Coaching Session #013 : Counter Attacking U6-U11

Primary Aims & Objectives

This soccer coaching session introduces overloads to young players and gives them lots of decisions to make about when to pass and when to dribble. Players also have lots of chances to score some great goals.

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Arrival Activity

Passing and Moving Warmup DrillOrganisation

Split a large square into four quarters. Place some large goals close to the area for the next practice.

As players arrive split them across the areas and give each group a different colour bib.

Leave a couple of balls in each area and let players either pass between themselves or dribble around inside their quarter.


You can use command-style coaching to direct your players through some basic ball manipulation skills.

You can also give players a simple challenge (such as “can you move the ball to your partner with your first touch?”) and let them experiment.

2v1 Attacking Circuit

2v1 Attacking Circuit DrillOrganisation

Split the area into two long narrow pitches. Place a large goal at the top of each channel.

Two teams attack, one team defends and one team plays in goal.

Play 2v1 in each channel.

After each attempt the attacking team play again in the opposite channel.

If the defending team win the ball on either pitch they swap places with the attacking team they dispossessed.

Change goalkeepers every few minutes, or if a goalkeeper catches a shot.


Use the markers to restrict the area the defender can operate in. For example, the defender can only tackle in the middle two ‘boxes’.

Use the markers to restrict the areas attackers can operate in. For example, attackers must shoot before the third marker or start from the second marker.

Play offside (if your team play it in matches)


If you have more than 8 players simply create additional pairs and have them take turns attacking.

If you have enough for 4 more groups then set-up another pitch.

4v4 Non-Stop Game

4v4 Non Stop Small Sided GameOrganisation

Move the goals to the middle of the end-lines and move the markers to create a halfway line.

Play 4v4 with goalkeepers.

Place a number of balls around the edge of the pitch. If the ball goes out of play immediately play another ball in.

Play offside (if your team play it in matches).


The player who puts the ball out of play must go and collect it.

Whilst that player is off the pitch their opponents can dribble any ball in from the sideline and play on.

Rotate goalkeepers every few minutes.

Award a bonus goal if a team completes 3 wall passes or overlap runs.

Let players experiment.


You can use the same set-up to play up to 6v6 (even if that means unequal teams).

If you have more than 12 players set-up 2 pitches and play 3v3 (no GKs) / 3v4 / 4v4 etc.

Develop Your Environment

Using a range of coaching styles is important to engage every member of your group.

It’s okay to use command- style coaching early in the session to get players organised quickly.

But also use guided discovery or Q&A to give players more profound understanding.

Develop Your Practice

Whenever you coach an attacking topic, try to use realistic goals at some point in the session.

Players benefit from seeing how some movements or decisions are more likely to lead directly to a goalscoring chance than others.

Develop Your Players

Players should be confident of beating defenders and taking shots on goals.

Challenge attackers to be brave and dribble at their opponent, or to be clever and set-up a chance for their teammate.


Technical Outcomes

Develop dribbling, passing and control under realistic game pressure.

Introduce wall passes, overlaps and crossover runs.
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Physical Outcomes

Be quick to create and exploit 2v1 situations.

Make strong recovery runs to reduce risk of overloads.
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Psychological Outcomes

Be confident and brave going in to attacking situations.

Make clever decisions; when to pass and when to dribble.
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Develop strategies with teammates and share ideas.

Communicate clearly with teammates when passing.

[button style="download" color="silver" link=""]Download Session Plan[/button]

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