Soccer coaching drill to get your attackers to act first

Running attacking drills with your players before games or in training is a good way to give them the incentive to go out and try to attack from the word go without waiting for the opposition to attack and then react to them.

This drill works by encouraging central midfielders and strikers to flood into the box to connect with a cross from the flanks. The more numbers that push forward simultaneously, the more confusion can set in with defenders.

How to set it up

On a half of your pitch, use five attacking players – three starting just forward of the centre circle, who progress towards goal through the middle, and one on either wing. A goalkeeper is required as well.

Getting started

  • One of the three central attackers starts with the ball. He lays a pass to either of the wingers.
  • As soon as the ball is played, the attacking trio move forward in a line.
  • When approaching the penalty box, they must interchange positions, deciding between them whether to attack the near post, far post or the penalty spot.
  • Players should meet the winger’s cross at speed and, of course, try to score!
  • Progress the move by adding two midfielders and two defenders. The midfielders must act as non-contact obstacles, forcing the onrushing attackers to weave around them on their way to the penalty area. The defenders meanwhile must challenge the attackers when the winger’s cross arrives in the box.
  • At the end of each move, restart near the halfway line, but direct play to the opposite flank.

Why this works

Coaches can often be frustrated by a lack of forward options, particularly when the ball is played wide to a winger who makes good ground before discovering he has no team mates to aim for in the middle.

This exercise teaches midfielders and attackers to be determined to make it to the penalty area as soon as play is directed out on to the wing. And by making bobbing and weaving runs on their way into the box, the central attacking players are much more difficult to track.

The move relies on good deliveries from the wing, but with an increased number of attacking bodies in the box, there is a greater likelihood of goalscoring opportunities.

Remember though that any offensive runs must be tempered by the need to track back should the ball be intercepted by the goalkeeper or his defenders.

This session originally appeared in Soccer Coach Weekly.

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