Soccer coaching session focusing on overlaps

Good passing and support play are a priority in your soccer coaching sessions. Your players can make it easier to help team-mates pass on the run by creating space for the ball carrier with an overlap. In effect, the overlap creates an attacking 2v1, helps to exploit space in wide areas, provides support and an end product – for instance, a chance to shoot.

What to think about

  • The overlapping player runs outside of the ball carrier and past a defender, giving clear indication to the ball carrier of when to pass.
  • The ball carrier passes into space in front of the overlapping player.
  • The timing of the overlapping run.
  • The timing and weight of the pass.
  • Shooting on target at the end of the move.

overlap soccer coaching drill

Overlap soccer drill set up

  • Create a 35 yards by 25 yards playing area (depending on your players’ age and ability).
  • Use four groups of players, plus two goalkeepers.

What players must do

  • Place each group (A, B, C and D) at the corners of the playing area.
  • Starting with two groups at one end, the first player in each (A1 and B1) set off as a pair, with A1 passing to B1. B1 then dribbles towards the centre of the playing area as A1 overlaps.
  • B1 passes to A1 for A1 to shoot at goal.
  • C1 and D1 repeat while A1 and B1 join the back of groups C and D.

How to advance soccer drill

  • Introduce two passive defenders, one to defend each goal.
  • Beginning in their own third of the pitch, the defenders come to meet the attackers and aim to stop them from shooting at goal.
  • The dribbling attacker now has the option of passing to the overlapping runner or using the player as a decoy.
  • Make defenders active to increase the difficulty.
  • Make sure the defenders have a turn at attacking.

Use soccer drill skills in a game

Play 4v4, plus two goalkeepers, in a 30 yards by 20 yards playing area. Award extra points for shots on target, goals scored from an overlap or as a result of using an overlap as a decoy.

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Click the link to see an overlap and crossover skills soccer coaching drill.