and speed of play- passing /receiving with quality

4. Breaking Down a Block – Small Sided Game

Setup:

Breaking down a block- Small Sided game-74 x 60 yards. Field split into three thirds; each teams defensive third and a middle third. 3 v 1 (2 + GK) in each defensive third and a 3 v 3 + 1 neutral in each middle zone. Wide players have a channel in line with the middle zone and must stay in that zone. 8 mins sets x 3 sets.

Breaking Down a Block | SoccerSpecific.com

Instructions:

New balls start from the GK who plays to one of the two center backs. The team attempts to advance through the middle zone to break into the attacking third directly or through the wide channel. When breaking into the final third, anyone can enter into that zone.

Coaching Points:

  • Supporting opposite angles to receive passes
  • Body profile to receive – open body to see the pitch
  • Central Players- Movement / Awareness of Defender + space = eyes continuously scanning looking for supporting angles
  • Quality and speed of play- passing /receiving with quality