Grassroots Coaching

Soccer Coaching- The key principles of attacking and defending

When coaching, particularly when the coaching involves games, try and apply the basic principles of soccer coaching. Remember KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid.

It is easy to forget, with talk of tactics and formations, that football is in essence a very simple invasion game. You have the ball, you try and score. You don’t have the ball, you try and stop the opposition. This is where good coaches, simplify the game by applying the key attacking and defending principles of the game to everything they do.

Soccer Coaching

Soccer Coaching – In Possession

Create Space as a team and as individuals – attacking team shape

  • Can the players spread out quickly, both across the pitch and from back to front. Make the pitch as big as possible.

High tempo possession based football

  • Can the ball be passed quickly and where appropriately, positively and with an attacking, penetrative¬† / goal intent

Playing out from the back

  • Where appropriate, can attacks be built from the back rather than the ball kicked long from the GK and from back to front? Although, there will be situations when the longer, more direct, back to front pass,¬† might be the most appropriate method of playing out from the back!

Transition: counter attack

  • If possession is gained, can the team quickly and effectively counter attack

Soccer Coaching – Out of possession

Defensive team shape

  • As soon as the ball is lost, quickly get players behind the ball, be an organised, compact team that defends the goal as its first priority.

Making play predictable

  • Via the defensive team shape, try and keep the play in front of the defenders, make the opposition pass square and backwards. Make if risky and difficult for the opposition to try and play forward and penetrate

Pressing from the front

  • Working on triggers and where appropriate can the team defend from the front. This starts with the forwards pressing and harrying the opposition defence

Transition: 5 second regains

  • Can the team try and regain possession within 5 seconds and then counter attack quickly



Posted in
Coach Education Hot Coaching Topics