Coach breakaway soccer skills

Often in youth soccer matches, the game is turned when you least expect it. Use these soccer coaching tips to get players making the most of a potential breakaway situation.

Imagine this situation, the opposition have a corner and your defender wins the ball. If they can pass accurately up the pitch beyond the opposition midfield, your attackers have an opportunity to chase the ball down and head for goal.

If you have one attacker working back from the centre circle, and the other halfway between them and the penalty area, they have a good chance to gain possession directly from a clearance and set one or the other free for a run on goal.

Breakaways change games and should be practised.You need to use realistic situations such as the following soccer drill, where you play a ball in favour of the attacker with the defender trying to get back.

Soccer coaching tips for attacking and defending breakaways

How to run the drill

  • Set up this breakaway drill on a 30 x 40 yard pitch with a goal at either end. You need two teams of players at each end of the pitch – in the diagram I have used two teams of five players and split them into three attackers and two defenders.

  • By the two goals one team has attackers and the other team has defenders – the defenders start about 5 yards behind the first player from the attackers. Set both ends up the same.
  • You play the pass for the attacker to run onto, chased by the defender. As soon as this play is finished the players the other end do the same. You can pass the ball from the position you are in or use a helper at the other end.
  • Every third or fourth ball, you should call the defender to move up next to the attacker or play a ball slightly favouring the goalkeeper to see if the keeper is alert enough to come off of their line.

Click here for a soccer drill to get your midfielders defending, then attacking.

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