The moment an opponent loses the ball is the time to exploit the opportunity of players being out of position, so this session looks at transitions and counter-attacking with a specific focus on running with the ball. MORE
This session examines how we coach a player technically and tactically when attacking or counter attacking in overload situations.
Technically we want to encourage fast attacking in these situations. It is important to practise this because it improves the speed of attacks in scenarios that appear regularly in matches – the attacking team regaining possession and aiming to create space, passing the ball quickly, then playing to a target player to score.
Tactically we are looking to create overload situations in the small-sided game, where fast attacks become 6v4 in favour of the attackers.
The session is also good for working with defenders – their task is to organise well, stay alert and aim to regain possession as quickly as possible.
|Up to full pitch|
|Balls, bibs, cones, 2 full size goals|
|Number of Players|
|Up to 20 players + 2 goalkeepers|
|2v1 attacks: 15mins
3v2 attacks: 20mins
6v4 attacks: 20mins
We start the session with a high intensity 2v1 drill to encourage fast attacks and counter attacks. We set up an area of 40×30 yards with a goal and goalkeeper at each end. We’re using 12 outfield players split into six pairs, starting as shown .
Once the white attack has finished, the two blacks immediately attack the next defender in a 2v1. Continue to rotate through the colours in this manner, ensuring all players have a turn as the sole defender.
We want to see players attacking at maximum pace, with the man on ball driving at the defender in the 2v1. The other attacker in the pair must stay onside and should make space to receive the ball.
Play four blocks of three minutes.
The session progresses with a high intensity 3v2 drill that further reinforces the theme of fast attacks and counter attacks. We set up in an area of 40×40 yards, with a goal and goalkeeper at each end. We’re using 14 players, starting as shown .
Once the first attack on the top goal is finished, the two waiting reds launch an attack on the bottom goal in exactly the same manner, starting with a pass to the coach on the halfway line.
Continue the attacking rotation for four blocks of four minutes, ensuring all players give maximum effort.
This practice is aimed at getting players to transition from defending to attacking at speed and it will create 6v4 attacking overloads.
We set up on a full size pitch with a goal and goalkeeper at each end. A ‘no defending zone’ the width of the centre circle is marked out across the pitch. We’re using 20 outfield players, divided into two teams of 10 and set up in a 6v4 in each half in favour of the attacking team. The reds line up in a 4-3-3 formation and the yellows are 4-4-2.
Play starts with a pass out from the goalkeeper of the yellow team. In the build up to an attack, four yellow midfielders can drop back over the halfway line to help, giving the team an 8v6 advantage in that half, as shown .
If the yellows cross the halfway line with the ball, the coach immediately plays a second ball into the red attackers in the other half, meaning that 6v4 attacks are underway simultaneously at both ends.
After the ball goes dead in both attacks, regain set-up shape and this time the red goalkeeper starts with the ball. It is now the reds that must build up from the back, cross the halfway line and create a 6v4 attack. If the reds succeed in getting the ball across the halfway line, this time the coach feeds the second ball in to the yellow attackers to create a 6v4 at both ends again.
Players should maintain a high tempo to ensure pressure is placed on the transitions for both defenders and attackers.
For technique, speed and accuracy of pass is important, particularly the pass made to the target man.
Tactically players should be aware of movement to make passing easier at speed and to create space for team mates.
For the defending team, we’re looking for them to press quickly and be compact.
Players should communicate with team mates to coordinate attacks.