Key attacking skills

When you watch an attacker like Alex Morgan of the US Women’s National Team you know how hard she has to work in training to be that good on match days. Try these sessions based on her style of play

Why use it

This is a session to get your players doing great passing, shooting and lung-busting bursts from box to box plus immaculate timing.

Set up

You need balls, bibs, cones and goals, in the three areas shown in the diagrams. We used 8 players in each practice.

How to play it

Each practice requires eight players, and if your squad is big enough, you can run them side-by-side, rotating players between each practice, so everyone is active. Otherwise, for smaller squads, progress from one practice to the next. The first task, Crazy Cones, requires players to negotiate a path through the cones whilst avoiding each other, before shooting at goal. In the second, Box Break, attackers must retain possession in a 3v1 in the 10×10-yard box, making a minimum of five passes before releasing to attackers in a 2v2. Again, a shot at goal is required. Whether a move ends in a goal or not, restart play in the 3v1 box. • In the final game, End Zone Dash, there are two fixed keepers already in place. Players in this 4v4 can only enter the zone in front of goal in running onto a through pass.• Play each game for six minutes. Rotate players regularly in Box Break.


In Crazy Cones, close control is essential, as well each player being aware of an opponent crossing his path. In Box Break, possession with an end result is the aim. In End Zone Dash, this is all about rehearsing good timing in running on to a pass.

    1. Crazy Cones – players from each line weave through the cones and finish with a shot on goal

    2. Box Break – at the end of five successful passes the ball is released for attackers to try to finish in a 2v1
    3.End Zone Dash – a goal can only be scored when a player runs onto a pass made into the end zone
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