Possession drill to break opposition defensive lines
Possession Drill - 4x4

Possession drill to break opposition defensive lines

This possession drill requires 8 players, 4 per side, and to setup 4 zones. The objective of this exercise is to simulate 2 attackers vs 1 defender situations in a game.

Setup and rules

The rules of this exercise are very simple:

  • 8 players, 4 per team.
  • The field is divided in 4 zones.
  • A maximum of two players is allowed per zone.
  • Only one defensive player is allowed in the zone where the ball is being played.
  • The attacking players can’t pass the ball to an immediate zone. So, two players in a zone with possession of the ball can pass the ball between each other or pass it across another zone using a mid to long distance pass.
  • The possession of the ball changes team when the ball is intercepted, goes out of the pitch or one of the rules above is broken.

Lessons to be learned

This exercise covers many aspects of the game. Obviously, the main focus is on possession of the ball by creating 2 attacker vs 1 defenders situations in an area of the field. In addition, this drill encourages accurate passing to break defensive lines.

A secondary objective of the game is to improve players’ positioning and anticipation when defending. The defending team has to intercept the ball in 2 vs 1 situations and when the ball is passed across zones. High pressure or tackling is not the solution in this scenario. Therefore players need to anticipate the opponents next move and position themselves in the passing line to recover the ball.

Another takeaway of this possession drill is that it promotes communication and coordination between teammates. Players need to fill spaces, warn teammates when defenders are close by, ask for the ball and be aware of teammates movements to avoid overlapping in the same zone.

Once you see your team is getting the idea of this drill, you can add small goals at each side to make the game more interesting. However, practicing without goals to keep the focus on the aspects of the game discussed above.

The video below illustrates how this possession drill works.


If you need cones or any accessories to complete this drill, please visit our shop.

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