This practice is designed to exploit an overload in possession and successfully dribble or pass into the scoring zone. Players focus on quality passing and receiving, and deciding when to play forward.

About the Video

In the video below, Dave will talk you through the structure of the practice, various outcomes and how you can adapt it for your players.

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Practice Overview

Topic: Controlling Possession

No. of Players: 3 – 14

Goalkeepers: N/A

Practice Type: Skill Practice

Offsides: N/A

Timing: 15 mins

Age Group: U8+

Pitch Size: 30 x 30

Interpreting the Diagrams

The key below outlines what the images mean on the diagrams.

If you have questions about the practices, contact the PDP Team or share your views on the PDP Coaching Community.

Key For Diagrams
soccer training diagram


Set up an age-appropriate space for 3v2. The wider the pitch, the harder it will be for the defenders. Mark a scoring zone at one end and set up a mini goal at the other. The narrower the scoring zone, the harder it is for attackers to weight their passes, so adjust according to your players ability. You could add an extra mini goal to give defenders more options to score.
An example of the practice starting with reds in possession looking to move the ball and find the space. Reds can choose to dribble or pass into the end zone.
Reds successfully switch the play quickly allowing the opposite winger to dribble into the end zone for a point. At this point, new defenders and attackers come on.
An example of reds successfully combining 3v2 to find a pass into the end zone for a point. If blues had intercepted the pass, they would be able to attack the goal at the other end.
The practice adapted for a larger group – this time set up as a 4v3 in favour of the reds. If defenders are really struggling, you could change this to a 4v4 scenario to increase challenge point for attackers and make it easier for defenders.


To exploit an overload in possession and successfully dribble or pass into the scoring zone. Players focus on quality passing and receiving, and deciding when to play forward.


Set players up in groups of 3 attackers and 2 defenders. Adjust if you have bigger numbers at training. 3 attackers combine to move the ball and look for a moment to release the ball for a team mate to run into scoring zone or create an opportunity for their team mate to run with the ball/dribble into the scoring zone. Rotate attackers and defenders after each set and ensure players experience both roles. Defenders try to stop the attack and score in the mini goal.

Observations & Interventions

What you might see

  • Players rushing to play forward (impatience)
  • Defenders struggling to cope 3v2

Actions you might take

  • Set a minimum number of passes before attacking
  • Reward defenders with 3 points every time they successfully score from winning the ball back


Is the session too easy?

  • Make the space narrower
  • Add an extra defender
  • Restrict reds to only passing into the end zone

Is the session too hard?

  • Make the space bigger
  • Restrict to only one defender can recover
  • Give yellows a time limit to score

Would you like to know more about planning sessions?

You might be interested in our foundations of session design course created by UEFA A Licensed Coaches, Dave Wright and Dan Wright. They will teach you everything you need to know about designing world-class sessions that your players will love. PDP Members get 40% off all courses.

Foundations of Session Design
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