This week’s exercise focuses on attacking play in the final third with movement and awareness. There is a tactical component – all teams must attack and defend, a technical component – playing 5v5 allows each player the opportunity to get on the ball, a mental component – quick transitions from defence to attack must equal quick decisions, and a physical component – this can be controlled by the coach on the size of the field which can also impact recovery times. Players enjoy this exercise as they are constantly moving and competing against each other.
There are three teams – each with five players each. The field size is determined by the coach, the younger players will need a small field while older players can do this for pre-season work. The field is divided into three areas and each team starts in one. The team in the middle third starts with the ball. (See below)
The blue team attacks the red goal, while the yellow team rests. Only the blue team can enter the middle third as they are in possession of the ball. As the blue team attacks, coaches look for the following:
– Penetration from the player in possession of the ball
If the blue team scores, they then return to the middle third and attack the yellow goal.
If the red team win the ball and work it through to the middle third, they then attack the yellow goal and blue team stays. (See below)
As the red team have won the ball and are now attacking the yellow goal, you are now encouraging the players to get ahead of the ball in support. As players get ahead of the ball, they can offer more options for the player in possession and therefore create problems for the defending team. (See below)
– Use the middle third as an area for the attacking team to change the point of attack. You can add a time or touch restriction to help this.
– Encourage players to make two runs in the sequence
– Work on the decision making process with the player in possession of the ball in the attacking third – are they getting their head up to process information and see attacking runs.