8th Session of The Year: Playing from the back

I was a bit frustrated by the fact that again only 8 players showed up, but in the end, I left Tuesday Session very satisfied. I had planned a playing out from the back session where I would need at least 9 players (so that I wouldn’t have to play). Fortunately it ended up working out fine, although in the core activity the game resistence wasn’t too big, as we had a 6v3 scenario: GK+Backline+CDM vs Front Line.

The problem isn’t the number itself. It’s good to start with big success rate and with low cognitive demands. The problem is that the work load was too high on the 3 defenders (including myself), so I couldn’t carry the activity for too long. The result of the session was very good. The players still struggle to understand that they don’t need to lower the intensity if the activity is easy. If its easy, finish it quickly with a 10-0 score. They tone it down. But it’s partially my fault because I still didn’t stress enough this particular matter.

Some of the coaching points I had were:
– The positioning if my center-backs will depend on how high the opposition is pressing.
– It will be always a numerical advantage for us, since they’ll never be man-on-man against the goal keeper. There will always be a spare man.
– If there’s space, attack it. You don’t need to pass the ball if you can just run forward with it. Even the center bcks. Eventually someone will close you down freeing space behind this man.
– Always try to face forward. You’ll only face back if there’s absolutely no space behind you.
– If there’s no space forward, find the free man behind and restart circulation.
– Important to keep the distances and the shape of the team, so that if we lose the ball, the defense is organized.
– Goal keeper shouldn’t rush to play. He should wait for the team to reshape, unless he can play someone who has space to move forward and the team is somewhat organized.
– When the ball is lost, quickly shrink spaces and close down the center.
– Regaining ball, quickly go back to wide positions
– In case one player moves out of position, someone should cover. Specially center backs, as they’re my last line of defense. (covered by CDM)
– CBs should stay wide not to block GKs passing line

Out 1

As we can see here, there are several options to deploy the pressing line in a 6v3: at FBs level, at Box Level, or in between CBs and FBs. Every option will trigger different actions. The activity worked pretty well, but they still made passing mistakes, specially when trying to pass into a blocked line and the pass wouldn’t be high enough. I tried to stay in the center of pressing line most of the time, since it was a 4v1 situation. Also, a we can see in the diagram, the center of the field was blocked due to servicing. That forced the players to use the wide areas to get out. I didn’t plan that but it came out handy.

I’ll probably repeat this session several times, manipulating some variables to increase difficulty: number of opponents, size of the field, number of touches, time limits, size of goals, etc.

I also started to shape the positioning and basic actions on set plays.

Pre – Crosses (Fun)
1 – Warm-up
2 – Sprints 5x10m\3x20m\3x30m)
3 – Positioning (Playing out from the back)
4 – Training Game (POFTB 6v3)
5 – Set Plays (Corners and Wide Free-Kicks)
6 – Small Sided Game 4v4+Bouncer
7 – Cool Down

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