How to train the switch

I hope you had a nice week and like me, you are looking forward to live football.

For today I had the problem that I didn’t have that much on my mind this week, I just couldn’t find three interesting aspects that I want to go into more detail about and which are interesting.

So, if you have any questions, feel free to send them to me and I will answer them in the next newsletter.

Therefore, after a long time, I have a training drill that I would like to present to you. The focus is on switches the play during possession with a team that already knows the concept a little bit.

The field is divided into three horizontal zones and two vertical zones. It will be played 6vs6 + goalkeeper. In order to shift, attracting the opponent plays a big role for me, only this way spaces open up elsewhere. As soon as the opponent is lured, I prefer to initiate the switch via a so-called solution player. This solver usually acts with his back to the space we want to circulate the ball into and is therefore only the wall player for a third man combination. However, this wall player is of enormous importance, because he attracts the opponent for a short time and opens spaces for the players with a better field of vision, who are then allowed to play the switching pass.

Furthermore, I want to have as much width in the game as possible to open space on the ballfar side, which we then can use. Therefore, in this drill, the rule is that the two outfield players act on the line outside the field in the middle third and can only enter the field in the defensive or offensive third. They may also only dribble into the field with the ball in the offensive third.

In addition, a balanced structure is important for relocation. Last season, for example, Borussia Dortmund regularly had to contend with the problem that there was no connecting player for the switch because the side close to the ball was overloaded heavily. As a consequence, the BVB was unable to make use of the open spaces away from the ball.

To prevent this from happening, the rule in this form of play is that the team in possession of the ball must occupy both vertical zones at all times.

This could be a possible change of sides. The red team attracts blue on the left side, resolves the pressure situation by a play of the solution player and then shifts quickly and aggressively into the open space. The pass into the offensive third allows the wing to move in and red can bring the attack into the last third.

In coaching I then focus especially on attracting and solving the pressure situation through the solution player. Details like the right body position, passes into the right foot, the use of the game over the third or the correct approach of the defenders can of course also be in focus. Here the coach must tailor the form of the game to the needs of his own team.

A possible variation would be a different field shape. For example, you could play in a diamond where the middle third is normal, while the two offensive zones have diagonal outer lines. So, we still encourage diagonal play towards the goal in the last period.

I hope the game form is useful for you and inspires you to create your own game forms on the topic of game shifting. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Next week I would like to do a little Q&A, so feel free to send me your questions about any football topic.

Stay healthy and until next week

Greeting

Tobias

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