3v3 Wave Conditioning Practice

By Alex Trukan

This modification of 3v3 game involves transition scenario. That places conditioning demand on both attacking and defending players. Regardless the decision made by central striker upon receiving the ball, supporting players have to make forward runs on full speed. Also defenders are required to make quick recovery runs. Players are encouraged to finish the action as a counter-attack, however, if that is not possible, positional attack can be also used.

Set up and directions
Organise two goals and area as shown on the diagram. The size should be approximately 30×50 m. The length of the pitch should allow players to make forward and recovery runs. Divide the team into attackers and defenders and organise them as shown on the diagram. One goalkeeper should be placed in each goal.


The game starts by the goalkeeper playing the ball into attacker who is marked 1v1 by a defender. The attacker should receive the ball in the penalty box half circle.


At the same time, attackers make forward runs and defenders make recovery runs to create 3v3 counter-attack scenario.


Attacking team is encouraged to progress forwards as soon as possible. That can be achieved by playing the ball straight into space in behind. If that is not possible, patient positional attack can be used.


The practice should include 4-6 repetitions in 1-2 series. The rest between repetitions is 1 min. while between series it is 4 min. Each repetition should be done with 100% intensity and last up to 15 seconds.


  • 2v3 (1 supporting attacker) progressing into 3v3
  • 3v2 (1 supporting defender) progressing into 3v3
  • Vary starting positions of attackers and defenders

By Alex Trukan, Development Coach, Nottingham Forest

4v2 Possession Game in Two Squares

By Alex Trukan

This exercise is a modification of a classical 4v2 possession game. Two squares instead of one are used, what places additional conditioning demand on players. Shuttle runs between squares require the power to accelerate which for example can be used during transition phase or when switching play.

Set up and directions
Organize 4 squares as shown on the diagram below. Divide a team into two groups of 7 players. Then, divide those two groups into 5 attackers and 2 defenders. Four attackers and 2 defenders (4v2) should occupy one square, while the remaining attacking player should be in the opposite square as shown on the diagram.


The game starts as a classical 4v2 possession game. Players try to make min. 10 passes, what counts as a one point. If the defenders

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Four-Stadiums Dribbling Game Intervals

By Alex Trukan

The practice is focused on dribbling and running with the ball skills, connected with physical content of the ‘power to recover’ ability. This game is especially attractive for players in the younger age groups, however, it can be used effectively even with senior players. Engaging practice design helps players to have fun, while working on conditioning.

Set up and directions
Organize four squares of 2×2 m., 15-20 m. apart. Divide players into four groups. Each group should have 3 balls and occupy one square. For younger players, treat each square as a stadium, letting players to choose the name for it (ex. Old Trafford).


The aim of each group is to collect as many balls to their ‘stadium’ as possible. The game starts on

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Race with Speed and Shooting

By Alex Trukan

This exercise connects ball control, dribbling and shooting skills with conditioning content. The opposition included in the practice demands speed and power from the attacking players. Therefore, speed and speed endurance qualities can be developed. The exercise can be done with various amount of players at all levels.

Set up and directions
Set up a square with min. 5 small gates in front of the penalty area. Organise a goalkeeper and two groups as shown on the diagram below. Each player from the attacking groups has one ball.


The practice starts on the first touch of the attacking player. His aim is to

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1v2 Transition Conditioning Practice

By Alex Trukan

Transition from attack to defense is regarded as an essential component of every practice by many professional coaches. This exercise includes this phase both in the attack-defense and defense-attack versions. Moreover, physical demand placed on players develops power to accelerate, which can be used to exploit unbalance in the oppositions’ defense.

Set up and directions
Organize a rectangle of approximately 30×40 m. with one goal on each end. The size of double penalty areas can be also used. Set-up four different stations. Divide players into groups of 3/4 on each station. Coach’s position as shown on the diagram. Each player from the bottom right group needs a ball. Moreover, min. 6 balls should be placed by the top right station.


The practice starts with the first player from the bottom right group playing a ball to

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5v5+2 Possession Game With Four End Zones

By Alex Trukan

The possession game 5v5+2 with four end zones has multiple outcomes important for player development. From the technical and tactical perspective, it can be used to develop passing, support, creating space and transition concepts. Looking from the physical point of view, presented game is aimed at improving aerobic capacity needed to maintain quick recovery throughout 90 minutes. Also, competitive element and realism help in achieving concentration and commitment from players.

Set up and directions:
Organize a square of appropriate size (depending on the fitness level and abilities of players, 30-40 m.) with four 3×3 m. squares in each corner. Divide the team into two teams of five and two neutral players.


The game starts with the coach playing the ball into one of the teams. The team in possession can use players from their team as well as two neutral players to maintain possession.


The game demands constant support and understanding of how to create and exploit space.


The goal is scored by playing the ball into the player positioned in one of the small squares. After that, the game continuous with the same team keeping possession of the ball.


The game should be repeated 4-6 times. Single repetition should last 4-8 minutes. It is recommended that the rest between each repetition lasts 2 minutes. The intensity will be around 70% of HRmax.


  • 6v6+2/5v5+1/6v6+1
  • 5v5/6v6/7v7
  • Two small squares/five small squares

By Alex Trukan, Development Coach, Nottingham Forest