Soccer coaching drill to outwit attackers

This simple drill will enable your players to practise the skills needed to outwit an attacker who is running straight at them.

How to play it

Split your players into four groups. Create four lanes approximately five yards wide, running from the halfway line to the edge of the penalty area. Begin with a defender and several attackers in each lane.

The drill begins with the first attacker passing to, and receiving the ball back from, the defender. The attacker then dribbles at the retreating defender using an array of skills to unbalance him. The defender does not try to win the ball.

After the players in all four lanes have had their turn, return to “lane one” and repeat with the next attacker. Once the defenders have dealt with a couple of attempts, make them switch lanes before rotating in new defenders.

How to develop it

Add a goalkeeper. This time the defender starts a little deeper and tries to win the ball. Meanwhile, the attacker attempts to get close to, or into, the penalty area to take a shot. Keep playing until the defender wins the ball, it’s knocked out of play or the attacker scores.

The development should be run one lane at a time.

Play it in a game

Play a continuous game with two teams and one goalkeeper. Starting from outside the penalty area, each player has a turn at attacking in a 1v1 situation and then immediately defends the next situation before returning to his queue of team mates.

The attacker must score to win a point, while the defender gets a point if he wins the ball, knocks it out of the penalty area or prevents the attacker from shooting for five seconds once they enter the penalty area.

This drill was originally in Smart Sessions football coaching plans – they come in advanced and core versions.

For more soccer coaching tips and products visit Soccer Coaching Club.