There are many key plays that can help a soccer team look better on the field. Most of these plays require a lot of practice and communication amount players. Passing and movement without the ball are the critical components to execute a play during a game.
One important play is a “give and go”. This move requires two players; where one player passes the ball and moves to another position on the field where he expects to get the ball back. I will go into details about what it means to complete a “give and go” and will explain what you need to consider doing it right!
Diagram and Visual Representation
In the following diagram, you will see how a “give and go” can occur on the field. This play is typically completely between fullback and midfielder, winger and midfielder, midfielder and forward, or even forward and forward.
When it comes to a give and go, players should know exactly what is going on and what is about to happen. This is talked before the game and during practice; I emphasize a lot about “communication” in most of my articles because it is key to successfully complete certain plays during the game.
“Automatic Communication” is my own term and I refer to verbal or non-verbal communication that MUST occur at all times. Remember that soccer is a team sport and, as in any team or group, members need to communicate with one another so that everyone is on the same page. How can we expect to complete a “give and go” without planning it? It just doesn’t work that way. So, make sure you talk to your friends and plan ahead!
Movement Without the Ball
The player making the first pass is responsible for moving after the ball is passed. Usually this player should make a signal to indicate where he is going and where he wants the ball. A simple “hey” or “back here” or “through ball” can set up the “give and go”.
This movement without the ball has a “domino effect”. The opponent team’s defenders now have to make decisions, whether to follow the player making the run or stay with the player that has the ball. This confusion will lead to OPTIONS for the player that has the ball. The ball doesn’t necessarily have to go to the player making the run; it can go to another player that is now FREE because a defender went after the player making the run.
I would definitely recommend coaches to practice this a lot with players because “movement without the ball” is critical to have a team that can create spaces and opportunities from different parts of the field.
Pass into the Space
This is the most critical part of a “give and go” because without a precise pass, the play cannot be completed. Things you need to consider when passing the ball into the space include:
- Where is your teammate moving to? – Make sure you know where he is going.
- How fast is your teammate running? – Don’t slow him down, play “into the space” NOT “square.
- Where are the opponents/defenders? – Your pass has to go AWAY from the defenders
- Power on the pass – Be aware of the field condition (high grass, turf, natural-low grass, wet grass)
There is no doubt that “passing the ball into the space” will lead to great opportunities to score and the team will look great.
Watch and Learn! – This Can Never Go Wrong.
If you are familiar with my articles, you know that my recommendations never skip WATCHING SOCCER. Learn about “give and go” plays from professional soccer players. On the next soccer match that you watch, see if you can identify when a Give and Go takes place and see if you can identify the concepts explained in this article.
No matter what level you play at, when you have the basics about this important play, you will improve your performance. Remember to communicate with your teammates in order to show off your new skills!!