Support is a fundamental attacking principle in soccer that emphasizes providing options for the player in possession of the ball. This principle aims to maintain possession, relieve pressure, and create attacking opportunities through effective off-the-ball movement, positioning, and communication among teammates.
Benefits of Support
The successful implementation of Support in a team’s attacking play offers several advantages:
Better ball retention: By providing multiple passing options for the player in possession, teams can maintain control of the ball and dictate the tempo of the game.
Attacking fluidity: Effective support enables teams to create dynamic and unpredictable attacking patterns, making it more difficult for the opposition to defend against.
Space creation: As teammates move to support the player in possession, they can draw opponents out of position and create space for others to exploit.
Pressure relief: When players offer support, they give their teammates the opportunity to escape pressure situations and make better decisions on the ball.
Key Concepts of Support
To effectively implement the principle of Support, coaches must teach players the importance of the following concepts:
Off-the-ball movement: Players should constantly move off the ball, looking for space and positioning themselves to receive a pass or create space for teammates.
Communication: Effective communication, both verbal and non-verbal, is essential for coordinating support movements and ensuring teammates are aware of each other’s positions and intentions.
Spatial awareness: Players must develop an understanding of their surroundings and be able to identify where support is needed or where they can exploit space.
Decision-making: Successful implementation of Support requires players to make quick decisions based on their teammates’ positions, the opposition’s defensive shape, and the dynamic nature of the game.