Good drills/games for getting ball out of the back

Discussion in 'Coach' started by SccrDon, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. SccrDon

    SccrDon Member

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    Colorado Springs
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    Colorado Rapids
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    My team (U13 girls, low level competitive) struggles in getting the ball out of the back against a team that defends with high pressure. What drills/SSGs/other activities have you done that have helped your teams improve in that area?


  2. Rob55

    Rob55 Member

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    Nov 20, 2011
    Tell the coach of the team that has good defenders that apply the high pressure to stop sandbaggin' down in a low level league and play up in a more appropriate skill division.:)

    Well I'm sure you probably already were thinking that anyway. I've had same problems in past and really the only advice I can give is to teach/train your forwards and midfielders to come back for the ball from your defenders and teach the to position bodies/shield infront of the pressure to get 1st touches and control. Also have outside defenders or midfielders after the pass make a looping run with some give and gos on the outside. Pass and move and pass again and pray for good touches and accurate passes (easier said than done I realize). I know its really tough for U13 low level girls, but that really is the best method to beat really big, fast high pressure defenders from the other team that are really good at keeping the ball on their attacking half (your defending half).

    If you want to get specific/tactical just for a specific game, perhaps place your overall best field player in center midfield and try to tell your defenders to get the ball to her (have her roam sideline to sideline to get the ball and see if she can carry it up the field. Sort of like after a basketball rebound or inbounds play, you try to get the ball quickly to your point guard with the best ability to dribble up court to beat a full court press by other team. That is the best "quick fix" I can think of, since it will take alot of time and practice to get most of your team improved in many areas to excute effectively. You still should work on full team improvement areas I mentioned in 2nd paragraph just for player development though.
  3. JoseP

    JoseP Member

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    Apr 11, 2002
    Scrimmage offense versus defense. About 40 yards from the goal make small sided goals (maybe 6 yards wide) close to each sideline. The defense gets a goal every time they put the ball through the small sided goals. This will also encourage your offense to play high pressure when they lose the ball.

    After they start getting it change the rules so they have to dribble the ball through the goal for it to count. This will encourage them not to be just booting the ball to the sides, but get it out of there and still maintain control. You can make even more difficult by having them complete a pass through the small sided goals for it to count.
    rca2 repped this.
  4. rca2

    rca2 Member

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    Nov 25, 2005
    What JoseP said, plus keep on working on ball skills. You can't lose sight of the primary focus for this age--developing sport specific skills. It is also the long term solution for success in moving the ball against heavy pressure.


  5. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    I think this is the same thing JoseP is talking about and also my favorite activity for teaching kids how to play it out of the back. Triangles are attacking the two small, orange goals at midfield.

    I start play with the gk by making a strong pass back to them by either coach or the other team (makes it a little game realistic). GK must roll it out or throw it out, no punts.

    Make the gates big enough that the other team cannot play gk in front of them, also add a third gate centrally if that is happening. Like Jose said, first kick through, then dribble through to score and finally, they must pass to a teammate on the other side of the gate. Defenders and attackers cannot cross midfield until the ball crosses the gate.
    8MaCookies, ranova and slaminsams repped this.
  6. ranova

    ranova Member

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    Aug 30, 2006
    Elessar's exercise is great, but not the same as I understand JoseP was suggesting. The difference being that running offense against defense in a half field is going to involve two lines a side instead of just one. When i do it, I adjust the sides based on the number of players available and based on the amount of pressure I want to put on each side.

    For 1433 attacking team tactics, I suggest 6 attackers (0033) against 6 defenders (1410). For 1433 defensive team tactics (like transitioning from defense to attack), I suggest 6 attackers (0033) against 8 or 9 defenders (1430 or add 1 forward for a simulated third line). The more players you add the less movement you are going to see. By limiting the playing area to a half field, you take away the best opportunities for the side in possession to exploit spaces behind or between lines. The converse of that is that you make the tactical problem for the side out of possession too simple compared to a match. So you don't want to clog up the half field with alot of players.

    The whole "playing out of the back" problem I analogize to basketball. You can think of it as either a "fast break" or beating a full court press. Mobility and penetration are the keys.
  7. VegasFootie

    VegasFootie Member

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    Good Thread! Great responses above me.
    I'd offer them a diet of keep away- classic 4v2 to start.
    Finding the appropriate size area is important (can vary within the team). Too big and the defenders can't work, too small and the offense can't. Make the defenders play as a unit and work towards three or more disruptions to get out of the middle (three sets of partners). It will allow the offense to hopefully establish a little rhythm as opposed to the often seen one-touch out style of rotation.
    Follow that with elessar's 4v4 scenario. I've used two wide goals with u8s and seen a difference on Saturday. Great for all soccer ages, seriously.
    Continue into one larger OvD match as JoseP suggested. Still with the two wide goals.
    To end my practice I'd go to a full scrimmage (as your numbers allow) but leave the two wide goals at mid field. Transitioning halves wide in play scores.
    Looks like a good practice to address the problem. Make sure you focus your coaching points on beating the pressure. Seeing switches, communicating space and time and off the ball movement are keys.
    Finally, add some technical receiving to your warm-up. If your first touch fails you in the back, you get gutted. Settling and controlling, one touch passing, and check-back runs by forwards and mids (work those turns).
    JaxFC repped this.
  8. wolfsburgh

    wolfsburgh Member

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    Speaking of 4v2 keepaway, one game I like is 4v4 in two zones (half of the field for the activity). Team A starts with ball, and Team B can put two defenders into Team A's zone to try to win the ball (the other two Team B players stay in their zone). Once the two defenders from Team B win the ball, they have to break out to the other side (dribbling or passing), and then Team B tries to possess in their zone while Team A sends two defenders over. The aspect of this game involving the two defenders trying to break out might be helpful for the problem identified by the OP.

