By Danny Carvalho
Question - “We are not having much success building out of the back. The players tend to panic and either hit a long ball when not needed. Do you have any exercises I can try in training that will help this? "
To confidently build from the back, the players involved must have confidence to be relaxed and comfortable on the ball. A lot of work on ball mastery, receiving, dribbling skills, movement off the ball and body position are recommended to give the players the technical foundation. Some combination play contribute as well but just don’t spend too much time on that as on the matches opponents move unpredictably and this is something to add to your practice.
See below some examples of more game realistic activities to help your team work on building from the back:
1- Rondos inside the box
This is something that generally helps because it’s game realistic. Start with GK+3 v 1 where if the player in the middle steals the ball they must score on the goal. If it’s too easy, move up to GK+3 v 2. If it’s too hard, have the player in the middle hop on one foot only while trying to block the passes.
2- Small sided-game 1
In this SSG, black team plays with the GK + 3 players v 3 yellows. The goal here for the black team is to pass the ball to one of the red neutral players. If the pass goes in the air = 1 point, if the pass goes on the ground = 3 points. If the yellow team wins the ball, they must score on the goal. Every time the ball goes out, restart from a goal kick.
If this structure is too challenging, take off one yellow player or add one black player. You can also switch red neutrals for mini-goals. The advantage of having the neutral players is that they can move along the line, making it harder for yellows to mark them as opposed to static mini-goals.
3- Small-sided game 2
This SSG is played on a GK+4 v 4+GK and the rules are that from a goal kick, teams must pass the ball 5 times on their own half before moving forward to attack. Only two opponents can break into that half to press and try to win the ball.
If it’s too hard, allow only one opponent to go into the building half. If it’s too easy, allow a third opponent to join in.
By Danny Carvalho, DOC at Corinthians Campinas Youth Club, Brasil