Playing in 5 Corridors using the 1-3-3-1-1

The following comes from Soccer Awareness eBook: Tactical Thoughts on the Development of the New 4 v 4, 7 v 7 and 9 v 9 Game Sizes. 

This 407 page eBook shows how these different size games can be taught and also shows different systems of play that might be useful to you. Run with them as you may and of course come up with your own solutions too as that is what coaching is all about. I have introduced the use of RONDOS to initially aid the development of players for the game situation. Click Here to Buy the Book


  • The beauty of the corridor and zones idea is it can be used for ANY system of play you want to develop so one or two systems shown here can show you how to use it effectively.
  • Using Corridors is a great way to work out individual and collective field positioning as a team both offensively and defensively and it also gives players real a “focal point” to work off. 
  • We use “Corridors” width wise and then introduce “Zones” lengthwise later.
  • These “focal points of reference” I believe are a great way to really teach players to understand the differences between attacking and defending team shapes both widthwise and lengthwise.
  • Particularly in defensive set ups (in my opinion); it shows players how to mark in zones and how much tighter it should be than they will likely imagine and especially shows those players furthest from the ball defensively how important zonal marking is. 
  • Example, the balls is on our left with the other team and our right back is marking the opponents opposite side winger far too wide, by having designated lines this becomes much clearer to understand.

Set a Condition to Establish a Theme

Playing in 5 Corridors to help define the positioning of players. Now the players CANNOT pass the ball forward in the same corridors so no one receives the ball facing backwards. Every pass forward is at an angle. But players can pass to the side or backwards in a straight line. Here (6) cannot pass the ball directly to (10).

playing in 5 corridors

Condition 1 to force an angled passing theme

Now the players CANNOT pass the ball forward in the same corridor so no one receives the ball facing backwards. So players begin to position at angles to each other to receive the ball and try to get at least side on to have a greater peripheral vision of the field. Here (10) moves to be able to receive the ball.

force an angled pass theme

Condition 2 to allow a straight pass

New Condition: you can pass forward in the same corridor if a player runs into it as the ball arrives so they are facing forward as they receive it and running. 


Condition Two: Creates / almost forces players to rotate and interchange positions

Now players can interchange to create space for each other which should pose problems for marking opponents. Just by setting this condition players HAVE to move to receive the ball. (2) and (3) tuck in to be solid defensively.

Could also pass to (9) if he or she have gotten free.

Can develop 2, 3 and 4 player rotations from this one idea / condition.


Another idea using the condition set

Could also pass at an angle to (9) if he or she have gotten free. Can develop 2, 3 and 4 player rotations from this one idea / condition, example; (6) on the ball can play to three potential players on the move. Straight to (11) as (11) has moved from a different Corridor or to (9) or (10) as they have moved away from the straight pass into a different Corridor.