Passing, Support Play and Shooting in a 2 v 2

The following drill is from Soccer Awareness eBook 8: Small-Sided Games for Strikers.

This 54 page eBook combines striker training with small-sided games into eight full training sessions, each with coaching points, multiple progressions and developments.

Striker movement is one of the greatest and most difficult ARTS to master. The situation is constantly changing and the striker is constantly moving to create space for him or herself but also for teammates.

Small-sided games are important in the development of younger players through increased touches with the ball and more experience with basic tactical challenges.

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2 v 2 drill
  1. A highly competitive 2 v 2 situation now where combination plays are what the players need to produce to help them score goals.
  2. Can include takeovers, overlaps, 1-2’s, diagonal runs in front of the ball.
  3. If a player is particularly good at dribbling the movement of the support player could be away from a support position to take the other defender away too. This will leave a 1 v 1 situation with no support for the defender.
  4. The player on the ball must consider each movement of their teammate and act accordingly. There are two choices a) pass to the supporting player or b) use the movement of the supporting player as a decoy to create space for the player on the ball. Which choice to make can depend on the reaction of the opponents and where they move to?
  5. You can have a keeper in each goal so it is a 2 v 2 and both sets of two can attack and defend.

Passing And Support Play In A 2 v 2

passing and support play in a 2 v 2
  1. Here we have 2 keepers in also where the 2 v 2 is a game situation.
  2. You can apply this set up to all the following diagrams showing 2 v 2, 3 v 2 and 3 v 3 set ups and what technique they are practicing in each one.
  3. This means it is more game related and both teams get the chance to attack and work on the technical situation they are practicing.
  4. The reason I show the set ups without keepers is to show how you can train with small numbers of players, if you have two extra you can use them as keepers and rotate the players so each has a go as an outfield player also.

A 3 v 2 Situation

3 v 2 drill
  1. With this overload situation it is a very good opportunity to practice overlaps, 1 – 2’s, diagonal runs in front of the ball and takeovers.
  2. (A) Or (B) pass the ball into any of the three attackers and close them down as the ball travels. Try to create a 2 v 1 set up somewhere on the field of play from the 3 v 2 situation.
  3. If it proves difficult to set up and execute successfully start with a 3 v 1 situation then go to a 3 v 2 when it starts to work regularly.
  4. Players can make their plays using each other’s movement as a decoy as well as an exchange of possession of the ball.
  5. Playing offside makes this set up more realistic.
  6. Condition the attacking players where they can only score with two touches (or only one touch if possible).
  7. The above set up shows a typical overlap situation. (1) Can make two decisions; to pass to (2) on the overlap or use (2)’s run to take (B) out of position and come inside with the ball creating a 2 v 1 against (A).
  8. It is important for players to realize (in this case player 2) that they make runs to create space for themselves and also for their teammates.


2 v 2 drill development

Introduce keepers and increase the size of the goals to make the set up more realistic. You can have keepers in from the beginning al-so if you wish. With more numbers have the players rotate on and off in 3 v 2 situations. You may need to make a 4 v 2 situation depending on the ability of the players. You can show them tried and tested ways to create overload situations (as previously shown) to begin then let it go free and see them use their own imagination. Rotate players so defenders get the chance to be attackers and attackers to be defenders. Rotate keepers.

Competitive: Each team has 10 chances to attack and score. An overlap must be performed in each attack, either used as an overlap or used as a decoy. Which team can score the most goals???

Develop: Change the game to a 3 v 3 where it is equal numbers but only when the players are ready for this and can have success with it.

Get more like this in Soccer Awareness eBook 8: Small-Sided Games for Strikers