Door 2: Look for the furthest possible pass on the ground

by David Goigitzer


– Blue is trying to score. This is only allowed after the striker received a pass and played a lay-off. Then an attack may be carried out, by maximum 3 players. This results in 3v2, 3v3 and 3v4 attacks on the goal.

– A goal counts as 1 point. If Blue manages to pass to the striker from their own half and the striker’s pass arrives, they get 2 points.

– If Red wins the ball, they can immediately counter the minigoals. The middle goal, which is further back, is worth 3 points, the others 1 point.

– Neither Blue nor Red have movement restrictions and may move freely.

Cruyff, Guardiola, orientation and perception

The search for the furthest possible pass is a principle that Pep Guardiola already carried out when he played under Johan Cruyff. He should always look for Romario before he got the ball. Therefore, he saw the entire field. In addition to breaking as many opposing lines as possible, this is also an important component of this principle: to always have an overview of the entire field.

In this exercise, several components come together to make a line breaking pass possible. On the one hand this is the pre-orientation. Since this is often demanded by trainers, but there are seldom actual points by which one should orientate oneself, the head turns, but only little is perceived.

The minigoals, as well as the striker positioned behind the field, serve as orientation points for the players, whose position they should always know. This allows for quick decision making. Since the minigoals are positioned differently and are rewarded differently, the orientation to the farthest minitor is also implied here.

Awareness of the field, the opponent and the other players then also goes to the next goal of the exercise, which is at least implied: manipulation of the opponent. Although this is not the main focus of this game, the manipulation of the opponent by getting open for a pass is a helpful tool to allow the farthest pass possible.

When the players are aware of their own options, they no longer block passing lanes to each other and even deliberately open them to each other. Since there are no movement restrictions for the players, the halfway-line is also only an implicit help for positioning. The addition to the rule, that the striker’s lay-off should arrive after a laserpass, also tempts players to position themselves more appropriately for receiving lay-offs.

Coaching points

The pre-orientation is, as already mentioned, probably the most important point for the execution of this game principle. The players should be encouraged to adopt an open body position as an aid, and coachings such as “Always look: Wheres is the striker/the minigoal?” For all players involved, the awareness of their own connections becomes greater, the structure becomes more coherent and the players can make decisions even before the ball is controlled.

This coaching point is also very helpful when countering, especially for Red. If the central minigoal is free and you recognize this in time, you can score 3 points from further away. In 11v11, such situations are often seen with players like Pjanic, Pirlo or others, who can find their striker with a pass into deep remarkably quickly.

On the one hand, getting open for a pass is supposed to create space for yourself, but on the other hand, it can also clear pass paths to other players. In this exercise the goal should be to be able to play the striker from as far as possible, so that he can play a file. Thus the players learn to think several steps ahead and to move accordingly.

Of course, there is also the implicit playing of attacks in equal or inferior numbers. Depending on the receptivity of the players (on that specific day), this can of course also be an explicit goal. Just as important, especially for Blue, is counter-pressing after ball loss, or also the defense staggering of Red. Depending on your discretion, these things can also be coached in a more focused way.

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