Lockdown planning: Exploiting a narrow defence session

If you are able to train, then you will be aiming to improve your players’ skills and tactical appreciation around specific areas of the game.

If you are in lockdown, it’s a chance to hone your session planning in readiness for your return.

In Lockdown planning: Quick ruck ball sessions and Lockdown planning: Preventing quick ruck ball sessions we focused on applying pressure, both in attack and defence.

Let’s consider planning our technical and tactical awareness to exploit a narrow defence. In other words, if there’s an opportunity to attack when the attack has more numbers than the defence. In the simplest terms, that might be a 2 v 1.

These sessions consider 3 v 2s and 4 v 3s and how and when to use the miss pass.

To enhance learning, you are better off focusing on an “arc” of learning for a specific area. This means spreading out the training over a number of weeks, rather than dedicating one session to this.

Here’s a four-week plan for exploiting a narrow defence, but you can split this up into more sections if you want.

Objective: Exploiting a 3 v 2 or 4 v 3, with the option to use a miss pass or dummy.

Week one: Developing miss/long passing skills

Week two: Exploiting a 3 v 2

Week three: Exploiting a 4 v 3

Week four: Alignment and tactical awareness for an overlap

Let’s say you dedicate 15 minutes each week to the activities and assuming you have warmed up, you could use a mix of games and drills.

Each session may include all of the skills from all of the weeks. However, each week focuses on the specific skill, the reasons why it is important and how the players could improve their own contributions.

The mix depends on the skills of your players. Here are four ideas to help.

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