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Ball circulation

The art of keeping the ball

· Drill,Group,Skill

In the modern game, staying in control is key. A few weeks ago we worked on staying in control without the ball - a much more complicated task than when in possession I'd say. While being in control in possession of the ball is at times easier, it is essential for players not to allow the ball to stop moving and in so doing ensure that the opponents never get an opportunity to settle into their defensive pattern.

We pass, not to move the ball but to move the opponent - Pep Guardiola

As Pep Guardiola said, "We pass, not to move the ball but to move the opponent". Our technical team uses this drill to ensure players understand the importance of using both width and depth as key principles of keeping the ball moving and ensuring that they don't allow the opposition to settle in.


Setup: 30x30 field with 5x5 grids marked in each corner | Divide players into 3 groups of 4 players each | One group occupies the grids in the corner by placing a man in each grid | 4 v 4 played in the field | Players keep possession & use players in the corner grids as free players to combine with effectively creating a 8 v 4 when in possession.

Progression & Variation: Players aim to keep the ball & pass into the players in the grids in the corners, if they can successfully pass into the corner, they change places with the team on the outside | Limit touches | Limit time each player is allowed on the ball.

COACHES TIP: Encourage positional rotation but always aiming to maintain balance & shape (With 4 players a diamond is the optimum shape to have, giving the greatest number of options | Play away from pressure | First touch should always be into space, away from opponents


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