Tag: switch

Practicing the halfspace switch

Structure: The playing field resembles the wings of a butterfly. On each diagonal side of the field, a mini-goal is placed. I would recommend to use the width of the box and make the field approximately 25 meters long.

Rules: The game is played 5vs5+1. The neutral player supports the team in possession of the ball. Furthermore, a fixed direction of play is established.

Variation: To support the team in possession of the ball, the field could be divided into different vertical lanes, with specific rules for the occupation of each zone. In a further step, the direction of play could be changed. For example, a team could then attack the goals at the bottom left and top right. This in turn leads to more diagonality and interesting interactions, especially in terms of preparing the counter-pressing for a potential turnover.

Coaching points: The main principle we want to train with this small-sided game is the use of switches in order to get access to the centre diagonally. Therefore, the butterfly-shape is used alongside the mini-goals representing a pass into the ten-space. As a consequence, the main focus of this small-sided game lies in the principles of creating pressure and finding the free man facing the opponent’s goal. Fulfilling the principle of creating pressure requires the usage of our sub-principles attract and switch as well as the offer of two passing options for the ball carrier.

In case you are interested in our other small-sided games, head over to this part of our website to find all training content: https://thefalsefullback.com/category/training/training-sessions/

You can download the small-sided game with instructions here:

Three-zone game with ice hockey rule

Structure: The field is as wide as the box and is extended to the halfway line. Two mini-goals are placed on the centre line. The field is divided into three horizontal zones. In order to replicate the passing lanes during the build-up phase, the first zone is shaped like a pentagon.

Rules: Yellow builds up from behind and tries to score a goal. Red counter-attacks on the mini-goals. There may always be a maximum of four players from yellow and three from red in the pentagon. The transition to the middle zone can be made by a pass or dribbling. In the transition to the attacking zone, the ice hockey rule applies again. Thus, players are only allowed to enter the attacking zone without the ball.

Variation: To further promote diagonal passing in the middle third, the pentagon shape can be extended to the whole field.

Coaching points: A diagonal structure should always be established in the build-up. Using the 4vs3 numerical superiority requires quick ball circulation with the intent to attract the defenders on one side or in the centre and then quickly switch into open space. To advance, the play over the third-man can be a useful tool, thus should be coached. After moving forward and entering the middle third, it is crucial that the players performing the build-up move forward in order to offer passing options or prepare for a potential counter-attack.

In case you are interested in our other small-sided games, head over to this part of our website to find all training content: https://thefalsefullback.com/category/training/training-sessions/

You can download the small-sided game with instructions here:

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




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