Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

Shape up your team


Changing team shapes by changing the number of players during a game is a fantastic way to get your players to keep their concentration and adapt the team shape and tactics to suit the situation.

I have used this exercise with my players for the past two training sessions because it gives me lots of coaching points that I can get across to my players as the game progresses.

How to play it

  • Set up as shown in the first picture, with four teams of two players (blacks, whites, grey shirt/grey shorts and grey shirts/grey shorts), plus two neutral keepers.

  • Start the game with four teams of two playing with one ball.

  • Players can score in either goal. If the ball leaves play, pass a new one in immediately.

  • On your call, two teams immediately join together (for instance, “blacks and whites”) and the game continues in a 4v4 situation. Both these teams now join forces to play against grey/whites and grey/greys.

  • Play for 10 minutes changing player combinations at regular intervals.

Technique and tactics

  • Keep the game moving fast.

  • Players should mix passes by either playing them to feet or into space.

How to develop it

  • You can overload the game against one team – for example, “whites, grey/ whites and grey/greys” would play against the black duo.

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