Soccer drill to get attackers moving around and finding space

If your young soccer (football) players tend to hang around waiting for the ball to be passed to them, use this soccer drill to get them moving around and thinking about where they can go to make it easier to receive a pass.

To give my young players an idea of what we’re trying to do in this soccer drill, I tell them to behave like a ghost, appearing in a defender’s line of sight one second, then gone the next. It will give the defenders nightmares.

In this soccer drill your forwards should ask questions of the defence. I like to make my soccer coaching sessions as game-like as possible so there is some form of soccer realism created.

Get your attackers to try and prise openings around the penalty area while your defenders are keenly marking and watching out for players dropping off and moving, creating 1v1, 2v1 and 3v2 situations.

Soccer drill to get attackers moving around and putting pressure on defenders


Soccer drill set up

Set up the soccer drill on the edge of your penalty area, as in the diagram above. You need three attackers, two defenders, a goalkeeper and a few footballs.

Run the drill

  • The middle attacker acts as server and plays the ball to attacker 1 who is marked by defender 1.
  • Attacker 1 must break away from defender 1 and get the ball under control. He will be supported by the server, who is close by, and attacker 2 on the far side, who must try to lose his marker – defender 2.
  • The defenders must be aware of the attack building up around them.
  • Defender 1 has two players to worry about – the server and attacker 1 – while defender 2 must stay with attacker 2 and not be drawn to the action.

There are a lot of situations developing in this soccer drill in a short space of time. The attackers need to move quickly to first take advantage of the developing 2v1 situation, then the 3v2 situation.

Key soccer coaching tips

When you are coaching this soccer (football) drill, try to get attacker 2 to move inside defender 2 and not go wide. If he does go wide, it will create a difficult angle and allow defender 2 to get between him and the ball.

In the second diagram, both attackers must move quickly to the areas marked B and C to put distance between themselves and the defenders.

The server must quickly decide who to pass to – whichever attacker moves fastest – and then play develops from there. You want to see attackers moving quickly to areas B and C and away again, putting the defenders on the back foot.

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Click here for a soccer drill to get your attackers winning the ball back early.

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