Attack

The attacking soccer drills in this section aim to help you coach your players to make the most of the opportunities that come their way during a game. We look at ways to create chances for your attackers, games that will sharpen their reactions in front of goal, and tips on how to coach your attackers to be goal-machines.

    • Talk your team through an attacking session -There’s nothing better at a soccer training session than to get your players talking to you about how they feel. Talking at training helps the players feel part of the team. Then launch an attack on your defenders. 
    • How strikers can stretch the opposition – If your striker retreats too far back when your team has the ball, he is in the wrong position and makes it harder for his team to turn defence into attack and easier for his opponents to mark him.

 

    • Kick off tactics to keep opponents guessing – Kick-offs are particularly important in junior soccer because if you’ve just given away a goal, or you are starting the first or second half of a match, you need your players to take the initiative. Use these kick-off soccer coaching tips and tactics to catch your opponents out.

 

    • Soccer drill to build attacking patterns – Whatever age group you are coaching – at 7-a-side or 11-a-side – breaking away with a three-man attacking move will always cause havoc in the opposition defence. For a quick, skillful way to goal, try the following attacking soccer drill.

 

    • Tackle techniques to wrong foot opponent – Quick-footed attackers look great when they run at defenders and leave them tackling thin air. You can coach your players how to do this and give them the confidence to go on match-winning runs.

 

    • Attacking soccer drill – Follow this soccer drill to get your attackers using fancy footwork to create space with their backs to goal.

 

 

    • Soccer drill tips for attacking from the front – Young strikers are often too eager to get the ball and come back deep into their own half. This soccer drill gives the opposition the chance to push up even when they haven’t got the ball. An attacker is far easier to see and mark if he is too deep in his own half.

 

    • Soccer drill to get attackers winning the ball back early – If you have your attacker stay forward, he has a great chance to win the ball back if he loses it in the opponents’ half. Lose it in front of the goal, however, and you’re gifting the opposition a scoring chance. So use this soccer training drill to get your attackers winning the ball back early.

 

 

 

    • Goal approach game – In this game, the aim is to get your attackers used to running at the goal from different angles. Ask your defender to call out an attacker’s position and they must then get past the defender and attack the goal.Players must be alert to the call and able to move the ball quickly for a shot at goal.

 

    • Finishing circuit drill to put striker skills to the test – This is a testing 1v1 finishing circuit to put your strikers through their paces as they face a different challenge at each stage of the drill. Players are constantly on the move, answering questions in both attacking and defending situations.

 

    • Attack skills game – There will always be situations in soccer matches where a lone attacker faces two defenders, but using this attack game in your soccer training drill sessions can build the skills to help your players give a good account of themselves.

 

    • Score and assist attacking and finishing drill – This attacking and finishing soccer drill aims to see if the first attacker can finish their chance before spinning to lay-off a pass from his teammate and create a second opportunity.

 

    • Soccer drill to convert crosses to goals – Arriving in the box in the right place at the right time is a particular strength of the world’s top strikers and attacking midfielders. Use the following soccer coaching tips and drills to get your players to turn crosses into goals and add to the potency of your team’s attack.

 

 

    • Soccer drill for overload situations – Attacking against different numbers of defenders means the difficulty level of this soccer drill is changing each time a goal is scored. For the defence, the ability to anticipate and dictate the passage of play is necessary in order to win the ball when the odds are stacked against them.

 

    • Soccer attack drill for the way players are facing – Attackers don’t always need to try to turn and beat defenders when they get the ball with their back to goal. A good tip is to get your players varying their tactics. Follow this soccer drill for an alternative approach.

 

 

    • Help your attackers when their back is to the goal – Follow these soccer coaching tips and drills to improve your attackers’ understanding and skills when their backs are to goal. It is a skill in itself being able to turn or move the ball into space without having the luxury of seeing where all the defenders and the goalkeeper are.

 

    • Soccer coaching tips to make throw ins attacking – Throw-ins in the attacking third of the field are more than just a way of re-starting play, they’re also a means of launching attacks. Coach your players to make the most of them with the following soccer drills.

