Training for Team Play

To become a professional player, you must learn how to apply the correct technique at the right time in response to the “live” situation on the field of play.  This game sense supports good decision making, which in turn allows for effective possession when in control of the ball (BP – ball possession) and we are attacking as a team.  Likewise, it allows you to restrict and pressure the opposition when they have the ball (BPO – ball possession opposition) and we are defending as a team.

Effective team play is important in both attack and defence, as well as in those moments that ball possession is won or lost (transition).  A solid understanding of the player’s role in all of these situations, taking into account environmental factors (such as the location of the ball and your opponent/s), enables the correct decisions to be made.  Specific functional training for team play as outlined in the below table will allow players to develop the correct understanding.

Team Defending Team Attacking Team Play
Press, Support, Balance Creativity Bounce pass
Rest defence Playing direct / attacking third Third man runs
Playing systems Finishing in the box After the pass
Set pieces Set pieces Off the Ball
Transition Transition Ball speed