One of the best ways to teach team shape is in the classroom. There is no replacing the bird’s eye view that can be shown on a chalkboard to make the individual players’ movements make sense to them. If a player sees how the team’s collective movement can make the opponent’s play predictable, they are more inclined to understand how their movement and timing is vital. The below small-sided game is played with one restriction. The field is divided into three zones vertically (you will see the cone lines that are not quite the width of the penalty box). While you can attack in all three zones, you can only defend in two zones. If a team is caught defending in all three zones, then their opponents are awarded a goal (all of the players from one of the outside zones must reenter the center zone in order for their team to enter the opposite zone). Other than that it is played as a normal game to goal. It is important to guide the game a bit and show the attacking team how to shape out into all three zones and recognize when to switch the ball. This game will teach both attacking and defending width. The video is best viewed in full screen mode.

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3 responses to “Teaching Team Shape (Width in Attack and Defense)”

  1. Aron says:

    Very good exercise. I have never seen this one and the condition is very effective to get players to switch the point of attack then play forward quickly

  2. Sergej says:

    Hi,
    Thanks, this is very interesting.
    One question would be:
    What if formation is not 4-4-2, but let’s say 4-5-1 or another one with only one attacker up front. Does he is able to put enough pressure to make it count?
    Thank you

  3. Sergej says:

    I am sorry, I was reffering to another video where story is about 2 strikers ‘first line of defense’ and their movement. If you can, please move that comment to that video’s comments.
    Thanks

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