 

    • Soccer attack drill using 2v1 – Players are reacting to decisions all the time in a game – decisions they make and decisions their team mates make. With this soccer attack drill, I am looking for players to support quickly once they have chosen their attacking partner.

 

    • Soccer timing tips to put opponents under pressure – Ask any soccer fan and they will remember early goals, late goals, and goals scored straight after the team scored.There is something about timing in soccer matches that not only means you score a goal but also deliver a psychological blow to your opponents. The following soccer coaching tips and tactics will help you get your team turning up the heat when it’s most crucial.

 

    • Soccer drill to boost striker skills and awareness – Strikers find themselves in all sorts of situations during a game, so you have to coach them in training drill sessions to prepare them for what they will face. Try this soccer drill to help players become more aware of what is going on around them and able to react at full speed and intensity.

 

    • Quick soccer drill for 1v1 skills – Working on 1v1 is important and this soccer drill is ideal for this and great for soccer coaches because it’s quick and doesn’t leave the rest of the squad standing around getting bored.

 

    • Soccer drill to help attackers turn and shoot – Young attackers often find it difficult to turn and shoot when they receive the ball with their back to goal, because they are unsure of where it is and what’s behind them. This versatile soccer drill will make them aware of the goal and where they have to turn, so they can shoot effectively.

 

    • Attack in waves soccer coaching drill – Coaching soccer players to attack in waves is as much about the mind as the skills and technique. How often do you see players with their head in their hands when they lose the ball and the opposition defenders running away to counter attack. Players need to be able to react immediately to the next opportunity to attack.

 

 

 

    • Soccer drill for predatory attackers – A good attacker is always on the lookout for easy goals so they must be a predator around the goal area looking for rebounds off the goalkeeper, connecting with crosses and pouncing on any loose balls that come their way. This soccer training drill is a great way to  coach this.

 

    • 1v1 soccer drill to get attackers finding space – Young attackers often find themselves in situations where they are facing a single defender and have to make decisions as they look for space so they can get past them and score. In this coaching session, the 1v1 soccer drill gives your attacker a good test in attempting to create space to score.

 

 

    • Soccer drill to keep attackers on their toes – This soccer coaching drill session is about reacting to different situations in a mini tournament-style drill. It helps players to force the shape and direction of play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    • Soccer drill to coach volleying from different heights – When performed correctly, the volley is an explosive football skill. The quick reaction time of a player hitting a volley, combined with the ball speed, can catch defenders out. Use these soccer (football) coaching tips to get your players volleying from various heights and angles and taking defenders by surprise.

 

    • Unopposed soccer drill for attack – Using unopposed football (soccer) drills for build up and combination play in attack is a good way of coaching your players to move the ball. This soccer (football) drill also encourages movement to support the ball as play moves around the pitch.

 

    • Soccer drill to get attackers reacting – Reacting swiftly is a vital part of any attacker’s skill, especially when faced with different problems to solve in order to create goal scoring chances. The ball will be passed to the attacker and they might have to pass, dribble or shoot, depending on the scenario that opens up in front of them.

 

 

    • ABC finishing drill – ABC finishing is a great way to get your players to exploit the 2-2-2 formation. You can recreate situations where balls are fed into your attackers as they would be in a match situation.

 

    • Soccer coaching drill to exploit overload situations – Creating overloads is a great way to replicate match-like situations as your soccer (football) players are forced into making decisions. Using overloads in soccer training sessions allows your players to practise dealing with having one extra player, or one fewer, and helps prepare them for match days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    • Soccer coaching game for crossing at pace – One of the situations my defenders find hard to deal with are low crosses at pace into the penalty area. It means defenders have to make fast decisions and often the pace of the ball means they just try to get in the way of them and end up deflecting them into dangerous areas.

 

    • Soccer attack options for your defending players – Defenders face all sorts of situations when they play in matches – the ball doesn’t just come at them head-on. You need to give them practice so they can deal with the different scenarios they find themselves in.

