When teaching about support and possession of the ball we frequently talk about triangles. When a player has the ball we want him to have options on angles as well as the opportunity to make a penetrating pass to split the defense.
While coaches understand the how the triangle support works, many players tend to get confused because while they can find triangles all over the field, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have support.
Another way to describe this (and one that many players might find easier to understand) is left/right/split support. This is the same basic concept but using terminology that many will find easier to comprehend.
In the diagram below, player 1 has the ball, player 2 is providing support on his right, player 3 is providing support on his left and player 4 is providing looking for the penetrating split.
If we were only talking about supporting in triangles, players 1, 2 and 3 would be in the exact same position but player 4 wouldn’t be there as simple triangles don’t necessarily have penetrating support.
Anytime the ball is in the middle of the field the player on the ball wants to have left/right/split support. In the attacking fourth of the field the split support will usually be the shot. When the ball is out wide, it’s usually not possible to have this support as the sideline will limit the support on one side but this usually gets replaced with support from behind.
Try using the left/right/split support terminology and see if it helps your team understand support and possession better.
To learn more about this concept and possession in general check out the book “Improving Your Team’s Possession Play".