By Jebreel Bubtana
This exercise gets the players to develop their anaerobic endurance very well by winning the ball back quickly. The idea is to place the team with the ball under high pressure and win the ball back as quickly as possible and then pass the ball out the outside players and keep possession to get their breath and shape back.
Set up the field as shown below (figure 1). The area is 20×20 with 4v4 in the middle and 4 neutral players on the outside who cover the four sides on the square.
Both teams try to keep possession of the ball and can use the neutrals on the outside of the area to help them keep the ball and get as many passes in succession as possible (figure 2). When the neutral receives the ball, they must pass the ball back to the same team that passed them the ball. Every time a team reaches 10 passes they earn their team a point. Make sure that the neutrals and the players in the middle are switched every 4 minutes.
The players on the outside now play for one of the teams rather than being a neutral for both, as shown below in figure 3. The players in the middle still have to find the players on the outside with a pass but now when one of those players receives the ball they can join in the middle to create a numbers up situation, which in this case would be 5v4. As soon as the team with the numbers up loses the ball, the player who was on the outside must retreat to their original position. This can then be progressed into a 6v4 numbers up situation. When one of the players on the outside receives the ball, they join in the middle along with the other player from that team on the outside. The idea is to make it harder for the team without the ball to win it back.
• Ensure that the players are thinking about their first touch and taking it away from pressure
• The team without the ball must work hard to win the ball back as they would do in a real game. High pressure to win the ball back is key in this exercise
• When the ball is won, the players on the outside must be used quickly to provide relief and create a numbers up situation
• When a team wins the ball back it is important to spread out and keep a good shape to make it hard for the four players on the other team to win the ball back
• It is important that when a team wins the ball back that they do not panic on the ball and give it away again carelessly
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