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Switching the Play (Free Session)

Updated: Dec 17, 2023

The objective of this week's MSC Breakdown is not simply to switch the play as quickly as possible, but instead it's about setting the conditions where switching the play has maximum benefit on the attacking side of the game. Creating the conditions for this requires effective positioning and possession principles initially, in order to then draw the opposition across, unbalance their shape, and then exploiting space on the weak side.

You can watch the full breakdown with session examples below. Please subscribe to our YouTube page here.

Below are the details of the three exercises used in the session.

Exercise 1: 5v2 Transfer Game (set up two games for the session)

Dimensions 10x20 yard area split into two zones

- Ball starts in one half with a 4v2

- One player in possession team stays on other end line

- After 5 consecutive passes, blue team look to transfer the ball across

- One player stays to re-create a 4v2 again

- One point for every successful switch

- If red defenders win the ball, they can score in mini-goal for two points

Exercise 2: 8v8 Find the Target

Dimensions: 30x40 yards with 5-yard End Zones

- Three 5-yard gates alongside each mini-zone

- Teams play 7v7 in the middle with one target player (center forward in the end zone)

- To score, teams must play into target player through the cones

- Target player must constantly adapt to game and read the switch

- Focus on moving the opponent with possession and then exploiting weak side with a switch

Exercise 3: 11v11 Three Zones Game (Easily adapted to suit smaller numbers)

Dimensions: 40x50 yards split into 3 zones

- 11v11 game with both teams organized in a shape

- Players free to move throughout the area

- Only condition to score is that ball must be circulated into all three areas before a goal is scored

- This condition challenges the team in possession to use possession as a tool to move the opponent

- Transition goals count (without the switch) if they are scored in 6 seconds or lower after winning the ball

If you would like to follow up with Gary Curneen about personal consultation, please email him at:

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