#In possession

Changing the speed of play

Angelo Schirinzi, 21 Mar 2023


This exercise works on changing the speed of play in the possession phase. The aim of the exercise is to help players to understand when to increase the speed of play to destabilise the opposition with a quick and direct attacking move.


  • The exercise requires 6 outfield players and 2 goalkeepers.

  • Use the full pitch and both goals.

  • Set up two courts on the edge of one of the penalty areas (one on the left and one on the right).

  • Create a scenario with 2 attackers v. 1 defender in each court.

  • Place a goalkeeper in each goal and an attacker in the penalty area at the opposite end of the pitch to the two courts. 


  • The goalkeeper plays a short throw‑out to one of the in-possession players inside one of the two courts.The two in‑possession players exchange short passes with a view to slowing the speed of play. 
  • After completing several passes, one of the pair darts in behind the defender to latch on to their team-mate’s long ball and can either finish on goal themselves or set up their attacking team-mate positioned in the penalty area. The defender should provide low intensity opposition to their opponents’ passes.
  • Players positioned at the courts to the right and left of the penalty area take it in turns to perform the sequence.


  • After completing several passes, one of the in‑possession players plays a backpass to the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper then quickly plays a long throw‑out towards a player from the court on the opposite side of the pitch, who takes up a position on the touchline, level with the imaginary halfway line. This player can either take a shot on goal or set up the attacker situated in the penalty area.

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