AYSO Region 104

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FineSoccer Drill 127 - 3 v 1 the Correct Way

Today’s activity is one that is used by most coaches but with, what I consider, to be a huge mistake built into it.

Three versus 1 (also known as 3 v 1) is frequently done in a confined area and the objective is for the 3 players to try to keep (possess) the ball away from the 1 defender. To see a basic set up, see the diagram below. Some people play with limited touches (for example with one touch the three players can only touch the ball one time before someone else must touch the ball). Others play where whichever player loses the ball becomes the next defender etc. The different variations are excellent and can be used to emphasize different aspects of the game.

The problem with the way most people play 3 v 1 is in the basic set up. The three players start in corners and someone moves to the open corner on each pass (see diagram below).

The reason this is a problem is that it doesn’t encourage the offensive players to expand their options as it limits the passing and support angles to 90 degrees. If, instead of starting in corners the players start in the middle of each line, they have 180 degrees to work with instead of 90 degrees and this is much more realistic for players who play out wide and work on the touch line. If a player does get caught in a corner, they try to work their way out of the corner and open up their options again. See diagram below to how players playing from the middle can open up their options.

Really emphasize the importance of using all 180 degrees next time you play 3 v 1 or 4 v 2 and see how the options open up.

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