Positional games

Positional Games in football

I consider the Positional Games as one of the powerful tools to teach/coach the game of football to young players and their understanding on when and how to move on the football pitch.

To start we need to answer this quick question, what do we understand by “Positional Games”?

What are positional games?

I understand for a Positional Game those tasks or activities that we will design to help the players in our team to understand their roles and responsibilities when playing the game within their specific positions on a football pitch by using a reduced number of players and a reduced area or space.

As a coach, when I plan a positional game, I always try to add the main principles from our game model and deliver these during the training sessions to work on the main concepts and principles of our game system with a reduced space. We will use this games with numerical superiority to work up ball possession, every player’s position on the pitch and the pressure to recover the ball as soon as possible.

P.S. Positional Games are valid for all ages and competitive levels. (Albert Capellas, 2020).

Positional games goals in football

These type of games can be very flexible when using structures for the space or areas that we can use on them, from a square to a hexagonal area or other type of areas.

The Positional Game can be a very useful tool used by coaches in their training sessions. I do often use this type of game on my training sessions, using different type of areas to help the players with their development and understanding of the space and the game.

During the delivery of a positional game, we can provoke that the players find situations that they are going to find in the competition, giving them the tools and ideas to problem solve the situations they are going to find on the pitch when playing a match.

Positional games tasks.

One of the positional games I use on my coaching is this 4v4+3 game. The game allows me to work on the 4 phases of the game: in possession (red players), out of possession (blue players), counter press (red players) and counter attack (blue players).

This game can vary from week to week on the rules without changing the format or shape of the game, just changing some of the rules for the players.

For example, one week could be that blue team after regaining secure 4 passes inside the box (to force red team players to press forward) and another week the same blue team has to aim to travel outside the square with the ball (to force red players to block and intercept runs).

Positional Games in football

My last point on these games is how much beneficial they are for correcting the body shape of players to receive the ball to play the next pass. The players have to always be orientated to play the next available pass with the aim of maintain possession or progress in the attack.

Hopefully this inside help you to develop similar type of games.

Written by Fran Constancio, football coach at Northampton Town FC and responsible of goTeam! Sports at UK.

fran constancio

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