Coaching the 4231

Coaching the 4-2-3-1 Videos

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Coaching the 4-2-3-1 Training Videos

12 videos featuring Wayne Harrison and the 4-2-3-1 formation that is used by the world's top teams like Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City and others

Coaching the 4-2-3-1 Attacking Video 1

Developing play from the back three ways using the 4-2-1 of the 4-2-3-1
Harrison begins the session by explaining how the 4-2-3-1 enables three ways for attacks to be built from the back. Using Real Madrid as his blueprint, Harrison demonstrates how to spread the defensive players out wide when in attack, how to practice changing shape to get the ball out and how to get the ball up the pitch quickly.

Coaching the 4-2-3-1 Attacking Video 2

Working in the midfield area with 6, 8 & 10 as a lop-sided triangle
In this video, Harrison highlights the importance of positioning and how the opposition could try to counter a lop-sided triangle utilizing a 3v3 exercise.

Coaching the 4-2-3-1 Attacking Video 3

Attacking between the opponents back four and midfield area focusing on the diamond of support and including the fullbacks
One of the 4-2-3-1’s great advantages is that the weight of numbers can force opposition defenses to fall back early and leave space for the offensive central midfield. This video demonstrates a possession drill for training players to get in the right positions, in particular the fullbacks that will need to be involved in attacks to swamp the opposition’s defense.

Coaching the 4-2-3-1 Attacking Video 4

An attacking phase of play playing in front of the opponents back four
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is renowned for his silky ball skills and for always working the opposition defenders. This video demonstrates how to work the wide player to disrupt the opposition’s back four by creating 2v1 situations.

Coaching the 4-2-3-1 Attacking Video 5

An attacking phase of play playing in front of the opponent’s back four with fullbacks added
In this video Harrison demonstrates how to create good positions around the box for feeding the ball to the central forward. This includes harnessing fullbacks for added flexibility and less predictability and exploiting space with triangles of support.

Coaching the 4-2-3-1 Attacking Video 6

11v0 shadow play to teach four distinct phases of play
The final attacking video summaries the different phases that a 4-2-3-1 enables and how teams can smoothly transition into a 4-3-3.

Coaching the 4-2-3-1 Counter-Attacking and Transition Video 1

Quick passing and attacking with width with the positional shape of 4-2-3-1
The second series of videos moves away from tactics to focus on drills for developing rapid play. The first drill can be used as a warm-up session in which the focus is on getting the ball to the striker quickly through swift counter attacking. Players will also learn how to spread wide and take advantage of the additional numbers in attack.

Coaching the 4-2-3-1 Counter-Attacking and Transition Video 2

Solo running with the ball from midfield
Real Madrid’s Ronaldo is again used as the perfect example for how midfielders in the 4-2-3-1 can pick the ball up from deep. This drill aims to train players to run with the ball out wide. Harrison adds two more defenders to create a 4v4 situation to demonstrate how the numbers can be changed to suit the level of your players and how much you want to push them.

Coaching the 4-2-3-1 Counter-Attacking and Transition Video 3

5v5 to 5v2 counter attacking
Players must maintain possession in this drill in a tighter area. The ball is played from the middle to speed up the rotation from attack to defense, in a drill that is as much a test of stamina as it is technique.

Coaching the 4-2-3-1 Counter-Attacking and Transition Video 4

Quick transition attacks
The whole pitch is now used with the emphasis on distribution to the wide players in a 4-2-3-1 to enable fast counter attacks. Harrison imposes a two touch limit, which can be adjusted to suit the level of your own players.

Coaching the 4-2-3-1 Counter-Attacking and Transition Video 5

Direct attacking from back to front and regain possession in the attacking third
Players now need to drop further back to begin the counter attack. This approach replicates Barcelona’s high pressing game where they always try to win the ball higher up the pitch and in dangerous attacking positions.

Coaching the 4-2-3-1 Counter-Attacking and Transition Video 6

Organize the 4-2-3-1 shape to 3-1-3-3 or 2-3-2-3
One of the biggest benefits of the 4-2-3-1 is its flexibility. Harrison finishes the session by highlighting how the number six can be utilized to rapidly change the team’s shape along with fullbacks pushing up the pitch and wide players tucking in.