Managing the Underload

By Sean Reed –

For this session we are focusing on challenging the players with an under load in possession as oppose to an overload. Challenging the players to maintain possession under pressure, managing the ball individual, creating passing and goal scoring opportunities.

Set Up
• 3 Players within an area (5-7yds)
• Two teams (2 = Red / 1 = White)
• The player on their own is looking to keep possession of the ball from the other team (2 players)
• It is the length of time the single player can keep possession of the ball
• If the red team wins possession then they will make a few passes before playing the ball back
• The coach can work for a set period of time 60-90 secs then switch the players round
• See Diagram 1

• Develop the game into a 3v2 possession
• The size of the area will increase (10yd x 10yds)
• The objective is for the team in white bibs (2) to keep the ball away from the team in red bibs (3)
• The score can be calculated based on the number of consecutive passes made and/or the amount of consecutive time the team kept possession
• See Diagram 2

• Develop from the 3v2 possession into a directional possession
• See Diagram 3
• The team with 2 players are scoring in two goals
• The team with 3 players are scoring in 1 goal
• The game can start in favour of the team with 2 players as the emphasis is on managing the underload
• However, the coach can change and adapt how the game starts

Some Coaching Points –
• Strength / Use of body / Body position between ball and player
• Ball control under pressure managing the ball
• Tempo and speed of moving the ball
• Angles of support
• Passing the ball and receiving safe side
• Exploiting games
• Creating 1v1 situations
• Confidence in possession
• Positive in possession

By Sean Reed
Former First Team Coach of Championship side Fulham FC. Sean is a UEFA A Coach with a Masters in Sport Coaching. He has over 15 years of experience working in professional football from Academy through to First team in the Premiership and Championship.

Web –
Twitter – @SeanJReed

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