 

    • Soccer coaching drill for attacking and finishing – This attacking and finishing drill, “Score and assist”, challenges an attacker to score a goal before spinning around to lay off a pass from his team mate and create a second opportunity.

 

 

    • How to become a soccer coach – It is estimated that there are currently more that 8200 youth soccer clubs in the U.S.  US Youth Soccer has over 300,000 registered coaches, the majority of whom are volunteers, to coach 3,000,000 registered youth players (ages 5-19).

 

 

    • Soccer coaching session to succeed in crossing situations – One of the most effective ways to score goals is for an attacker to progress up the wing and pull the ball back from near the goal line for a team mate in the penalty area to shoot from. This session will help your players succeed from such crossing situations.

 

 

 

 

 

    • Soccer coaching session on attacking – Using unopposed exercises for build-up and combination play in attack is a good way of coaching your players to move the ball and it encourages movement to support the ball as play moves around the pitch.

 

 

 

    • Soccer coaching session for a 1v1 finishing circuit – The emphasis in this session is on movement with the ball and shooting in the three different attacking moments. It’s a good session to get your attackers really having a go at dribbling then firing in a shot. The first shot is unchallenged then play advances with a defender to beat.

 

    • Soccer tips on how to achieve goals from your free kicks – When a free kick is given just outside the penalty area, the opposition often spends time arranging its wall while the attackers do the same. But how often do your players stand around and argue about who will take it and then just kick it harmlessly to the opposition?

 

 

    • Manchester United’s three-ball routine – Manchester United’s first-team coach Rene Meulensteen developed what he called the three-ball routine to increase team speed and mental awareness. I saw it in action and it was a real flurry of movement and attacking action.

 

 

 

 

    • Three player attacking game – This attacking practice is a great way of putting pressure on your forward line as it heads for goal. Forwards will not always face the same number of defenders in a match so the game builds up from no defenders to three.

 

 

 

 

 

 

    • Soccer coaching session on pressurising opponents – If your players can stop goals being scored against them – they can’t lose the match. The practices in this session develop your players’ ability to pressure the opponent, get “touch tight” and, ultimately, regain possession. By Tony Carr.

 

 

    • The use of overlapping runs when attacking – Put fear into the opposition by using overlapping runs when your team attacks. This type of run gives your players the option of using the runner to receive the ball or as a disguise.

 

    • Defending game for different attacking scenarios – Defenders face all sorts of situations when they play in matches – the ball doesn’t just come at them head-on. You need to give them practice so they can deal with the different scenarios they find themselves in. By Michael Beale.

 

    • Soccer coaching game using a sweeper role for defence – The role of a sweeper is given to a player that plays behind the line of defenders. It is that player’s duty to cover the space behind the defence and in front of the keeper, and sweep across to remove the danger of the opponent’s attacks. This is how you can develop the use of a “minesweeper” in your team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    • Playing the killer pass – One player in my U9s team is head and shoulders above the others when it comes to reading the game. He has the vision to see where he can pass the ball or knows when he should run with it.

 

    • Under 10 target man soccer drill – Sometimes your team will play a team with one player who is much more talented than the rest. This could be a striker that they rely on to score all their goals, or the player who starts all their moves. This soccer drill is particularly good for teaching your under 10 team to defend against this style of play.

 

 

    • Teach youngsters how and when to break forward – Most teams will go through spells in matches when they need to defend well. So ensuring there is always an outlet farther up the pitch is essential in transforming defensive situations into attacking ones. The secret to this is in employing a player who can dictate this situation.

 

 

 

    • Attacking awareness- remembering defensive duties when going forward – As coaches, we teach kids to look for and exploit overload situations – they’re the best opportunities for scoring goals and putting opponents under real pressure. But we should remind our players that overloads can be a threat as well as an advantage, namely if possession is lost when pushing forward.

 

 

    • 1v1 shoot and defend – Reacting swiftly is a vital part of any attacker‘s skill, especially when faced with different problems to solve in order to create goalscoring chances. The ball will be passed to the attacker and he might have to pass, dribble or shoot, depending on the scenario that opens up in front of him.

