Session 5 - 11 12 - 16

3v3 one-way attack

    Ian Parkes, FA youth coach developer (futsal lead), shares a practice that helps players improve their passing and receiving skills.

    Key objectives

    Players will develop their understanding of:

    • how to receive and face forward
    • how to combine with teammates in tight areas.

    3v3 one-way attack

    Session plan

    Want to try this with your team? Download the session plan and give it a go.


    Set up an area that’s appropriate for your players’ age and developmental stage. In our example, we’re using a full futsal court with a goal at each end.

    For this practice, we have 14 players – two teams of six and two goalkeepers. Both sides then separate into two 3v3 games, one taking place in each half. So, three Team A players face three Team B players, plus a keeper.

    How to play

    The aim of the game is to combine with teammates to score.

    This activity starts with the attacking team (in both halves) dribbling or passing the ball from the halfway line. They work together to beat their opponents and score. If they do, they get a point and start from the halfway line to try again.

    If the defending team wins the ball, they must stop it on the halfway line instead of shooting. If they do this, they become the attackers, with the other side becoming defenders. Each time the defending team gets the ball and stops it on the halfway line, the switch happens again.

    Play for four minutes, then add the scores together from both pitches to make a team total. Note teams can only get points by scoring when they’re the attacking team.


    If your players master your activity – or find it too hard – try adding a progression. Possible options include:

    • play 4v3 in one half and 2v3 in the other
    • progress into one game with one ball, so the three defenders have to win the ball and play it to their three attackers.

    But remember, learning takes time. So don’t alter your activity too quickly – or too much. Try using the STEP framework (Youth Sports Trust, 2002). This helps keep things fun, engaging and appropriate.

    Plan to use this with your team? Let us know how you get on by posting in the England Football Community forums.

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