Phase 2: Possession Questions

Age Group 16+

Duration 60 minutes

Players 18+

This Session is Number 11 in our Touchtight compilation and combines 2 practices that focus on defending and pressing to force direction. These exercises are suitable for players aged 14 and above and you require at least 13 players for it to run smoothly, with 1 or 2 goalkeepers.



Set Up / Organisation

This practice is focused on forcing direction to win possession to counter. With Blues building out in a 433, Golds defend in a 442 Diamond with changes with progressions. In this 40 x 30 Yard area, Blues must use the full width to penetrate the defence to score in mini goals, whilst Golds must defend central areas, forcing play wide to regain in wide zones. On winning possession wide, Golds can counter to finish.


  • Attacking Emphasis 30% 30%
  • Defending Emphasis 70% 70%

Age Group

Number of Players


Key Coaching Point | Forcing Direction

If Blues have ball in wide area, all Yellows must be on that side of the pitch. Defensive Shape.

Key Coaching Point 2 | Actions on Winning Possession

Diamond Yellows must now ensure they stop ball into ST, forcing play across and backwards. Compactness, which allows Yellows to regain and counter quickly or keep possession and build to finish.

Progression 1 | Add ST to Defend Against

Change formation to add a striker which forces defenders to rethink how they press and force direction in the defensive phase. 

Progression 2 | Opposition Rotation

All Blues can now rotate inside and outside, creating a numerical advantage for Yellows to deal with
Key Coaching Points
  • As a defensive practice in the main, we must ensure the attacking quality is at the level it needs to be in order to work the defenders. Focus on the shape, to begin with and ensure both teams are applying standard attacking and defensive principles before developing additional points.

    Space | Focus on space between players, ensuring gaps are at a minimum in central areas, develop players ability to slide and press quickly in relation to the movement of the ball

    Time | Set time objectives to remain compact and not allow them a shot on goal in 15 seconds for example. Could develop counter if need be (score in 6 seconds)

    Equipment | Ensure balls provided quickly to maintain the tempo of practice. Balls in goals so when they score they have 3 seconds to start from own end, if they don't goal get's chalked off. TEMPO

    Players | Develop individual ability by focusing on 2-3 players throughout.

    Pre-plan defenders to develop, maybe midfield 4 diamond pressure or 2 CBs organising in front and set individual objectives

    Advanced | We can clearly focus on many aspects of this Attack v Defence game, with an ability to also develop transition for defending the team, yet try to focus on a specific aspect, i.e. Diamond movement out of possession. It becomes easy to sway off topic, so try to stay focused, whilst maintaining challenge from opposition doing the right things to test players.


    Player Focus

    Shape Understanding | Defensive Shape | Compactness | Slide Across | Communication


Difficulty Rating


Set Up

3 teams of 4-6 players in an area 25 long x 15 wide, split into 3 sections. Each of the 3 teams must start in a different playing area, with 1 team keeping possession in one end zone. 2 players press from middle area to win possession and transfer the ball to the opposite end.

Once they win possession, they drop out of central zone and the team who loses possession moves into the central area, with 2 players pressing; this is a quick rotation.

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

Age Group

Number of Players


Progression & Constraint 1 | Player Drop To Receive

Opposite end player can drop in to link play to play through, must not stay in area more than 5 seconds - Rotate.

Progression & Constraints 2 | 50 Pass, 4 Ball Transfer

Players keep count of passes and must make 4 passes to transfer the ball to opposite end.

Progression & Constraints 3 | Bounce To Play

Middle players must drop and set possession player to switch and transfer to opposite end.

Key Coaching Points
  • Quick Passing | Spacial Awareness | Speed of Press | Body Shape | Angles
  • Player Focus Great practice to start sessions off after warm up, as elements of competition and quick passing and transfer of the ball, encourages player to work at a high tempo. Compact area encourages players to play quickly and challenges individuals in possession to move the ball quickly under pressure.

    Not much time available here. Get players to focus on giving themselves more time through being ready before transfer; organised. Balls must be prepared at the coaches feet or stationed around the practice, as there will be a lot of transfer of possession.

    Be creative with numbers, decide what you want out of the session, easier defending or attacking and work to those ends. e.g. 4 v 2, 5 v 3, 6 v 4 etc


Difficulty Rating

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