This is an exercise that I first saw done by the University of South Florida mens team. The focus is on improving your team’s attacking. Most coaches just use a shooting drill for this and neglect the build up. This activity has more “real to the game” implications (i.e. penetrating passes, decision making, transition,…etc.). It is set up in a 4-5-1/4-3-3 formation, but can be easily tailored to a 4-4-2 or whatever system you prefer. You need a field from about the top of the 18 to the top of the other 18. You need a goalkeeper, back four, and a target in red. Another goalkeeper, back four, and target in yellow. Put your five midfielders in blue.(It is good to have another group of five midfielders to sub in because that is a lot of running for the mids. But that would mean that you have a squad of 22 and I know that is not always reality.) A coach with a supply of balls positions himself or herself off the field near the midfield stripe. Defenders must play each other or the target (they cannot play the five midfielders until the target has been played) and they do not initially join the attack. Midfielders are always on the team that has possession. Coach plays into a back four and the game begins. In the video, coach plays into the red back four. They swing the ball around and then play the target. Target lays off to attacking mid who plays wide player. Wide player serves ball early in behind back four and target hits a one-time ball into goalkeeper. Goalkeeper immediately starts attack with a throw into yellow right back (blue mids are now attacking the other direction with the yellows). Right back plays straight into target who lays off into defensive center mid. DCM plays target in behind who lays off to wide player. Wide player has a touch then slides ball across face of goal to other wide player for a one-time finish. Coach keeps game going after goal or ball out of bounds by playing ball into back four (in this case, the red back four). Emphasis is placed on passing through seams as opposed to feet in order to get in behind the back four whenever available. Best if you view in full screen mode.

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6 responses to “Midfield Goes Both Ways”

  1. Footie4Life says:

    This incorporates so many different facets of an attack transition in a real match. We play a 4-4-2, so I will change it to two targets, but I will definitely be using this one with my team.

  2. Aron says:

    This is a great exericse and you can condition your team to have to play into the target player/s or through the midfield into the target players so your team gets use to breaking other team’s defense down differently and effectively.

  3. Kwah says:

    This is a good one for all the youth coaches that resort to a shooting drill when their team is struggling to score.

  4. andrea says:

    It’s a great activity I used i do something similar but I like this better because it’s definitely more game-like than mine. Thank you

  5. Molly says:

    This is just the sort of drill that I was looking for- thanks so much!

  6. manoj says:

    Nice drill, pressure on midfield, understand with both side and player position, and conditional running in the game.

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