3v3 soccer strategy

3v3 Soccer Strategy – Best Drills, Skills, And Tips For 3v3 Soccer

Whenever we talk about soccer, most of the players think about the 11v11 standard soccer. But, 3v3 soccer is an unusual and dynamic experience that needs sharp thinking, fast skills, and an offensive strategy. With the help of the 3v3 soccer strategy, you can improve your game in any format.

The 3v3 provides a fast-paced game that will improve your soccer skills. Here are the best strategies, drills, skills, and tips for 3v3 soccer.

The Basics of 3v3 Soccer Strategy

The traditional game of soccer is simplified into a game of 3v3. The game takes place on a smaller field with three players on each team. The goal is smaller, and the matches are typically shorter, lasting 12 minutes or until a certain number of goals are scored.

The basic 3v3 soccer.

In 3v3 soccer, There is no particular place for any player. Roles may shift between offense and defense rapidly, requiring adaptability from all players.

Offensive Strategies For 3v3 Soccer

For a better 3v3 soccer strategy, effective offensive strategies are essential. Quick ball movement, sharp passes, and well-timed runs are crucial.

Understanding how to create scoring opportunities with limited space is key. Let us discuss some offensive skills.

Quick Passing and Movement

In 3v3 soccer, the ball should move faster than the players. Quick, short passes between teammates can create openings in the opposing defense.

Players should constantly be on the move, making themselves available for passes.

Use the Walls

In indoor 3v3 soccer, you can use the walls to your advantage. Pass the ball off the boards to create unpredictable angles and keep the defense guessing.

1-2 Passing Combinations

Implementing 1-2 passes, also known as give-and-go’s, can be highly effective.

One player passes the ball and immediately makes a run to receive it back, often behind the defense.

Overlaps and Switching Play

Overlaps and Switching Play

Encourage players to overlap and switch positions. This movement can confuse the defense and open up space for a shot on goal.

Dribbling Skills

Players with strong dribbling skills can take on defenders one-on-one. Quick dribbles and skillful maneuvers can break down the defense and create goal-scoring opportunities.

Screening and Creating Space

Use your body to shield the ball from opponents. Creating space for a shot is crucial. By positioning yourself between the defender and the ball, you can buy time and create a shooting lane.

Quick Shots

In 3v3 soccer, there’s often little time for a perfect setup. Taking quick shots when an opportunity presents itself can catch the goalkeeper off guard and result in a goal.

Rebounds and Second Chances

With a smaller goal, rebounds can be more common. Encourage your team to follow up on their shots and capitalize on any rebounds or deflections.

See Also Best Formations For 9v9

Defensive Strategies For 3v3 Soccer

A solid defense is as important as a potent offense. High pressure, quick transitions, and maintaining the team’s shape are vital aspects of a successful defense in a 3v3 soccer strategy.

Defensive Strategy For 3v3 Soccer

High Pressure

Apply pressure on the opponent as soon as they enter your half. Forcing them to make quick decisions and mistakes can disrupt their offensive flow.

Stay Compact

Keep your team compact and maintain a defensive shape. By closing down space, you reduce the opponent’s options and make it harder for them to penetrate your defense.


Effective communication is vital in defense. Players should constantly talk to each other, besides marking opponents and signaling who’s responsible for which attacker.

Quick Transitions

Quick Transitions

Be prepared to transition from defense to offense and vice versa swiftly. Quick turnovers are common in 3v3 soccer, so your team must adapt rapidly.

Anticipate Passes

Try to read the opponent’s passes and interceptions. By anticipating their intentions, you can position yourself to intercept or block passes.

Pressure the Ball Carrier

Apply pressure on the player with the ball, making it difficult for them to pass or shoot. Close them down quickly, but avoid overcommitting.


When necessary, consider double-teaming the opponent with the ball. This can overwhelm them and force turnovers.

Marking and Covering

Assign specific roles for players to mark and cover opponents. The marker should stick closely to the opponent while the cover player anticipates and intercepts passes.

Defend the Goal

Protect your goalkeeper and the goal. Block passing lanes and shots while ensuring the goalkeeper has a clear view of the ball.

Clearances and Blocks

Don’t hesitate to clear the ball if the situation calls for it. Blocking shots and passes can prevent goals, and it’s a valid defensive tactic in 3v3 soccer.

