How to Combine Off Striker Hold Up Play (04-P3)

This practice develops passing and movement with quick, short sharp combinations in tight spaces off the striker.

With players in each corner of the square, player 1 plays a square pass to player 2, who then passes into the striker to set player 1 who crosses over with player 2.

Once connected, a pass is played through to the opposite pair who will repeat the sequence in the opposite direction.

  • Attacking Emphasis 100% 100%
  • Defending Emphasis 0% 0%

Age Group

Number of Players


See all of Coaching Theme 4:
The main focus of the session is to build supporting runs off the striker with cross over movement from midfield. This is most likely going to come from attacking midfield players or inside wingers looking to connect off the central striker.

Key Coaching Points: 1 Touch Set /3rd Man Runs

Timing is crucial and the ability to play on one touch to break defences down quickly is important to transfer to the game. If you have younger players and they require that extra touch, allow 2 touches until you can add that constraint to challenge them further.

Progression 1: 1-2 Combination to Maintain Flow

 After central combination with the striker, the forward running player must play a 1-2 off 1 touch with the support player in the opposite corner, playing the pass into space for the receiving player to run onto. This is key in games, as players look to connect quickly and move onto a moving ball rather than receive one to feet under pressure from defenders, especially in attacking areas where there is space for them to break into.

 There are many more progressions that can be applied to this soccer practice, including a coach call for players to change direction, adding another ball, rotating the striker with the passing player on each sequence and much more. Just art is knowing when and how to introduce each one to challenge the team and then individuals specifically. 

Key Coaching Points

Timing of movement to meet set from striker

Weight of pass into striker

Control to set oncoming support players

Intelligence to pick up sequence and adapt with progressions


1. What are the challenges you are facing in this practice?

2. How can you move the ball quicker and maintain control?

3. Where on the pitch would you expect to see this and can visualise your movement?


Difficulty Rating


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