Rapidly moving the ball from one side of the pitch to the other
Switching play has long been used as a tactic for stretching defences and creating 1v1 opportunities for wide players.
By drawing defenders to one side of the pitch then quickly moving the ball (often with a crossfield ball) to the other teams can create 1v1s and try to increase the distance between the full-back and their supporting defender.
Below you’ll find a number of opposed and unopposed sessions to work on switching play including drills and small sided games, as well as phase of play activities.
by Roberto Di Matteo in Attacking
This session improves and develops attacking balance when going forward.
Often we have to switch play or break out at pace, and it’s important that we retain structure and don’t become one-dimensional. To help achieve this we adopt our club philosophy of utilising the full width of the pitch when attacking. We will practise this in training in the same way that we construct it in a match situation, ensuring that players understand how and when to move the ball from one side of the pitch to the other. MORE
by Nigel Clough in Attacking
This session is about maximising space so as to be able to switch the ball quickly in creating positive attacking options. And at the heart of this is helping players recognise when to play forward and when to switch play.
It’s important to practise this because moving the ball quickly with both short and long passes gives us the chance to create 1v1 situations or overloads, which are key situations for exploiting the opposition.
Keeping possession under pressure and knowing when to switch is a major part of our style of play. For that reason, we’ll work on this type of session frequently. MORE
by Owen Coyle in Attacking
Being able to quickly, efficiently and, at times, discretely change the point of attack is crucial for any team. The goal of this session is therefore to demonstrate the different ways the ball can be transitioned from one side of the field to the other, as well as highlighting what types of passes and movements... MORE
by Ian Baraclough in Attacking
This session is designed to increase player awareness in moving the ball quickly and efficiently so as to produce 1v1 situations or overloads in attack. MORE
by Michael Duff in Attacking
This session is all about breaking lines in possession. Due to the way we play, our players need to be able to understand when to switch the play and when to split the opposition, all with the aim of penetrating opponents and allowing us to play forwards.
by Ralph Hasenhüttl in Skills and Techniques
The focus of this session incorporates a number of my key principles: pressing, counter pressing and playing in tight areas whilst avoiding pressure. It’s about keeping possession in tight areas and then playing away from pressure, helping us to switch the play quickly. MORE
by Lee Johnson in Attacking
Use this session about switching play and switching the point of attack to show your players how to exploit space on the pitch and ultimately create more goal-scoring opportunities. MORE
by Tony Docherty in Attacking
Encourage your players to switch the point of attack at pace – get the ball into wide areas of the pitch and enable the wingers to cross into the runs of the attackers. MORE
by Stuart McCall in Attacking
Coach your players how and when to switch play to create goal-scoring opportunities – the different activities in this session have a lot of technical, tactical, physical, social and physiological elements within them. These keep the players focused, while also maintaining the sense of competition. MORE
by Darren Kelly in Attacking, Formations and Tactics
Through a series of activities, this session stresses the importance of combination play, both in the central midfield and out on the wings, and it encourages players to change the point of attack with clever switches of play. MORE
by Michael Flynn in Attacking
Use this session to encourage your players to switch the play to launch attacks. It also helps players to press high as a team when out of possession. MORE
by Dean Holdsworth in Formations and Tactics
Encourage players to problem solve and find space with this session, which is formed of four different game scenarios. The practice offers lessons in how players can really work positional flexibility to their advantage. MORE
by Paul Lambert in Attacking
Create overloads in attacking situations, whether that be while playing out from the back, attacking in wide areas, or attacking in the final third. MORE
by David Moyes in Attacking
Use this session to encourage and develop quick and incisive football. Players should be looking to quickly switch the point of attack, utilising forward and angled passing, one-twos, plus intelligent off-the-ball movement. MORE
by Dan Walder in Skills and Techniques
Develop your players' visual awareness by getting them to look around and interpret detail – in essence processing things in their peripheral vision – so that when the ball does come to them they can switch or develop play immediately. MORE
by Derek Adams in Attacking
Run this session when playing against teams who are going to attack directly – it works by allowing the opposition to come on to you before breaking quickly with a switch of play. MORE
by Sean Dyche in Attacking
One of the most difficult parts of the game is to break down and penetrate the penalty area. This session is all about encouraging movement in and around the penalty area in order to get past a tight defensive unit and create scoring opportunities. MORE
by Rob Page in Midfield
The session is about passing the ball quickly and effectively across the width of the pitch to utilise space and to penetrate the opposition.
Ultimately, players love passing the ball, so following that logic through, quick and effective link-up play is the best way to create opportunities, find weaknesses in your opponents and score goals. MORE
by Anthony Williams in Midfield
Switching of play is a devastating and dynamic way of catching opposition players out of position, and this session takes the basic principles of switching before adding progressions and advancements in play so that teams can really utilise this attacking weapon. MORE
by Graham Alexander in Midfield
This session is about switching play quickly while in possession. This can be specifically done for your back four, your midfield, or the entire team. It’s important to practise this so that it becomes a habit for players, and so we don’t just pass forwards. Instead, we want to see players working diagonally – this... MORE
by Dougie Freedman in Attacking
This session is designed to replicate our shape in a game, and to give players an idea of our passing and player movement in different areas of the pitch. Rehearsing this sort of movement is vital if players are to gain an understanding of team mechanics, since this mode of attacking play will be replicated... MORE
by David Moyes in Defending
This session is designed to work on a team’s defensive balance, shape and its covering positions when defending against switches of play. MORE
by Chris Hughton in Skills and Techniques
This session looks at the benefits of quick passing and switches of play. MORE