How to Penetrate Through The Pivot (01-P3)

Practice 3 of theme 1 Attacking Centrally is designed to develop combinations and rotations in central areas, before penetrating defensive lines. In this 5 v 5, played in a 35 x 25 Yard area, we have a 10 by 10 Yard central zone for our magic player, with whom the possession team must connect with in their build up. Teams must react quickly on the transition, connecting through central areas whilst the opposition are out of shape.

  • Attacking Emphasis 65% 65%
  • Defending Emphasis 35% 35%

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See all of Coaching Theme 1:

Key Coaching Point 1: Connecting Play Centrally

Focus on player’s keeping possession and being patient before penetrating with the central target player. The reason for this, is that defenders will simply protect this zone. If they overdo this you can reward the possession team with a goal for 1-0 passes, encouraging defenders to press, leaving space to then connect with the central player. 

Key Coaching Point 2: Manage Defenders Setting High Challenge

A goal is scored after each combination, with players rotating after each successful passage of play. Set the tempo for defenders and reward effective team pressure, i.e. goal for a regain within 3 seconds, 2 goals if 4 or more players work collectively to win the ball back. Really focus on spaces between players in the pressing phase.

Progression 2: Central Player For Possession Team

We progress this by removing the floater and conditioning the possession team to connect through a teammate in the central zone, central players must switch with an opposition player when possession is turned over. With the removal of this additional player, the challenge for the possession team is increased, meaning they have to move the ball quicker and more effectively with increased pressure. 

After each successful combination, rotate with a different teammate dropping into the central zone, ensuring you always have a pivot player to work with.

Key Coaching Points

– Passing quality
– Movement to support
– Speed of rotation
– Managing opposition pressure


How do the opposition defend against this and what problems does this cause?

How can central players combine on one touch effectively?

What support can you provide in your teams for this player under pressure?


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