In this series of posts, we share with you some drills and session plans for you to apply to your training sessions.
Today’s drill share looks at combination play. This is a crucial element for how I like my teams to play. If teams are able to combine and move the ball quickly they can create space by drawing in defenders. Clever teams are then able to identify this space and when to attack it.
The video below by TD Football showcases some of Ajax’s excellent combination play. This is a good one to show your players and ask them what they think made these combinations successful? Hopefully one of the answers will be the movement off the ball, which is something that is required in order to be successful in the activity below.
When I’ve used this activity in the past I’ve purposed introduced the zones from the start, this is to give players an indicator of the space they have available. As you develop through the progressions you’ll notice by progression 2, you can introduce a conditioning limiting number of attacking players in one zone at a time. This should help prevent both attacking players want to receive the ball next to each other.
If needed you can always start this activity with the players using their hands, if you want to maximise the combinations between the two attacking players in the rectangle. I’d be sure to add a condition to restrict movement so that when the attackers have the ball they cannot move. Additionally, this may help emphasis the movement off the ball which is one of the key takeaways from this activity. Ideally, by the end of the session, you would have made it to at least progression 3, this will ensure that your players aren’t both dropping short to receive and inviting pressure on themselves and their team. Encourage and emphasise that players need to think about their roles and the bigger picture that their roles have on the team.
Drop us a message in the comments section below if you’ve used this session before and let us know how it went.
Also if you have any great sessions that you’d like us to share or have found any online, then please let us know in the comments section.
You can also check out our other Drill Share Sessions by clicking here
Please don’t take the drill sources as gospel, we’ve tried to credit drills, especially those we’ve seen elsewhere, alternatively if that’s not possible, we’ve credited the coach that has put on that version of that drill. Please get in touch, using the comments section below if there’s another source.