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North South East West

Activity & Set Up

Field Setup: Create a square playing area suitable for a small-sided game. Mark each side of the square clearly to indicate the directional play for each team. Place one player from each team outside of the square on their respective sides: one blue player at the North and South ends, and one green player at the East and West ends.

Teams: There are two teams of five players each. Inside the square, three blue players face off against three green players in a bid to retain possession. Each team has two additional players stationed outside the square on opposite sides, aligned with the direction they are playing.

Activity: The three players from each team inside the square aim to maintain possession and score points by successfully passing the ball to their teammates positioned outside the square. The blue team scores by passing the ball from the inside player to their teammate on the North side and then to the one on the South side, while the green team scores by passing from East to West. The activity is continuous, with teams aiming to quickly switch the point of attack to their outside players while preventing the opposition from intercepting.

Coaching Principles

This activity focuses on developing players’ ability to penetrate the opponent’s defensive structure by maintaining possession and utilizing supporting players positioned outside of the main play area. The key principles are penetrating a compact defense by using width and depth, as well as encouraging supporting movements off the ball to provide passing options and create scoring opportunities.

Variations & Progressions

Require teams to complete a one-two pass with an outside player before the point is awarded, emphasizing quick support play and penetration with combination passing. The outside player must play the ball back in with only one touch. To make it even more difficult require the pass be to a different player than the one who made the pass.

After making a successful pass to an outside teammate, the player who passed the ball must quickly exit the square and replace the position of the outside player they passed to. The outside player then moves into the square. This rotation demands quick adaptation, constant movement, and versatile playing skills as players switch between different roles and perspectives on the field.

Once a player inside the square passes the ball to an outside teammate, they cannot pass it back to the same outside player. Instead, they must find a way to pass to their other outside teammate on the opposite side of the square. This rule encourages players to switch the play and utilize the full area, enhancing their awareness and ability to create space.

Coaching Points

Encourage the inside players to move dynamically, creating angles and opportunities for the ball carrier to penetrate the opposition’s structure with a pass to the outside players.

Players should exploit the full width and depth of the playing area, using their outside players to stretch the defense and create spaces within the defensive block.

  • Players must constantly communicate and stay aware of their teammates’ positions, ensuring that they provide support and options for the ball carrier to maintain fluid play.