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Attack vs Defence


  • To prepare players for the attacking and defensive understanding, including offside.

  • To prepare players for 11 vs. 11 soccer.


  • Defense to outscore attack by getting more "small goals" than "real" goals; and vice-versa.


  • Players are arranged in their team positions - in this example, 6 vs. 6 plus a goalkeeper.

  • The players start in one half of the field.

  • Small target goals put on either side of the field near the halfway line for the defending team to play to and score (use cones/flags if no goals available).

  • Coach serves ball into attacking half.

  • Normal attack takes place - if defenders (and goalkeeper) win ball, they attempt to score in their smaller goals.



  • Outline briefly - preferably by walk-through demonstrations - the expectations of the practice.

  • Encourage the defenders to push up because of the advantage of exploiting the offside rule.

  • If practice is not succeeding and you're sure of analysis, stop the practice and show what could have been done.

  • Similarly, stop and show what was done well.

  • Don't stop practice too much or interest will diminish.

  • Discourage defenders from playing too many short passes.

  • If defenders win the ball and then give it back foolishly, encourage attackers to punish the mistake.


U12 Progressions

  • This type of practice should be further developed when the team moves into serious 11-a-side play.

  • Numbers can be built up, e.g., 7 vs. 7 and 8 vs. 8.

  • To put a defense under pressure you can overload the attack, e.g., 6 vs. 4 or 8 vs. 6.

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