Building Out Of The Back

Greg Maas currently serves as the Technical Director for the Utah Youth Soccer Association (UYSA), where he is responsible for player development, coaching education, and the technical direction of the State association. Maas holds a USSF A License, USSF National Youth License and his NSCAA International Premier Diploma. Maas also serves as a National Staff Coach and Instructor with US Soccer and as a Goalkeeping Academy Staff Coach with the NSCAA. Greg currently serves as an Advisory Panel member at SoccerSpecific and is a regular contributor.

Activity #1:

Warm Up

Set Up:

The goalkeeper and the “back four” defenders are positioned deep in the defensive 1/3 of the field as shown.

Diagram A
Diagram A

Explanation:

Play begins with a pass from the coach to one of the defenders. The defenders move the ball quickly and accurately across the back, but must continuously involve the goalkeeper. Begin the exercise with no pressure from the forwards (yellow). Progress by allowing one forward to pressure the ball as shown. Final phase of the exercise allow both forwards to pressure the ball. Restrict the number of the touches (i.e., two touch) if necessary.

Coaching Points:

  • Speed of play
  • Quick accurate ball movement
  • Verbal and visual communication
  • Distance and angles of support of the ball and decisive decisions

Activity #2:

Set Up:

Half field or as needed. In addition to your goalkeeper, create a 6 V 4 + 2 target players as shown.

Diagram B
Diagram B

Explanation:

Play begins with a pass from the coach to the attacking team in (yellow) who attack immediately to goal. The defending team in (red) must defend to regain possession of the ball and quickly play out of the back to a target player. The offside rule is in effect. The red team scores by playing to any of the target players, but must first play through the goalkeeper, and the central midfielder before scoring as shown. After a score by either team, play begins with another ball from the coach to the attacking team.

Coaching Points:

  • The goalkeeper must stay horizontally and vertically connected to the defense
  • Correct and decisive communication to the back four and central midfielders
  • Change the point of attack
  • Decision to maintain possession or to break pressure with a long ball

Activity #3:

Set Up:

44 X 50 area or as needed. With goalkeepers, create a 5 V 5 + 1 neutral player. Divide the field into thirds as shown.

Diagram C
Diagram C

Explanation:

Begin by restricting players to their assigned third of the field (2 V 1, 2 V 2 + 1, and 2 V 1). Play begins with one of the goalkeepers, if the defending team wins possession, they must quickly play the ball back to their goalkeeper before they are allowed to go forward and attack. Progress to 2 V 2, 3 V 3, and 2 V 2 in each third. The goalkeeper is allowed to bypass the middle third of the field if that is the best option to maintain possession and/or attack effectively. Rotate players accordingly.

Coaching Points:

  • Correct Good starting position in support of the ball
  • Horizontal and vertical positioning
  • Reaction speed consistent with the speed of play
  • Correct distribution to start the attack and support the ball
  • Organization of the team in transition to defend and attack

Activity #4:

Set Up:

Create a 9 V 9 game and organize teams into various systems of play. For example, a 1:3:3:2 V 1:2:3:3 is shown. Full field or penalty box-penalty box size field can be used.

Diagram D
Diagram D

Explanation:

No restrictions – normal football rules apply. Players are encouraged to maintain a high tempo at all times.

Coaching Points:

  • Review and apply all previous points.

Activity #5:

Cool Down

Set Up:

Cool down. 20 x 30 area or as needed. Create 3 lines with players equally distributed in each line as shown.

Diagram E
Diagram E

Explanation:

Designate a “Team Captain” for the cool down exercises. Players begin by jogging back and forth between the cones. Players progress by performing various dynamic exercises, flexibility movements to include, but arenĀ“t limited to: skipping, lunge walks, squats, toe touches, leg swings, side-stepping, grapevine, gate (groin) movements, knee hugs, heel kicks, etc. Reduce heart-rate. Final stretch.

Coaching Points:

  • Reinforce the importance of building out of the back; review session; remind players of upcoming training, games, or events.