8 More Soccer Attacking TipsScoring goals isn't all about skill, it has a lot to do with hustle, teamwork, winning the ball, the formation and style of play you use, and your ability as a coach to motivate your team and to put players in a position where they can help your team score. You can't turn unathletic players into great athletes or greatly improve the skill of players who don't come to practice, but there are some things you can do. The following tips are from SoccerHelp Premium's 35 Attacking Tips, Tactics & Strategies:
How to Use a Great Dribbler, Soccer Penalty Kicks, Soccer Target Forward, Attacking A Great Soccer Goalie, How to Choose a Center Midfielder, Soccer Free Kicks, Avoid a Soccer Attacking Plan that is Too Complex or that Your Team Can�t Execute
- Dribbling. A great dribbler can be very effective in scoring and in creating scoring opportunities by pulling multiple defenders toward him, which leaves teammates open. In the past two seasons my team has only lost one game and we lost that one because a great dribbler scored 4 goals. I coach a rec team and don't like to assign a "shadow marker", but I should have in that game and will the next time we play against a dribbler of that skill. If you have a great dribbler on your team, a very effective tactic is to have him attack the goal, but have a Second Attacker trail him to be ready for a Back Pass and have another Second Attacker go to the goal front or the Far Post (ideally one to the Near Post and another to the Far Post). Teach the dribbler to look for an open teammate or to center the ball. (See "Combination Passing" above, "First Attacker", "Formations", "Creating Space", "Finish", and "When To Dribble").
- Penalty Kicks ("PK's"). You will not get many chances to score on Penalty Kicks. However, there are 3 things to teach your teams:
- First, tell your players to stay out of the Penalty Box until after your shot is taken. If they go inside the Box early, you lose the ball and the shot doesn't count.
- Second, tell your shooter to keep the ball on the ground and to aim for one side of the goal. In rec soccer, most missed penalty kicks are due to the shooter trying too hard and missing the goal. It is better to try to pass the ball into the goal then to try to kill it. A shot low to the corner is very difficult for the goalie to stop.
- If you are defending a PK, I suggest having your goalie set up one step toward his left side (toward the shooter's right post). This will encourage the kicker to kick toward his left post. Have your goalie move to his right as soon as the shooter starts his run (once he starts he can't stop). The goalie will have a chance to block the shot and his movement might make the shooter pull his shot and shoot wide (This is especially true since most shooters are right footed and a shot toward the left post will have a natural curve). Also, tell your players to stay out of the Penalty Box until after the kick so the shooter doesn't get a second chance.
Consider Trying One or Two "Target" Forwards. A "target forward" is a very fast striker who you leave pushed up at all times and who shifts from side to side with the ball. This will hold 2 or 3 defenders & keep them away from your goal. The target forward should try to win cleared balls and be alert for "through balls" and breakaway opportunities. Hydration & Carbohydrate Intake. Studies show that players who drink Gatorade-type drinks before a game, at half-time and on the sideline perform significantly better in the second half. I have tried this and it works. It can be worth a goal. This is especially true if you have fewer players than your opponent, play on a big field or have out-of-shape players. Like most coaches I used to rely on the players to bring their own water to the games. Studies that found that players who drank Gatorade type drinks before a game did better in the second half of a game than when they didn't drink the Gatorade before the game. The reason was simple: they had more energy left. My recommendation is to have them drink Gatorade before and during the game, both when it's hot and even when it isn't hot (i.e., at all games, hot or cold). For more about this read Good Hydration and Carbohydrate Intake Can Be Worth A Goal On a Hot Day on SoccerHelp Premium. Against a good, quick goalie use a "wing" attack. Attack down the side and cross the ball to the front of the goal. This is more difficult to defend than a "frontal" attack. Choose a CMF or COMF with good dribbling skills. Your CMF or Center Offensive Midfielder is a very important position, especially if your formation only has 2 Forwards. Ideally, choose a CMF or COMF who has good dribbling and passing skills. They don't have to be fast. This player will get several opportunities per game to dribble toward the goal from 25-35 yards out. This will force the defenders to pull out to defend, which will open up space for your forwards to exploit. FreeKick From 20 Yards In Front Of Goal (Advanced). If you have this type of free kick, try to put a player with good heading skills in the defenders "wall", loft the ball straight at him and have him try to get his head on it to re-direct it a little. Re-directed balls are very tough for a goalie to stop. A lack of scoring can be an offshoot of too much small sided play & too much emphasis on a possession style of play. This is particularly true if your Attacking Plan or Style of Play is complex and causing your players to be hesitant or indecisive (read "Possession Style" in Dictionary). It can also happen if your players objective becomes to control the ball instead of attacking. In that case, what can happen is a lack of aggressiveness and attacking creativity; your team may become very good at "keep away", but not good at scoring. If you are dominating but not scoring, read "Assigning Positions" & "Evaluating Your Teams Play". Try the "3 Man Direct, Wing Attacking Game", "Kick A Crossed Ball Game" and "Run To Ball & Shoot With Side Of Foot Game", which are three important skill building games that teach crossing the ball and one-touch shots. Keep in mind that to score, you must get players into scoring position, and that having several players in scoring position is better than having only one. Teach your F's & MF's to "Go To Goal" & to get in the Box when the opportunity occurs & to 1-touch finish. The "3 Man Direct, Wing Attacking Game" is a great way to teach this. Instead of small sided, try the "Small Sided Scrimmage Without A Goalie" game, but only for about 15 minutes per practice; it is a type of small sided game that emphasizes working the ball to within scoring distance, but also teaches everyone to be a tough defender.
Some "Rules" I Recommend for Assigning Positions: Below are 4 "rules" to keep in mind when assigning positions or choosing a formation:
- You CANNOT put timid players in front of the goal.
- Keep your best players in the "Center" positions (Center Fullback, Stopper, Center Midfield, Center Forward). The team that controls the Center usually wins. Let your opponent have the "wings" (sidelines), in fact, encourage it. They can't score from there and your team will always have time to "recover" and the opponents will run a lot more.
- Put your best, toughest athlete at "Stopper. This doesn't have to be a skillful player -- just one who can definitely stop the opponent's attack. I once had a player who was fast and incredibly brave, but lacked skill. He was a great Stopper. He couldn't dribble well or pass, so I just told him to stop the attack and kick the ball back downfield where our MF's and Forwards were waiting.
- Keep in mind that you shouldn't put your best player at Goalie, in fact, try to find a player who has good hands but isn't a good field player. Read "Stopper Importance" for a coaches' comments about this. I often put a heavier player at Goalie, especially a tall, heavy player.
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