3v3 helps your players stay in shape

Shapes are important in football. They perform all over the field, but you need to make sure your players know how they work. Playing 3 in 3 matches shows how to use triangles, says David Clark

The 3v3 game evokes situations that often occur in a 7-a-side or 11-a-side game. It shows how bad shape affects other players, making their work much more difficult. The triangular shape in the middle of the field is very useful for coaches to get an excellent effect all over the field. But you must use it correctly. Look at the diagrams and I will show you what I mean:

In the upper diagram, the white team has the ball and must draw it from their own goal. The gray team took the shape of a triangle, but the middle player backed away deeply to protect his goal, in effect becoming a sweeper behind the other two gray players. This means that the white player who pulls the ball is unmarked and can either directly attack directly in the middle or create 2-on-1 situations with teammates. Two gray wingers have a problem. Do they mark their player or are they going towards the man with the ball?

A simple passage through the wall opens the way to the goal

Moving away from the player they mark, they leave open for a simple passage through the wall and leave the gate at their mercy. If they remain, it creates 1 on 1 directly in front of their own goal. Or the white player can choose to move towards one of his teammates, creating 2 on 1.

Problem for a man on the ball

In the bottom diagram, the gray team is still in a triangle, but the middle player approached the man on the ball. This gives the man on the ball an immediate problem when trying to pull the ball. He’s under pressure to pass the ball because he doesn’t have the courage to tumble next to him. Passing is difficult, so the gray team is more likely to win the ball. The gray player can also force him to pass one way or the other, moving slightly to one side, forcing the pass and allowing his teammate to intercept.

The difference in these two situations emphasizes not only how bad shape can hinder effective team play, but also how important communication is. If you do not explain how it works, young players may conclude that the situation in the first scheme is reasonable. They can play this way for a long time, believing that they are following your training and then blaming each other for any mistakes that lead to their goals.

Key coaching tip: Teach your players by showing them both situations.

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