INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

Cutting across a defender

Cutting across a following defender when through on goal will increase your player’s chances of scoring as it denies the defender a tackling opportunity.

What this session is about

  1. Scoring goals.
  2. Breakaway attacking.

What to think about

  • The attacker must cut across the defender’s angle of recovery to put the defender behind him and make it impossible for them to win the ball without committing a foul.
  • Make sure that the attackers return balls to the coach after shooting or being tackled. Otherwise you will quickly run out of balls and the session will grind to a halt.

Set-up

  • Use attacking 1/3 of pitch.
  • Divide players into two groups – attackers and defenders.
  • Supply of balls.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Attacker and chasing defender stand 4-5 metres outside the “D”, with the attacker standing at a wider angle than the defender, who has their back to goal. The coach passes the ball toward the goal, and the attacker and defender sprint toward it. The attacker must beat the defender to the ball and cut across before shooting.

Vary the angle and weight of pass so the attacker can practice running across the defender both with the ball and before gaining possession.

The coach plays a through ball for the attacker.

The coach plays a through ball for the attacker.


Development

Increase the pressure by having the defender face the goal but starting on one knee to allow the attacker a slight advantage in order that they can get in front and practice the skill.

Finally, remove all conditions on defender, although the pass should still slightly favour the attacker.

Who must cut across the defender to prevent a tackle being made.

Who must cut across the defender to prevent a tackle being made.


Game situation

Using half a pitch, mark two lines across the width, one approx 20 yards away from goal and the second about 40 yards out. Play 4v3 in this zone, and have a keeper in goal.

Play begins when the server passes the ball to one of the attackers, who must try to release a teammate from the central zone for a shot on goal. Once a through pass has been made only the nearest of the 3 defenders can leave the central zone and give chase.

Take the skill into a game which focuses on getting in front of defenders.

Take the skill into a game which focuses on getting in front of defenders.


What to call out

  • “Sprint to the ball”
  • “Get your body in front”
  • “Now shoot”
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