The most simple support system has one player either side of the ball carrier. This tripod formation means that the ball carrier can turn either way in contact or before contact to find support. However the system only works if the supporting players react correctly. This session creates situations for the supporters to read the movements of the ball carrier.
Warm up time: 7-10 Session time: 20-25 Development time: 10-15 Game time: 10-15 Warm down time: 7-10
What to think about
Are the support players reading the ball carrier’s body movements and reacting to this?Ask the support players what they notice about the ball carrier’s movements before he changes direction. If he drops his right shoulder before moving left, the support players should see this initial movement and react.
Does the ball carrier use a variety of passes depending on the situation?Make sure the initial ball carrier is faced with a number of defensive situations, where he has to pass to both sides, using a variety of passing options including one handed.
When the ball carrier moves everyone else reacts.
Supporting players: keep some depth and width enabling you to deal with any situation that occurs.
Look to offload the ball to support players and keep forward momentum all the way to the line.
What you get your players to do
Split your squad into groups of three attackers and two defenders with contact shields. The middle attacker starts with the ball and attacks the two defenders. He has a number of options to beat the two defenders. He can use evasion, passing or contact skills. He can draw and pass the ball, or actively try and beat the defenders or take contact and offload.
The two other attackers keep a triangle “tripod” shape and react to the ball carrier. They are in the best position to do this if they maintain some depth and a bit of width.
The starting position of the attack.
Add two more defenders and three more attackers, but keep the same tripod formation.
Encourage the players to develop situations where the tripod formation can be used from restarts or in game play.
The ball carrier has decided to attack one of the defenders. The other reacts as do the two support players who change their angle of running.
Play a game where you overload the attack 6 v 4. The six attackers must try to get into a formation where there are two to three front line players with the supporters forming a second line. This second line of players is crucial as they can take passes at pace, run at good angles for space and support the front line when contact is made.
The players will find it easier from a restart but will have to work hard at getting into the right formation from phase play. Start with touch before moving into full contact.
In this scenario the ball carrier has taken contact. The two support players react by angling in on the contact point to receive an off load or drive.
What to call out
“Move towards a space, not the defender”
“See how the defenders react, before making a decision”
“The supporting player starts in front of the ball carrier, while the defender has his back to the attack. When you shout play, with the supporting player walking forward and the defender out of position, the players will have to think quickly to come up with winning solutions.” MORE
Develop ball carriers with some grit and determination to power through the tackle situation. If they don’t break the tackle, at least they provide a good target for their support players. This session creates ways to test their mettle. MORE