Winning the positional SSG’s

Individual development = Team Development

I am a keen believer that Individual Development is the key to Team Development and that one thing feeds the other.

Why? – because improving the individuals will make your team stronger, more focused and motivated in parts and therefore strengthening the whole.

For me, it is common sense that sending players onto the pitch who are confident in their ability and have clarity (on their role in the team) is giving you every opportunity for the team to perform.

But – why this obsession with individual development and decision making?

Well – when you look at the bigger game of 11v11 it is divided into small games of 1v1 or 2v1/3v2 situations.

The next time you watch a game on TV, try to press “Pause” and look at the game in a 20x20yd area around the ball. 

Therefore, coaching how to act, make decisions and dominate these small games within the 11v11 is essential to your success as a team.

I am a believer that we need to develop players that are comfortable in playing 1v1 in all facets of the game – but – that are always thinking in 2v1 and how to combine or how to support a team mate. 

They key thing to remember is – In all facets of the game – not just in possession.

See the pictures below for a breakdown of some positional SSG’s within the 11v11 game and some ideas for you to consider in regards to the technical, physical, tactical and psychological qualities needed for your players to be successful.


Different formations bring different problems to solve


Once you are aware of the opponents formation – you can now break down the game for your players from the simple 1v1 (win your 1v1, make it personal etc) to more complex situations of 2v1, units, sides of the pitch etc……


Its often said that winning the midfield is key to dominating any game.

  • How do your midfielders compliment each other?,
  • What problems does the shape of the opponents midfield create for your team?
  • How can you create overload situations in possession and gain an extra player in the centre of the field?



How obsessed are your team with finding your match winners and goal scorers?

Are all 1v1s in the game a 50/50 situation?

For example, any defender going 1v1 against Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo is not involved in a 50/50 situation due to the sheer brilliance of their opponent.

Therefore, where are your teams 70/30 situations? how often can you get the ball to these players so that they can create for your team?



Do you enjoy building your attacks from the goalkeeper or defence?

What are you up against?

How many forwards does the opponents have?

How can you play out in this situation?


But always remember – There is a difference between PLAYING from the back and PLAYING at the back. Your team must be progressive and looking to play forward and through the pitch 

The above is just my opinion on how i see the game and how i like to speak with the players to develop their understanding and qualities to face any situation.

In the following weeks, I will elaborate on this more with greater detail of how i like to develop each players 1v1 football identity/personality and what rules your players need to adopt in 2v1/3v2 situations………..

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