PLAYING OUT FROM THE BACK
This session works at developing a players understanding as to how to play out from the back. The formation we have used is a 1-4-3-3 but the session can be adapted easily to whatever formation you prefer. The session is designed for a day devoted to tactical training. If a specific physical objective was also required, such as high intensity aerobic training or speed training, then the session could easily be adjusted to include the appropriate exercises. The session is recommended for players 15+.
There is a lot of content in the session. If your players are comfortable with the concepts then this can all be covered in one session. If they are not then the content can be introduced over a few sessions.
The players perform a dynamic warm up that focuses on agility, coordination and first touch.
PART 1 – Passing in team shape
In this part of the session two back fours and an attacking and defending midfielder are set up. The players pass the ball in a continuous manner as shown but do not follow their pass.
Quality and weight of pass. Details are important. For instance: Does the pass go to the correct foot? Can one center back make things a little easier for the other by gently curving the ball slightly away from them?
The ball needs to be swung around at a very high tempo. Change the side you start with after a few minutes
With every pass the team needs to be shifting to maintain the desired team shape.
Every pass should bring more information and communication
In this part of the session we split the players into 2 groups and work on some of the position specific problems the players may encounter and how they might think about solving them. There are many problems that could occur. Over the course of the season the players are introduced to more scenarios. The objective is for them to begin to recognize what their opponent is doing and react accordingly.
Group 1 – The attackers, central defenders, goalkeepers and holding midfielders
The holding midfielder and center backs playing out against 2 forwards e.g. in a 1-4-4-2
The basic solution to this problem is for the holding midfielder to drop in between the two central defenders as shown. The drill starts with the goalkeeper and the objective for the team playing out is to score in either of the small goals. The objective for the other team is to win the ball and score in the large goal.
The progression to this would be to start with a back pass to the goalkeeper from a position where all of the players are relatively central. From there they need to fan out and quickly get in an efficient shape to play out.
As an example of another scenario that could be presented here is another drill that would be done on a different day.
This is a situation that arises frequently when our opponents are playing in a 1-4-2-3-1 and their attacking midfielder is making our holding midfield player as we attempt to play out. One solution that is presented below is to deliberately drag their marker across the field before quickly switching the play to our other central defender. This player should then have lots of time and space to come out with the ball. If they do so then our holding midfielder should drop in and cover for them.
The players should try to find other solutions.
Group 2 – The outside backs and midfielders.
The main objective with this exercise is to encourage players to open out and play forward whenever possible. One of the great relatively unsung sins, in my opinion, is playing backwards when there is a possibility to turn and play forwards.
The game is straighforward and the objective for the team with the ball is to play forward from one side of the grid to the other. When they do so the outside players should follow their pass to the other side. the game continues from there.
For the defending team one player must attempt to press the player at the end of the grid while the other moves along the central line and attempts to block forward passes. As the ball is transferred the defenders change roles. The outside players (represent either outside backs looking to play forward or midfield players looking to turn.
Adjust the size of the area to reflect the ability level of the players.
Awareness. At all times the outside players should adopt an open body position and constantly scan their forward options.
Can the outside players sometimes open their hips and play a quality first time forward pass?
Rotate the players positions.
The basic game is 8 vs 5. The ball starts with the keeper and the objective for the attacking team is score in either of the 3 cone goals. If the defending team win the ball they go to goal.
Start with 1 forward then progress to 2 if the players enjoy success. Add another defender if
If you have more players than this then instead of cone goals play to neutral target players as below. Once these players receive the ball they join the other team and start attacking the large goal.
Work on applying everything covered in the session so far
Midfield should adopt a dynamic zig zag triangle shape as the ball moves around the field.
Either 8 or 10 (or both) must always be behind the opposition midfield line.
Play an even numbers free game and try to focus on the main areas covered in the session.
Other playing out from the back sessions you might enjoy: