Movement To Maintain Possession: Creating Overloads

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Is your team maintaining good possession? Do your players understand how to create space for themselves and teammates? Do your players understand how to create advantages in different areas of the pitch?

As Coaches, we want our teams to maintain possession in order to advance the ball to create scoring chances. Too many times we simply hear “Pass / Pass / Pass” from the sidelines – this is not enough to create effective possession; we must teach + coach effective strategies to our players of HOW to create the situations to allow them to “Pass / Pass / Pass!!”

The following activities develop and emphasize an understanding of player movement to maintain positive possession:

  • Creating passing options, creating space for teammates, utilizing player numerical advantages (overloads) in certain areas is addressed
  • The use of Neutral players creates an understanding of how the rotations / movement of players is essential to maintaining positive possession to advance the ball up the pitch

Give these activities a try with your team!!

1.

Setup:

A 6v6 + 3 Neutral is organised as shown. Playing area is divided into 6 zones: One player from EACH team in each zone – Neutral Players can move freely around any zone.

Movement to Maintain Possession | SoccerSpecific
Diagram A

Instructions:

Play starts with a pass from either Coach (C) to either team. Players must stay in their designated zone apart from Neutral (Green) players; Neutral players must move between the zones to offer support for the team in possession.

Emphasis is on players movement to create passing options while understanding and recognising 3v2 / 4v2 situations in different areas – can they maintain possession with the help of the Neutral players! Players must find ways to move their direct opponent to create space for self, for teammates in order to progress the ball through the zones.

2-touch play encouraged.

*10 passes = 1 Goal

Play starts from Coach each time.

Coaching Points:

  • Constant readiness within your playing area; can I receive, can I support, can I find space for myself or teammates?
  • Do I recognise an ‘overload’ with arrival of neutral player(s)?
  • Teammate under pressure? – Can I move to a position to support?

2.

Setup:

A 6v6 + Targets + 3 Neutral is organised as shown. Playing area is divided into 6 zones: One player from EACH team in each zone – Neutral Players can move freely around any zone.

Movement to Maintain Possession | SoccerSpecific
Diagram B

Instructions:

*Progression: Directional Game to Targets

Play starts with a pass from either Coach (C) to the Defensive Players of either team (3,4).
Players must maintain possession through the zones with the help of the free movement of the Neutral Players.

In the Diagram: Defender (4) has received a pass from the Coach – Defender (3) has moved to offer a supporting angle / both Defenders are under pressure from opponents – space is created for Neutral Player (A) to move into the left channel to receive a pass from Player (3) – this has created a 3v2 overload in the back 2 zones and gives an opportunity to advance the ball up the pitch.
2-touch play encouraged.

*Work the ball successfully to Target Player (T) = 1 Goal

After Goal – Play starts from Coach each time.

Coaching Points:

  • Constant readiness within your playing area; can I receive, can I support, can I find space for myself or teammates?
  • Do I recognise an ‘overload’ with arrival of neutral player(s)?
  • Teammate under pressure? – Can I move to a position to support?

3.

Setup:

A 6v6 + Targets + 3 Neutral is organised as shown. Playing area is divided into 6 zones: One player from EACH team in each zone – players may now interchange but ONE from each team must always be in each zone. Neutral Players can move freely around any zone.

Movement to Maintain Possession | SoccerSpecific
Diagram C

Instructions:

*Progression: Players Can Inter-Change grids / Addition of Mini-Goals.

Play starts with a pass from either Coach (C) to the Defensive Players of either team (3,4). Players must maintain possession through the zones with the help of the free movement of the Neutral Players.

In the Diagram: Defender (4) has received a pass from the Coach – Defender (3) has moved wide to pull opponent away – this creates a central space for Neutral (A) to receive the ball – this has created a 3v2 overload in the back 2 zones and gives an opportunity to advance the ball up the pitch. Player (^) has moved centrally to receive the vertical pass: Number (() has changed zones to receive the pass / one-touch back to Neutral (B) for a chance on goal.

2-touch play encouraged.

*If pass to Target Player – must use 1-touch back to supporting player. After Goal – Play starts from Coach each time.

Coaching Points:

  • Constant readiness within your playing area; can I receive, can I support, can I find space for myself or teammates?
  • Do I recognise an ‘overload’ with arrival of neutral player(s)?
  • Teammate under pressure? – Can I move to a position to support?