 

 

    • Strike it hot – If you can improve your strikers’ ability to score goals from various positions in the penalty area and with different techniques then you are well on the way to starting the season with a bang.

 

    • Use the neutral – This is a great psychological game because it teaches players to look for other options on the pitch, be that playing a ball out of defence or looking to fashion a chance in the final third.

 

    • Make best use of your wings – Flying wingers are the attacking darlings of any team, spreading play wide and exploiting the space behind a retreating defence.

 

    • Attackers can give defenders nightmares – Young players often stand and wait for the ball to be passed to them, then wonder why they are either second to it or have nowhere to go once they have it.

 

    • 1v1 into 2v1 game – This game tests your forwards’ ability to score in 1v1 and 2v1 situations with a quick switch from defence to attack in different sized areas.

 

    • Hassle a harassed defence – It’s all well and good getting the ball into the danger area. Now you’ve got to make it count.

 

    • 2v1 communication support – This drill is 1v1 on the pitch but the defender receives verbal support from his team mate, which is crucial to developing a 2v1 defensive understanding.

 

    • Attack and defend – at the same time – This game offers players a vast number of in-play options – whether to attack, whether to defend, whether to close down space or whether to press an opponent.

 

 

    • Volleying to score – Chris McGinn is the head coach of the Great Britain deaf football team and has worked at Arsenal, Chelsea and QPR. He agreed with me that when coaching deaf players, like kids, you need to be concise, visual and patient, so I paid him a visit to see what I could pick up to pass on to my youth players.

 

    • Quick combination play – This session is all about using quick passing drills to improve the speed of play and imagination of your attackers around the penalty area.

 

    • Score and assist – This attacking and finishing drill challenges an attacker to score a goal before spinning around to lay off a pass from his team mate and create a second opportunity.

 

    • Skills sessions – the flick turn – Young attackers with their backs to goal can find it difficult controlling the ball and turning to get past the defender if they are being tightly marked.

 

    • Hit the target man – This is a great game to practice with all ages. It is all about using target men to set up attacks. Neither team can score without using the target man, so this is a great game to teach link-up play in the final third and reminds players not to be greedy.

 

    • Defending and attacking through-passes – Through passes are a very important part of the game, both for attackers and defenders. Both types of player must react quickly to either capitalise on the chance or clear the danger.

 

    • 1v1 finishing circuit – The emphasis is on movement with the ball and shooting in the three different attacking moments. It’s a good session to get your attackers really having a go at dribbling then firing in a shot. The first shot is unchallenged then play advances with a defender to beat.

 

    • Strike in pairs – Executed at speed, this is a dangerous attacking move that will help your players use a delicate first touch to beat defenders and set up goalscoring opportunities.

 

 

    • 4v4 dribble or pass – Using games to teach players how to become used to tactical moves is a great way to help them understand attacking and defending as a unit.

 

    • Triangles drill for soccer attackers – Use this session to turn your midfielders into a well-oiled attacking machine and teach them the benefits of bringing strikers into the game with some exciting one-touch play.

 

    • The fast break soccer drill – It’s 0-0 in the cup and your team is holding on for dear life. Suddenly your players make a quick break out of defence and set up a chance to take a shock lead…

 

    • The next Jack Wilshere – This session will help teach your players to play like Arsenal’s attacking midfielder Jack Wilshere.

 

 

    • Counter attack like Manuel Pellegrini – I use this exercise, which I first saw being used by Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini. It is a really good workout for your players and gives everyone involved a realistic idea of what they have to do when the opposition breaks away with the ball.

 

    • Explode into the box attacking drill – Exploding into the box is one of Lionel Messi’s most effective attacking weapons. Get your players to try this drill and they too could be destroying defences in seconds

 

    • The goalscorer attacking drill – Get your players to turn and shoot just like Messi with this attacking drill that will improve both their ball control and their shooting ability

 

    • Sharp shooters soccer attack drill – Executed at speed this is a dangerous attacking move that will help your players use a delicate first touch to beat defenders and set up goal scoring opportunities.

