Academy Coach Course

Support in the Game

What does Support look like

Support is a key attacking principle in soccer. It refers to the positioning and movement of players without the ball to assist the ball carrier. Support players offer options for passing, help maintain possession, create spaces, and facilitate combination play.

Support is about making oneself available and usable, and it requires understanding of the game, anticipation, and effective communication.

Now, let’s consider some specific scenarios that illustrate successful execution of the attacking principle of support:

Tactical Knowledge

To apply Support effectively, players must develop a strong understanding of the following tactical concepts:

Positioning: Players should know when and where to position themselves to offer optimal support to their teammates.

Reading the game: The ability to read the opposition’s defensive movements and adapt support accordingly is crucial for successful Support.

Decision-making: Players must make quick decisions, such as when to offer support or when to make a forward run, based on the dynamic nature of the game.

Anticipation: The ability to read the game and anticipate teammates’ and opponents’ movements is essential for providing timely and effective support.


Effective communication and teamwork are essential for successfully implementing Support. Players should:

Use verbal cues: Players must communicate their intentions and positions to teammates to ensure that support is provided when needed.

Employ non-verbal communication: Body language, such as pointing or signalling, can help convey information and synchronize movements on the field.

Be aware of teammates’ positions: Players should have a clear understanding of where their teammates are on the field to make effective decisions and provide support.

Develop chemistry: Building a strong rapport and understanding among teammates will improve the fluidity and effectiveness of Support implementation.

Technical skills players will need

To effectively implement Support, players must possess the following technical skills:

Passing: Players should be proficient in short and medium-range passing, including ground passes and lofted passes, to maintain possession and build attacks.

Receiving: The ability to control the ball under pressure, shield it from opponents, and maintain possession is crucial.

Vision: Recognizing when and where to offer support requires players to have good spatial awareness and understanding of their teammates’ positions.

Off-the-ball movement: Players must be able to move off the ball effectively, creating space for themselves and their teammates.

Communication: Verbal and non-verbal communication is essential for coordinating movements and ensuring that support is provided when needed.


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