Attacking skills are a vital aspect of any successful soccer player. It is a player’s attacking skills that enable them to compete for the ball against their opponents.
A great attacking player uses their attacking skills to acquire ball possession and to effectively create goal scoring opportunities for their team.
Let us look at some of the best soccer attacking drills that players can engage in to acquire and enhance their soccer attacking skills.
2V2 Attacking Soccer Drill
This is a fast-paced drill that is especially great for young soccer players and beginners. It is a dynamic exercise that focuses on attacking skills. This exercise also enhances players’ defensive skills.
- Use cones to create a 25 x 40 yards area. This drill requires such a large field so that players can create more breakaway situations. The large field also encourages players to attack their opponents.
- Place a small goal on each end-line.
- Divide the players into two equal teams. One of the teams should be in an alternate jersey.
- Pair up the teammates. Each pair of players will play as teammates for the entire duration of the soccer drill.
- Each team is then assigned a goal to defend.
- A pair from each team will then step out to compete in a 2v2. The other players are required to line up near their defensive end-line with an adequate supply of soccer balls.
- Instruct the players to play 2v2 within the designated field while trying to score at the small goals.
- If two teammates get scored on, they must leave the field, and two other teammates will get in to compete against the same opponents. The pair that enters the field should endeavor to attack the team that just scored quickly.
- The pair that scores the goal should quickly transition to defensive play and attempt to stop the quick attack.
- The scoring team will remain on the field until they get scored on.
- If the ball leaves the designated field, a teammate on their end-line should restart the play. Players can only switch when their group of 2 gets scored on.
- The first team to score 20 goals wins.
The coach may vary the size of the field and instruct 3v3 or 4v4 competitions depending on various factors including the number of participating players.
The coach should encourage the players to quickly attack the defensive team and try to throw them off balance. The players should also be encouraged to play with speed.
Attack vs. Defense Soccer Drill
This is a drill that involves shooting (attacking) and defending. It is meant to improve the attacking skills of soccer players. It also enhances their defensive skills. It is a fast-paced game that participants love to play.
- Create a grid that is approximately the size of the penalty box. The grid should be about 30 yards from the goal.
- Instruct a goalkeeper to start in the goal.
- Divide the players into two teams. One of the teams should be in an alternate jersey.
- The two teams will stand on opposite sides of the grid at the cones farthest from the goal.
- Each player should have a soccer ball with them.
- The coach signals the first player from one of the teams to dribble the ball with speed toward the penalty box. The player should dribble along the edge of the grid and take an on-goal shot as they approach the goal.
- Immediately after the first player makes the shot, the first player from the other team will dribble toward the penalty box, and the other player that already made a shot will attempt to defend.
- After the second shooter makes their shot, they will try to defend against the second attacking player from the other team (the third shooter).
- The rotation is repeated throughout the drill.
The coach should make sure that the attack is done as quickly as possible and the attacking player controls the ball effectively.
The attacking players should be able to put the shot on target even when they are under pressure from the defender. The attacker should dribble with speed.
4v3 Attack vs. Defense
This is a highly effective attacking soccer drill that focuses on proper finishing. It presents a situation where attackers have a numbers advantage.
The drill trains the attacking players on taking advantage of such numbers up situations to finish with an on-goal shot.
- Create a 30 x 30 yards grid and a goal on one end-line.
- Assign three players to be the defenders.
- Assign four attackers to begin with the ball. They should wear an alternate jersey.
- Instruct a goalkeeper to start in the goal.
- Instruct the attacking players to take advantage of the numbers up situation and finish with an on-goal shot.
- The attackers should look to exploit any open spaces and any loopholes in the defense.
- Defenders should try and disrupt the attack and contain the man-down situation.
- A successful pass to the coach by the defenders will end the attack.
- Once an attack is ended, the coach hands back the ball to the attacking players so they can attempt another attack.
The coach may vary the number of attackers and defenders depending on the frequency of scoring chances.
The attacking players
- Should try to throw the defensive players off balance by swiftly switching the point of attack.
- Should be quick both mentally and physically.
- Should attack at the appropriate times and take any attacking chances.
Attacking From the Midfield
This soccer drill is designed to train players on how to build an attack from the midfield then move forward with the play into the attacking third.
- Use cones to divide a full-size soccer field into thirds. This drill will use the middle third and one of the attacking thirds.
- One player starts in the goal as the keeper.
- In the defensive third, instruct 2 defenders to play against 2 attackers
- In the middle third, assign 4 attacking midfielders to play against 3 defensive midfielders.
- The defenders should be in an alternate jersey.
- The play starts with the coach standing on the sideline.
- Serve a ball to the attacking midfield players to start the play.
- The attacking midfielders aim to immediately penetrate the attacking third by playing into an attacking player in the attacking third.
- If an attacking mid player successfully passes to an attacking player in the attacking third, they join the two attackers in the attacking third and play a 3v2.
- If the defenders acquire ball possession, they should aim at keeping it and preventing the attacking players from taking it.
- This drill requires an adequate supply of soccer balls, and the coach may restart the play at any time.
The coach may vary the number of participating players to enhance the effectiveness of the drill.
The attacking players should
- Use proper spacing to make effective attacks and proper angles for receiving passes.
- Exhibit great movement and coordination among themselves.
- Swing the ball quickly and as skillfully as possible within the midfield so as to benefit from the numbers of situations.
Attacking The End-line Drill
This crossing game trains soccer players on how to successfully attack from the end line. The drill involves attacking and then serving the ball in.
- This drill uses half of the soccer field. Move one goal to the midfield line such that it faces the goal on the other end-line.
- Use about 10 cones to form two 10 yards long channels along the touchlines.
- Instruct two teams of 4 players each to start in the middle of the two channels.
- Each of the two teams will have 1 player starting in the channels and a keeper in the goal.
- One team will start with the ball. Put an adequate number of balls behind the goal.
- Signal the players to start a 4v4 competition in the middle area and 1v1 contests in either channel.
- For a goal to be eligible, the ball has to be served from either channel.
- When the ball is in the channels, the players in the channel should engage in 1v1 until one of them enters the offensive section of the channel.
- Once in the offensive side, the defender is required to allow a cross into the middle area.
- The players in the middle make various runs such as near post, and far post runs.
The coach should observe that the attacking players make proper crosses from the flanks. The attacking players should make proper runs to outdo the defenders.
Attacking skills are some of the fundamental skills that soccer players should exhibit for success in the game. There is no better way to acquire attacking skills than by participating in soccer attacking drills.
There is a wide variety of soccer attacking drills suitable for players of different ages and skill levels. It is important for every coach to put into consideration the age, skill level and the number of participating players while setting up the drills described here.