A triangle game to encourage dribbling shooting and defending

This game from Tony Carr, Academy Director, West Ham United, English Premier League, uses three players and aims to improve attack and defense skills while focusing on dribbling and shooting.

Soccer coaching tips to boost skills

Use this game to focus on individual soccer skills, such as dribbling, shooting and 1v1 attack and defend. You want to see good technique and skills throughout and you should point out any technical errors to your players as you proceed.

  • Do they have the ball under control?

  • Are they shooting low and hard, placing the ball, or just blasting it at the goalkeeper?

You can progress to a game where these skills are to be applied in a team environment if the team is to be successful.

  • Can your players exploit the spaces?

  • Is their movement good? 

    triangle game, using groups of three players, to test attack and defense skills

In a 30 yard square, arrange your players into groups of three with one nominated goalkeeper per team.

The goalkeeper can be rotated so that everyone has a turn at attacking.

What your players have to do

  • Let the players set out the pitch as in the diagrams – it’s their playground! The game starts with one player from each team attacking the goal to their left.

  • They must dribble and shoot to score past the goalkeeper.
  • Ensure that they use good technique and skills and they play at match intensity.

Tips to advance the players' skills

  • Now each team introduces a defender.

  • The players again take it in turns to attack the goal to their left, but this time they must beat a defender on the way.
  • Look at their decision-making skills. What skills do they use to beat the defender?

How to put their soccer skills into a game

Now all the outfield players play simultaneously with one ball – a 2v2v2 game! Each team starts with 10 lives and they lose a life each time they concede a goal. Again, look for good decision-making skills. How do the outfield players organise themselves and how do they respond to winning or losing possession?