This practice works on helping players learn to understand the options available to them when trying to building up in soccer.
BUILDING UP IN SOCCER: Playing out from the back against a front 3
This building up in soccer session starts with an unopposed practice and then gradually opponents are added as it progresses. Readers who enjoy this session will probably like Henk’s Soccer Method series of books in particular Build Up Play . This book covers in detail a methodical progression for players which, over time, gives them a very clear picture of the the decisions they need to make and the choices they have available to them. Numerous practice drills and training sessions are laid out.
This video represents the main body of the session. For a number of warm ups that would be suitable to start the session please see our YouTube channel as well as Henks’s books.
The main part of the session starts with an unopposed passing pattern involving the goalkeeper, a central defender, a midfielder and a center forward. Three main options are presented when the central defender receives the ball.
- Play directly to the center forward.
- Play to a midfield player who sets the ball back and then play forward to the center forward.
- Play to a midfield player who turns and plays forward to the center forward.
- Open body shape to receive and and visual checking prior to receiving from all players.
- Central midfielders should pull off at an angle to the central defenders when they have the ball.
- Communication – “Turn!” “Man on!” etc.
- Look for the deepest pass first.
In this phase defenders are gradually added. In the first instance an attacker and a midfielder are added for the defending team as well as a goalkeeper. The ball always starts with the group looking to work on their build up play and the objective for both teams is to score a goal.
The first progression from here is to add another midfielder player.
The final progression is to add two more forwards to the defending team creating a 6 vs 5 plus goalkeepers.
- When they find themselves playing against one forward can the defenders manipulate the situation so one of them is able to move forward and come out with the ball.
- Midfielders play at angles to the central defenders.
- Rapid ball circulation using the minimum number of touches.
- One of the problems the midfielders have in the session is killing the space by coming in too close to the central defenders too early. If there is no immediate pressure on the ball then the midfielders should go higher and stay away (see the 5 Principles of Possession ). Ideally the midfielders might be able to receive behind their direct opponents. If this is not possible and pressure starts to emerge for the player in possession they have at least created space to check into.