9 Soccer Attacking Tips
Soccer First Attacker
Soccer Corner KickScoring goals isn't all about skill, it has a lot to do with hustle, teamwork, winning the ball, the soccer 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 soccer practice, but there are some things you can do:
- Encourage hustle and alertness. This is critical.
- Teach your team to hustle, play tough & win the ball & reward this behavior. If you don't, you will lose to teams that do. I coached boys teams & gave out small red soccer ball patches (which they called "Blood Patches" and could iron on their jerseys) to those who played with toughness & bravery or really hustled to win the ball. This patch was coveted. We now sell these patches.
- Encourage teamwork and support; teach the concepts of " First Attacker", "Second Attacker", and "Third Attacker". (See "First Attacker" and "Support").
- Encourage following shots for rebounds. (See "Rebound" and "Finish").
- Encourage your Forwards to aggressively pressure the ball when they lose it in the "Attacking Third" and try to win it back. If they are called for a foul, it won't hurt you since the ball is far away from your goal.
- Bring up "numbers" on your attack and try to get several Forwards into The Penalty Box and two midfielders just outside The Penalty Box for support. One way to move Forwards up is to attack down the side and then try to cross the ball into the "center" (i.e., into The Penalty Box). As long as attackers stay behind the ball they aren't "offside".
- Encourage the "Far Forward" (i.e., the Forward farthest from the ball) or the Far MF to play off the "Far Post " when you attack. In every game will be 3 or 4 good scoring opportunities off the Far Post. The key is to hold position and to be patient, alert, opportunistic and to take quick one-touch shots before the Goalie can recover. Another advantage is that this player has a better view of the field than any defender since it is impossible for a defender to be between this player and the goal and watch the ball & the Far Post attacker at the same time. This is why crosses to the Far Post are so effective and are one of the most effective tactics against a great, quick goalie. NOTE: On a cross, if you play 3 Forwards, you should have the Far Forward play off the Far Post and the Center Forward play the Center of the goal, but if you only play 2 Forwards, you should have the Far Forward play the Center of the goal and the Far MF play off the Far Post. At very advanced levels, an attacker such as the Center Forward can play off the Near Post, but it's better for Rec players to play the Center because it's easier to score there.
- Encourage one-touch shots in front of the goal. Your attackers will often have an opportunity to score on a one-touch shot but will be shut down if they try to dribble or even two-touch.
- Try "short corners" 50% of the time. Your chances of scoring on short corners are better than on long corners and you will improve your chances of scoring when you try a long corner by keeping the opposing defense off balance. See " Short Corner Set Play and Corner Kick Attacking Strategies".