See Also 8v8 Soccer Formations 

best drills for 3v3 soccer

3v3 Soccer Drills

Improvement comes from practice. We’ll outline some effective drills and exercises that can help you and your team sharpen your skills and teamwork.

Passing Drill

One fundamental 3v3 soccer drill is the Triangle Passing exercise, which emphasizes quick ball movement and precise passing. Players form a triangular shape and practice passing the ball swiftly and accurately amongst themselves.

Finishing Drill

A crucial aspect of soccer is finishing under pressure. This drill hones players’ goal-scoring skills, teaching them to remain composed in front of the net even when under defensive pressure. Players practice various shooting techniques to enhance their scoring abilities.

See Also Best Formations For 11v11 Soccer

best skills for 3v3 Soccer

Here are some of the best skills that will improve your game for 3v3 soccer.

3v3 Skills

Close Ball Control

Mastering close ball control is crucial in 3v3 soccer. Players should be comfortable dribbling in tight spaces to navigate through opponents and maintain possession.

Quick Passing

In a small-sided game like 3v3, quick and accurate passing is essential. Players should practice one-touch passes and short combinations to keep the ball moving efficiently.

1v1 Defending Skills

In a 3v3 soccer strategy, individual defending is crucial. Players should work on their 1v1 defending skills, including jockeying, timing tackles, and maintaining a defensive stance to disrupt opponents’ attacks.

Quick Decision-Making

The fast-paced nature of 3v3 requires quick decision-making. Players should train to assess situations rapidly, whether it’s deciding to dribble, pass, or take a shot on goal.

Teamwork and Overlapping Runs

Effective teamwork is a fundamental skill in 3v3 soccer. Players should practice overlapping runs to create space and passing options for teammates, promoting cohesive attacking strategies.

Change of Direction

Change of Direction

The ability to change direction swiftly is a valuable skill in 3v3 soccer. Players should work on quick turns and agile movements to evade defenders and create opportunities.

Attacking Transition

Players should practice transitioning quickly from defense to attack. Rapid changes in possession require players to switch from defensive to offensive mindsets efficiently.

8 best tips for 3v3 soccer

These tips will help you to play 3v3 efficiently. These tips can also be helpful for other small-sized games like 5v5, 7v7, and 6v6 soccer.

3v3 soccer tips

Understand Roles and Responsibilities

Each player in a 3v3 team has specific roles and responsibilities. Understand your role, whether it’s creating chances, defending, or scoring goals, and work collaboratively with your teammates to achieve success.

Exploit Open Spaces

Be aware of the available space on the field. Exploit open areas to create passing lanes, receive the ball, or make attacking runs. Spatial awareness is crucial for effective gameplay.

Learn from Mistakes

Mistakes happen in soccer. Learn from your mistakes and use them as opportunities for improvement. Analyze what went wrong and adjust your gameplay accordingly.

Practice Shooting Under Pressure

Practice Shooting Under Pressure

Develop your goal-scoring skills by practicing shooting under pressure. Work on various finishing techniques to become clinical in front of the goal, especially when faced with defensive challenges.

Fitness and Endurance

3v3 soccer strategy is physically demanding due to the constant movement and intensity. Focus on fitness and endurance to sustain a high level of performance throughout the game.


What does 3v3 mean in soccer?

3v3 soccer is a type of soccer that is played between two teams. Each team is limited to three players on the pitch at any given moment (thus the names “3 v 3,” “3 versus 3,” or “3 on 3”).

What is the 3v3 strategy in soccer?

The idea is for one defender to cover the ball while the other two mark the opposing players. The other two defenders will also assist by blocking passing lanes. This method enables you to restrain the opposition while waiting for the appropriate moment to reclaim control of the ball.

What is a penalty kick in 3v3?

Penalty kicks are taken DIRECTLY from the center of the midfield, with all players (on both teams) behind the midfield.

Is there offside in 3v3 Soccer?

There is no offside in 3v3 Soccer, because of the small field and less number of players.

Is there a goalie in 3v3?

There are no goalkeepers in 3v3. The goal and ground are small players who change their positions dynamically.


3v3 soccer is a dynamic and exhilarating version of the sport that requires skill, teamwork, and a deep understanding of the game. By following the strategies, tactics, and tips outlined in this article, you can enhance your performance and truly enjoy the world of 3v3 soccer.

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