#In possession

Keeping possession of the ball

Angelo Schirinzi, 21 Mar 2023


This exercise works on keeping possession of the ball when a team have a numerical advantage, with an emphasis on players’ quality of movement to make themselves available.


  • This exercise requires 6 outfield players (organised into a 4v2), plus 2 goalkeepers.

  • Set up a playing area, the size of which can be adapted to achieve the desired level of difficulty.

  • Place the outfield players inside the playing area, with the 2 goalkeepers around the outside as support players for the team in possession.


  • This exercise uses a 6v2 piggy in the middle to work on keeping possession of the ball.

  • The team with the numerical advantage attempt to keep possession of the ball by playing passes in the air and on the ground, while the two opponents apply a low intensity press. The outfield players can move around inside the playing area and use the support players around the outside.

  • The in‑possession players should try to find their team‑mate with the most time and space to give them the best possible chance of receiving and playing the ball.


  • Option of adding 2 more defenders into the playing area to create a 6v4.

Coaching points

  • The in‑possession team players without the ball should work on their movement to make themselves available to receive the ball. For their part, the player on the ball should analyse the situation to find their team‑mate who is in the best possible situation to receive the ball.

  • Encourage the players to vary their passes by playing the ball in the air and on the ground.

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