By Rob Podeyn Author of Triangle Midfield This is the first part of an article that appears in the November issue of the WORLD CLASS COACHING Magazine and will be uploaded to the Member Drills Database on November 1.
There are many exercises for training the triangle midfield. These five exercises represent my five favorite training exercises for training and developing the triangle midfield. They are generic enough that you can use them with just about any formation that uses the triangle midfield.
Four Square Game- This is a great game for working on possession while also learning how to quickly read the pressure of the opposition. It is also excellent for teaching your players how to transition quickly from attack to defense and vice versa.
Start by creating a large square that is 40 yards by 40 yards (reduce it to 30 yards by 30 yards if for older players who are more skilled). Divide the large square into four equal squares that are 20 yards by 20 yards. Have five players in each grid for a total of 20 players (you can also go four in each grid for 16 total players). Have each group of five players in their own color (i.e. grid 1 wears red, grid 2 wears yellow, grid 3 wears black, and grid 4 wears blue).
Start the exercise by passing the ball into one of the grids. The team in that grid must complete five passes before playing the ball into the grid clockwise. The two adjoining grids send in one player to defend. If the defender wins the ball they look to pass the ball into their grid and join in to complete five passes. If the ball is deflected into a different grid then that team looks to complete five passes before passing on to the grid clockwise. Have teams increase the number of passes by one each time they successfully complete possession and pass on to the grid clockwise. The first team to reach ten passes wins.
In the diagram above you see the red team with possession of the ball. One player from the yellow team enters into the grid to defend and to try to win the ball and play it into their grid. One blue player enters in the grid to also defend and to try to win the ball and play into their grid. If the red team completes five passes (or whatever number of passes they are on), then they play the ball clockwise into the yellow team for them to possess and send in one red player to defend. The black team would then also send a player in to defend. The exercise is very fast-paced and can be chaotic. Work with each group of five to focus on making good decisions in possession and to work on protecting the ball. Teams also need to read the approaching pressure and how to best deal with it by moving the ball away from pressure.
By Rob Podeyn Author of Triangle Midfield