Tuesday, August 14, 2012


3Style @ Custodians

This 3-player format can be used as a dynamic warmup, or combined with a game of 2 v 1 as part of a coaching session.

Steve T

Groups of three players offer the coach an ideal format for a dynamic warmup with a ball, as well as a tool for developing a particular technique. Adding a competitive phase using 1 v 2 (rotating the players), allows coach to use this format to build a complete coaching session; providing a good deal of functionality and flexibility.

Pass & Move (Two touches)

Players A and B here - distance at coach's discretion - Player C here

Player A passes the ball ===============> to Player C

Then follows (avoiding path of Player C) ---------------------------->

(Player B [waits behind Player A])

Player A immediately moves to replace Player C, who takes one touch before following his/her pass to take up the position that will soon become vacant once Player B takes one touch before passing to Player C. The cycle continues in this way ...

This 'shuttle' is clealry perfect for developing the concept of 'pass and move' among young players. It develops space awareness, highlighting the need for players to avoid the space required by the receiver to complete their subsequent pass.

A 'Flexible Friend' (Two Touch to One + Virtually Unlimited Variants)
The simplest option is to use this format to develop passing with the inside of the foot. However, this setup can be used to develop virtually any form of passing, such as the outside of the foot and toe.
The most obvious progression is to remove the first touch and make it 'one touch'. The second coaching point (below) refers to the development of this progression.
Coaching Points:
  • Ensure the players understand that in the two touch version need to use the first touch effectively to prepare for the pass - iron out any problems relating to the technique. A common problem among novice/young players is that they do not push the ball far enough in front of them to allow them to make a pass comfortably. Correct this, ideally by encouraging the player to 'discover' the solution.               
  • Ensure the player is sufficiently confident when using two touches before adopting a 'one touch' phase.
  • Other 'specific' coaching points will apply if using this format for a more complex skill, such as passing with the outside of the foot. In this case (for example only), the coach may show the players how to comfortably position the ball to allow for successful completion.
Warm Up Option
How many coaches have seen players 'messing around' with little purpose while awaiting their teammates arrival? This format allows coach to get these players warmed up in a 'football-friendly' format. Coach can demonstrate if the players are not already familiar with this format, then step aside when a third player arrives. This is a perfect solution, too, for coaches who find themselves with a small group of players due to 'unforeseen circumstances' (extreme weather or transport difficulties etc).

2 v 1
To add a more 'competitive' element, move from the shuttle format to a game of 2 v 1. Coach can again adapt this to develop a specific skill, so that the two must complete five passes (with the outside of the foot [if this is being developed initially, for example]) before scoring, while the single player can only score by using a shot/pass with the outside of the foot. If each player must experience a turn on their own, this can also be excellent for developing fitness and stamina among your players. Play 'first to 5' (or 10), depending on your needs / time constraints.

Finish With a Game

These components can easily account for a one-hour or even a 90-minute session if ending the session with a short game of 'regular' football/futsal.
Variants: Control-pass with toe/one touch pass with toe, control-pass with the opposite foot (left-right, right-left) and so on ... (almost limitless possibilities ...)

Additional Progressions: Rotate players among groups that have multiple groups of three players.

1 comment:

  1. While this is aimed at outfield players, I firmly believe that the modern keeper requires a similar level of skill with 'ball at feet' as an outfield player - Sao Paolo's Rogerio, perhaps? I rest my case ...