P6. Playing Out From the Back 2

P6. Playing Out From the Back
1hr 45min
Quote of the Session:
Warm Up/Agility 10 mins
Small Sided Game 20 mins
Playing Out the Back with Neutral Full Backs

  1. Develop ability to play out the back.
  2. Develop transition.
  3. Develop general possession skills.


  • 40x35yrd area with 1 full size goal and 3 small gate goals.
  • 7 players (9 with progressions).  2vs2 (+2)+GK.
  • ‘No Press Zone’ using the 18yrd area, where the defending team cannot enter and press.
  • Balls readily available next to the coach positioned on the end of the playing area and by the goal post.


  • 2 Central Defenders (orange) play out from the back using the GK and the two Neutral Full Backs in blue.
  • If the Yellow team win possession they counter with the two blue players on the fullsize goal.
  • GK starts play by passing out to a CB in the’No Press Zone’.
  • Coach can also perform re-starts from the opposite end by feeding the yellow counterattack team.


  • Yellow players cannot enter the ‘No PressZone’.
  • Orange have only 20 seconds to score.  Can be modified as needed.
  • Play for 4 mins and then break for either a 30sec or 1 minutes rest period and rotate roles.

Player Roles

  • 2 CBs play in front of a GK and attempt to combine with the full backs who should be in wide advanced positions. When developing these positions you could select positions for the exercise based on your teams positions. 
  • The Yellow team attacks as the defending team is encourage to counter quickly with the two blue Full Backs on retreiving possession.


  1. Addition of a 3rd defender for the Yellow Team.
  2. Addition of a Central Midfield player (no.6) to the team playing out the back.
  3. Decrease the size of the playing area to make more challenging.
  4. Touch limitations to 1/2 touch for the team playing out the back or remove the ‘No Press Zone’.


  • Orange score in the small gate goals.
  • Yellow score in the full sized goal.

Coaching Points

  • Quick passing and movement with limited touches on the ball.
  • CBs open up wide.
  • Patience.
  • Switching Play.
  • Quick transition from the outside players.
  • Create supporting angles to play out from the back. Look to play forward whenever possible but do NOT force play.
  • Look to Play forward when possible to targets.

Diagram 1 – Set-Up

Basic set-up with the coach positioned on the end line.  Back 4 is arranged in a curved shape.  The two Yellow defending players are positioned behind the ‘No Press Zone’.

Diagram 2 – Building Play
Typical passing pattern to build out the back. The GK plays into the CBs who combine withthe Full Backs switching play when possible to open space to go forward.

Diagram 3 – Progression 1

Addition of a 3rd defender (Yellow Team)who defends behind the ‘No Press Line’.

Diagram 4 – Progression 2

Addition of another midfielder (No.6) who plays in front of the ‘No Press Zone’ and is used to combine and play out from the back.


Vary the size of the playing area to increase or decrease the difficulty level.
Notes & Observations
Use the ‘No Press Line’ as a tool to build confidence for players to play out from the back unopposed.  Expect players to make mistakes and goals to be conceded. Transitions can make this exercise quick and intense.  Supporting angles are important in this activity.
Technical/Tactical 45 mins
Claudio Reyna Passing Circuit

The Set-up:

  • Create a 10 x 10 Diamond with the two lines approximately 10 yards from the top and bottom of the diamond. 
  • There should be a player at each corner of the diamond.
  • The first player in each line should have a ball (2 balls total).

The Exercise

The first player in each line passes the ball into the top & bottom of the Diamond. The players receiving the ball turn to their right. As the player receiving the ball turns, the players at the corner of the Diamond move few yards backwards off of the disc.

: This movement mirrors the movement of a wide player taking up a “side on” position where he/she can see the field.
The player receiving the ball at the corner of the diamond should play with two touches. One touch to prepare the ball and one to pass the ball to the first player in the opposite line.
All players should follow their pass!
Coach should rotate the direction of the movement every three to four minutes.

Coaching Points

  • Crisp passing
  • Turning with the ball
  • Body Shape/Opening up
  • Receiving the ball
  • Taking a look

  • ask all players to “take a look” over their shoulder to the line they will be playing to next before receiving the ball.
  • Have the entry pass that gets played into the Diamond done “first time” (1 touch).
  • Add Keepers (pictured below)

Final Stage

The Exercise: 

The circuit remains the same, but now the players at the corner of the diamond receive the ball and finish it. They should try to do this in two touches, but may take a third touch.

: Additional balls should be added to keep flow of the exercise.

All movements should still be carried out properly!

Small Sided Game 30 mins
  • Two teams with goalkeepers.
  • Playing field of 40x20m
  • One goal at each end
Regular play with minimal coach intervention.

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