How to play in triangles

West Ham Academy Director Tony Carr believes that beating your opponent is a vital skill to teach youth players. One of the best ways to get players to pass past an opponent is to teach them the wall pass. This means your team can play in small triangles all over the pitch to gain advantage and create goal scoring opportunities.

"It is important that you arm your players with the skills to create space by taking a player from the other team out of the game," Tony recently told Better Soccer Coaching.

The wall pass is one of the quickest and most perfect tactics in soccer.

The player who is running with the ball avoids a tackle from an opponent by passing to a stationary or running team-mate, who acts as a wall by bouncing the ball back to the player who has now run clear.

The second player has to calculate, in a split-second, the weight and direction to give the ball and anticipate exactly where his team mate will end his run. If we had to make a geometric drawing of the wall pass it would form a perfect triangle.

This is the best way to give your players the simple skill of the wall pass.

Set up two rows of players, A and B, with a mannequin in the middle. They should be about 10 yards away from the mannequin. Put player C about two yards to the side of the mannequin.

Player A runs at the mannequin and, just before he gets to it, he passes to player C then continues beyond the mannequin to get the return pass. He then gives the ball to player B who does the same thing.

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