Possession games | Soccer Coach Weekly

This session is a multi-themed game that improves your team’s ability to be patient in possession of the ball.

What this session is about

  1.  Keeping possession.
  2.  Drawing opponents to the ball.
  3.  Exploiting the space.

What to think about

Players must be composed on the ball and able to keep possession for the team.

Teams that keep possession will force the opponent to work hard to win the ball back.

When it comes to your team being put under pressure, opponents will have to leave space behind them that can be used by your attackers.

This is when the team should change the speed of the attack and quickly exploit this space to create goalscoring opportunities.

Set-up

Warm up Session Developments Game Situation Warm Down
10 minutes 10-15 minutes 15-20 minutes 15-20 minutes 10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Set up a pitch and put a team of four players into each half.

You, or an assistant, pass the ball to one of the teams and call the name of an opponent to run into the other team’s half to defend in a 1v4, as shown in the top picture.

If the passing team completes four passes, call for a second player to enter the other half to make it a 2v4, as shown in the middle picture.

If the team completes another four passes, call the name of the third player to enter the active area so it is now 3v4.

Now the aim for the passers is to complete another four passes and then pass to the final defender in his half of the pitch – this earns the passing team a point.

If the defending team manages to regain possession or force a passing mistake at any time, its players return to their half of the pitch and the passer giving away possession must immediately run into that area and defend 1v4.

One team tries to complete four passes against a single defender in one half of the area.

One team tries to complete four passes against a single defender in one half of the area.


Development

Add a mini goal at each end of the area to develop this exercise.

When the third defender has entered the passers’ half of the pitch to create a 3v4, the passers must quickly try to free up a player who can dribble into the opponent’s half and go 1v1 against the fourth defender to try and score in the mini goal, as shown in the bottom picture.

The game is restarted with the attacker, who was involved in the 1v1, becoming the new defender in the opponent’s half.

This process shows that the team that has possession, can draw the opponent to the ball and then exploit the space left by defenders in order to break forward and attack the opponent’s goal.

After four passes are made, another defender joins the action to make it a 2v4.

After four passes are made, another defender joins the action to make it a 2v4.


Game situation

Two teams play a small-sided game with normal rules. The game is heavily focused on possession play because of the following rules that you must implement:

  1. Goals can only be scored after completing four passes.
  2. A goal is awarded if the team completes 10 passes.

When three defenders try to intercept the ball, the passing team releases a player to take on the last defender and try to score.

When three defenders try to intercept the ball, the passing team releases a player to take on the last defender and try to score.


What to call out

Tony Carr

About Tony Carr

Tony Carr is one of the most influential figures in English football. The former West Ham Academy director has brought through – from the youth team to the first team – players like Glen Johnson, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole and Jermain Defoe.

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