3 v 2 Competition

By Alex Trukan

This practice is designed to improve Anaerobic energy system which is responsible for short-duration, high intensity actions during a match. Therefore, players will develop their ability to produce high quality explosive bursts, which may be useful when applying pressure on the ball or doubling up to win the possession back. From the technical point of view, players involved in this practice also benefit from passing, movement off the ball and staying on the ball skills improvement.

Set Up and Directions

Organise four 6 x 6 yards squares positioned next to each other. That should form two ‘channels’ at the beginning of each, two additional cones should be placed as shown on the diagram below. Those two cones will be starting positions of the defenders. Divide the team into four groups of three and two pairs of defenders. Each group of three players should occupy one of the squares and have one ball between them. Two pairs of defenders should be positioned at the starting cones.


The practice starts with four groups starting to pass the ball in threes, changing positions and moving off the ball within their squares. The defenders are ready and waiting for the coach’s signal.


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As soon as the defending pair manages to get the ball out of the first square, they should immediately sprint to the next one and try to do the same. Defenders can’t go into the second square before they get the ball out of the first one.


After getting the ball out of the both squares, defenders have to sprint back to their starting positions and flip the cone upside down. Whichever pair finishes doing that first, is considered a winner.




Each pair should make 4-6 repetitions in 1-2 series. The rest period between repetitions should be 1 minute and between series – 4 minutes (other players working).


  • 4 players in each square
  • Defenders have to dribble the ball out of the square/make a pass
  • Two squares combined, four defenders working together – 6v4

By Alex Trukan, Development Coach, Nottingham Forest


About the Author Tom Mura

Leave a Comment:

rich bourne says June 22, 2016

Article (3v2 competition) is great but links to illustrations seemed to have broken!!

Can you fix please

Many Thanks

Rich Bourne Redding California

Mohamed says June 27, 2016

Thank you so much . Nice drills .

azzeddine says March 9, 2018

merci c’est un joli exercice les jeunes

    Tom Mura says March 10, 2018

    You’re welcome.

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