 

    • Feel the width crossing game – A complex soccer coaching drill to help your players develop the skills they need to deliver three kinds of cross. Soon they will be firing in the ball like David Beckham, Ashley Young or Leighton Baines.

 

    • Strike Zone – If you want your attackers to have that killer instinct in front of goal, this drill will teach them to turn incoming low crosses into the back of the net

 

    • Poacher – Work your players through this effective attacking drill to encourage their composure in the box when presented with a gold-plated goal scoring opportunity

 

    • Shoot On Sight – Use this great game to encourage your players to react immediately and take a first-timeshot when presented with a goal scoring opportunity

 

    • One Touch Both Feet – If you want to sharpen up your players in front of goal, this is a continuous exercise thatwill help strikers perfect the art of shooting first time with either foot

 

    • Faster Than You – If you want to teach your players how to counterattack with speed and precision, set them to work on this exciting training drill

 

    • Breakout – This session pits the patience and possession skills of Barcelona against the danger of the killer counterattack. See if your players can score a breakaway goal

 

    • Double Jeopardy – If your players struggle to cope when going one-on-one with the keeper, this attacking drill will give them plenty of practice at deciding whether to go around the keeper or shoot

 

    • Near Post Winners – A fast and furious game to encourage your attackers to use their speed to beat defenders and take the keeper by surprise

 

    • Scorer – A testing training session that will give your players the opportunity to score goals from varying distances and using different kinds of finishing shot

 

    • Pass Move Shoot – This is a great session for getting attackers to be open to the pitch and it will help your striker learn when to shoot and when to tee up a team-mate

 

    • Creative In The Box – If you want to see your players create more scoring opportunities in the penalty area, use this session to improve movement and creativity in the attacking third of the pitch

 

    • Call And Score – This session will help your players learn a lot about communicating with their team-mates, about shaking off their markers and about shooting with both feet

 

    • Changing Direction – Run players through this testing exercise that not only offers shooting opportunities with both feet, but also develops their ability to change direction when attacking goal

 

    • Wide Boys – The secret to opening up a tight back four is to switch play and catch defenders out of position. This session will help your players attack the space that the defenders leave

 

    • Create The Unexpected – With Wigan as FA Cup final underdogs, their best chance of success is to catch City by surprise with some unexpected midfield creativity. Get your team to try it too

 

    • Tactical Genius – As a coach Alex Ferguson has moved with the times and he now instructs players to press opponents high up the pitch. This session will give your team a modern Fergie tactic

 

    • Attack With Style – Alex Ferguson has always liked to employ stylish attackers capable of collecting the ball with skill and weaving magic in the box. Use this game to turn players into Fergie legends

 

    • Press All Areas – In this pressing game players must react quickly to winning the ball and then keep possession themselves, just like Bayern Munich

 

    • 10 Second Break – Get your team surging forward like Bayern Munich with a session that creates direct attacks on goal without losing any momentum

 

    • React With Speed – Train your players to run at opposition defenders with the ball, making it difficult for the defenders to either tackle or turn and chase

 

    • Real Madrid – Hitting the ball on the run was one of David Beckham’s biggest assets at Real Madrid. Use this activity to improve the crossing of your players

 

    • Feed Your Forward – If you feel any of your strikers have lost their goal scoring touch, try running this training session to get attackers firing on all cylinders again

 

    • Power And Place – If your strikers have lost their scoring boots and can’t hit the goal no matter how many attempts they have on match day, get them back on track with this fun shooting game

 

    • Split The Defence – In a game that will soon have your team pushing the ball forward like Wayne Rooney, players are given an incentive to make defence-splitting passes to their team-mates

 

    • Blind Side Runs – Use this training session to teach your players how to make blind side runs in the final third of the pitch – and as a result, increase your team’s goal scoring opportunities

 

  • Score In Shoot-outs – Use this knockout scoring game to improve the ability of your young players to score from the spot and cope with the pressure of a penalty shoot-out