Attack v defence

This game improves defending and attacking skills.

Age group: U6s to U10s.

Number of players: Maximum of eight, minimum of four plus a goalkeeper.

Set-up: Use half a pitch with a goal at one end and two cone goals at the other (see picture below).

Divide your players into two teams – defender and attackers.

attack v defence

How to play: A defender (X), standing beside the goal, kicks the ball out to two attacking players (O), who are standing at the far end of the playing area.

The defender follows the pass and tries to win the ball back and score in either of the two cone goals on the halfway line. The attackers try to score in the normal-sized goal.

The attackers get five attempts to score before team roles are swapped.

The team that scores the most goals with its five attacks wins the game.

If the ball goes out of play, the defender scores or a shot is saved, the attack is over.

Coaching points

The attacker not in possession should be in an open position ready to receive a pass. Tell him not to get in the defender’s shadow.

The defender should close the ball carrier down quickly and try to channel the attacker with the ball towards the sideline, away from the other attacker.


  • Restrict attackers to a set number of passes (or a time limit of, say, 30 seconds) before they must shoot.
  • Allow another defender to enter play once the first pass is made.
  • Require a one-touch shot from an attacker who receives the ball in front of the goal.

For more soccer coaching tips and products visit Soccer Coaching Club.