Passing forwards with overloads

This session is designed to help players to be positive when in possession of the ball and to encourage them to attack the opposition with confidence. It will also demonstrate the benefits of creating overloads, with players shown how to pass the ball forwards using good movement and intelligent decision-making.

It will allow players to express themselves when in possession and help them to develop quick interplay in the final third. It will also encourage them to beat players to get a shot off.

It’s fast-paced and fun, so players will need to think quickly and be inventive if they want to create chances.

We like to run this session at least once a week, so that players are constantly reminded of the movements needed to receive the ball and the ways we can score goals by playing quickly and positively.

SET-UP

Area
60×40 yards
Equipment
Balls, bibs, cones, 2 full size goals
Number of Players
16 players + 2 goalkeepers
Session time
Main practice: 15mins
Each progression: 15mins

What do I get the players to do?

Main practice

We set up an area of 60×40 yards with a goal and a goalkeeper at each end. The playing area is divided into three 20-yard zones. We’re using 16 outfield players split into two team of eight. Both teams line up in a 3-3-2 plus keepers, with three defenders, three midfielders and two strikers starting in their respective zones.

Play starts with the goalkeeper, who must pass to one of the three defenders in his zone, as shown [1]. The defender receives and can either dribble into next zone or pass into it and follow the ball to support play, creating a 4v3 in that zone. The players in the middle zone should combine and then one of them can either dribble into the final zone to create a 3v3, or pass into it. The attackers should score in the goal.

1

1. Play starts with a pass out from the keeper to a defender
2. The defender can dribble into the next zone or, as here, pass into it and support the pass to create a 4v3 midfield overload
3. The defender can dribble into the next zone or, as here, pass into it and support the pass to create a 4v3 midfield overload
4. If the defending team gains possession, they should attack the other goal using the same rules


Once the ball is dead or possession has been lost, players should return to their zones as quickly as possible and start to defend against the opposition, who can launch a counter-attack using the same rules

How do I progress the session?

Progression 1

In the first progression, a centre midfield player drops into the defensive zone to receive the ball from the goalkeeper, making it 4v2 in defence, as shown [2]. His team should attack the goal in the same manner as before.

2

1. In the first progression, a centre midfield player drops into the defensive zone to receive the ball, making it 4v2 in defence
2. One defender makes a supporting run into the midfield zone
3. The team in possession attacks the goal and tries to create the chance to shoot
4. The shot is saved and play restarts with a pass out from the keeper


Progression 2

Progress the practice further by now allowing one of the strikers to drop into the midfield zone to receive the ball, making it 4v3 in midfield as the team attack the goal, as shown [3].

3

1. In the second progression, allow one of the strikers to drop into midfield zone to collect a pass, making it 4v3 in midfield
2. After dropping to receive the ball, here he dribbles back into attacking zone and crosses into the other striker


Progression 3

In the final progression, two centre midfield players can make attacking runs into the final third, giving the team in possession a 4v3 advatage in front of goal, as shown [4].

4

1. In the final progression, two centre midfielders can attack the final third making it 4v3. Here one breaks into the end zone and crosses
2. The other midfielder makes a supporting run from the centre zone to meet the ball and scores


What are the key things to look out for?

We want to see players showing a good first touch and demonstrating positive forward-thinking play. This session should allow players to use their creativity when attacking and will manufacture plenty of overload situations.

What are the typical mistakes players might make and how do I avoid them?

As this practice is all about forward passes, we don’t want to see players attempting to pass backwards when they can play the ball forwards.

How would you put this into a game situation?

We could look at adding more players to the practice and making the pitch bigger. We could also remove the zones to see if players still manage to perform the required movements and maintain their positive play.

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