Teaching Building Out of the Back

One set of progressions I've picked up that has helped me to teach building out of the back is as follows:

  • Unopposed circulation patterns with backline and holding mid(s)
    • cones set out to show the players EXACTLY where they should be
    • unopposed patterns should be used consistently, but you can add in small variations, or reduce the amount of time you spend on them
  • Backline and holding mid(s) start in offensive spacing vs. light pressure
    • to encourage good spacing, backline and holding mid(s) dribble into small goals to 'score'
      • backline must connect a set number of passes first. I usually start with 5.
    • offensive players can finish on a goal with or without a GK
  • Ramp up the number of players pressuring as the backline improves, until the numbers look game-realistic
  • Have the backline start in defensive spacing (closer together) to force them to expand
  • Have the offensive players start with the ball to force them to win the ball, expand under pressure, and then build out

This has been a fairly robust formula for me, but the real trick is to figure out when to add in another element, or even take a step back to review. I've also tried to find the best time to add in the goalkeeper.