This session is designed to allow attacking players opportunities to combine and exploit space in behind to score. Players are tasked with timing runs into space in behind the defenders. Attackers focus on combinations, timing of movement and finishing. Defenders are challenged with defending high in pairs and working hard to recover and stop the attack. This practice is valuable for position specific work with central midfielders, strikers and defenders.
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.
Do you want to improve your ability to plan and deliver great sessions? Sign up for our Foundations of Session Design course here.
Topic: Combination Play
No. of Players: 6 – 18
Practice Type: Skill Practice
Pitch Size: 40 x 15
Timing: 20 mins
Age Group: U10+
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
To allow attacking players opportunities to combine and exploit space in behind to score. Attackers focus on weight and shape of pass, timing of run, clinical finish. Defenders focus on tracking runners and dealing with ball over the top.
Set a pitches with 6-8 players per pitch. If you have large groups, set up two pitches to increase repetition. 2 servers start with the ball. Servers must stay behind the line. They can pass between themselves or bounce with attacking players. Attackers can only enter the scoring zone with a pass over the top into space. Limit servers to 2-3 touch. If you have odd numbers, go with one server. If you have low numbers (E.g. 9 players) adapt to a 3v3+3. Ball must be played over the top (initially) by the servers. If defenders win the ball, they play on until they can find a pass into the servers and attackers can counter-press. Goalkeepers can be added. Ensure at least 20+ yards of space for players to run in to. A long narrow pitch is ideal.
Observations & Interventions
What you might see
- Players not recovering to defend or making forward supporting runs
- Players making straight runs on a straight pass
- Slow play
Actions you might take
- Restrict to a one touch finish for attackers (to encourage forward runs).
- Reward defenders with a point every time they successfully win the ball and pass to a server.
- Add a time limit for attackers or defenders when in possession
Is the session too easy?
- Make the space smaller
- Add an extra defender
Is the session too hard?
- Make the space bigger
- Restrict to only one defender can recover
Would you like to learn how to deliver great sessions?
Learn the fundamentals of great session design. In this course, UEFA A Licensed Coaches, Dave Wright and Dan Wright teach you everything you need to know about designing world-class sessions that your players will love.Foundations of Session Design Course