    I wouldn't go overboard with this, but some pattern play might work as well. Here's something simple as a starter.

    4 players per side of field, working away from goal (work this on both the left and right sides of the field simultaneously)

    One player is distributor (GK, center back, outside back), with a bunch of balls.

    One player is the defender.

    One player is the "wing."

    One player is the "center."

    Distributor plays it wide to winger.

    Defender chases down winger (passive D after first, but can build to real pressure).

    Center, who is more forward than the winger, makes a diagonal supporting run towards winger.

    Wing plays ball to Center, who then plays one-two back to Wing down the line.

    At midfield, winger turns around, and supported by center, they attack the defender 2v1 heading towards the goal they started from.

    Winger plays square/through to Center, and then runs down line.

    Center plays it to back to Wing, and proceeds towards goal.

    Wing takes ball down sideline and plays cross to Center (distributor can also make a run).

    Switch roles frequently.

    This is just a starting point, and you can imagine the many variations to coach from this.
  9. VegasFootie

    VegasFootie Member

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    4v4 keepaway with a transition. That was on the tip of my keyboard as I typed the other post, but I couldn't find the words.:thumbsup:
    I hope the op runs our practice this week and gets some results from it. Be interesting to hear how it worked for his group. Really interesting would be for him to go all-in and task his girls to only play out on the ground in their next match. Maybe rewards for defenders that complete passes out of pressure or mids that make good supporting runs. Keep a count of all the breaks up field that transit the mid line along the wings...
  10. vanberlo=god

    vanberlo=god New Member

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    I had a similar issue with my girls senior team this season. It's my first coaching gig and they're playing at the lowest level. So I played a lot of 4v4 & 5v5 with an emphasis on playing it out from the back. Two small goals for the defenders, 1 large goal for the attackers. Defenders get points for getting it through the small goals.

    It progresses well when it's 5v5 on half-pitch. They started switching it, passing it up the flanks, making dummy runs in behind and around attackers, juking, feinting etc. The first game I had with them they couldn't get it out of their defensive half to save themselves. I've had them for 4 games (almost an entire match of suspended/re-arranged fixtures) and they've improved out of this world.

    If you pair it with relevant triangle & diamond passing activities, and you work it into each session for 20-30 minutes, they'll be able to figure it out on their own pretty quickly.
  11. Rob55

    Rob55 Member

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    Nov 20, 2011
    So I used the 1 large regular goal vs. 2 small wide cone goals game as desribed. Played 7v7 on half of field. Kept score to 5. Each team that went towards the 2 cone goals (i.e. learning to play from out back) was much more successful than shooting at the 1 large goal with goalie. One team won 5-1. Other team won 5-0. Is this normally how it plays out (much easier to work from out back through a wide midfield goals? It seemed that the offensive team attacking the big goal got gassed easily when trying to defend the wide goals and couldn't cover where the defending the big goal team could always stay defensively compact to protect the central goal (then expand out in one direction to get through a midfield cones). Any offensive players (so 2-3 of the players on far side, have no chance to defend the counter through midfield since the were wide on far side.
  12. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator Staff Member

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    In my experience, yes. It becomes really eye-opening when we run 2 (plus gk) v 5. The 2 defenders plus keeper still give the 5 a run for their money. Another reason I believe that 2 or 3 defenders can effectively defend against much larger numbers. With proper positioning and reading the game, the space and angles just isn't there?

    This setup is also effective in training your players to play in the attacking third. Playing in the attacking third is difficult. It requires a lot of skill and great understanding and timing among your attackers. And mainly that's why they dominate the attackers.

    If you look in the "Dutch coaching book" this game is also set up as 5v3 (with or without gk).
  13. VegasFootie

    VegasFootie Member

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    Jun 8, 2012
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    Arsenal FC
    ^+1
    Don't be afraid to skew the numbers to achieve the desired result.
    And yes, you'll spend the rest of your life trying to achieve good group performances in the attacking third.
  14. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator Staff Member

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    This has been making me think all morning.

    Why is it easier for the defending team to get through the two small goals? Does the answer to this question have any applications to learning to attack the big goal.

    The big goal is essentially a 21 or 24 foot "gate" like the 2 smaller goals are "gates"

    At my next practice we'll play 1 big goal/2 small goals and flip it. I'll put a small goal on either side of the big goal (they can't shoot on the big goal) and a 24 foot wide gate near midfield. Just from the description, I think that the scoring will even out. If it does even out, does that mean that it's all psychological?
  15. SccrDon

    SccrDon Member

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    Colorado Springs
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    Colorado Rapids
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    Thanks for the input!

    I have seen improvement, mostly from getting better midfield support for the backs and some from working fundamentals in training such as moving without the ball and better first touch. I have used Jose's/Elessar's game as well (before and after my post).

    We're getting there...

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