This practice is a 4v4+3 positional game. It creates a 7v4 scenario for the team in possession and includes the three main moments of football, attack, defence and transition so is a highly valuable tool to develop players understanding of positional play, controlling possession and counter pressing. The practice also provides great opportunities to work on scanning, receiving and releasing skills.
About the Video
In the video below, PDP Co Founder, Dave Wright talks you through the practice design and some of the key adaptations.
Would you like to enhance your knowledge of session design? Click here to learn more.
The structure of this practice lends itself to a number of outcomes, including:
- Positional understanding
- Receiving skills
- Releasing skills
- Building and controlling possession
- Scanning and awareness
- Counter pressing
Key elements to observe and encourage are:
- Speed, type and shape of pass
- Positions players receive the ball in
- Body shape when receiving
- Reactions in transition
- Intent to play forward
- Desire and effort to win the ball back
Topic: Controlling possession
No. of Players: 10-14
Practice Type: Positional game
Pitch Size: 20 x 12
Timing: 15-20 mins
Age Group: 9+
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 Player Development Project Slack Community.
Key For Diagrams
This practice is designed to encourage players to receive between and beyond players. Players focus on taking up good positions with the intent to receive and play forward, keeping possession as long as possible in a 7v4 scenario.
Set up a small rectangular area. The smaller it is, the harder it is for the team in possession. Select 3 neutral players (red) to play as targets and a pivot. If you have 12 players, include 2 pivots, 13 players, 3 pivots and 14 players would change the game to a 5v5+4. Blue plays with red with the aim of moving the ball up and down the pitch. Blue must stay outside the area, yellow defend inside but are allowed outside the box to press blue or red players. If yellow win the ball, they secure the ball to a team mate or neutral red player, blue transition as quickly as possible to defend and yellow take up positions outside the box. This transition moment is critical, it should be a fast reaction.
Observations & Interventions
What you might see
- Players transitioning slowly
- Players receiving in front of defenders (instead of beyond/between)
Actions you might take
- Reward teams with a point for winning the ball back within 5 seconds
- Encourage players to find space between players/lines
Adaptations: Is the session too easy?
- Make the space smaller
- Encourage players in possession to play off 1-3 touches where possible
Is the session too hard?
- Make space bigger
- Restrict defenders to press/block but not tackle neutral players
Do you want to enhance your understanding of Session Design in Football?
Understanding how to design the best possible sessions for your players is a complex topic. In our course, Foundations of Session Design, world-class academy coaches Dan Wright & Dave Wright guide you through all of the key considerations of session design from planning and delivering, through to individualising your approach and understanding the impact of culture on your training.Learn More