Counter Attacking and the Recovering Defender 1v1s

By Jebreel Bubtana

This exercise works on counter attacking and recovering as a defender.

Set up the field as shown below in figure 1, with two goals 25 yards apart and two lines of players to the right of each goal.

Article 22 - Counter Attacking and Recovering Defender 1v1s - 1

The exercise starts with one player attacking the goal in front to score a goal as shown in figure 2.

Article 22 - Counter Attacking and Recovering Defender 1v1s - 2

As soon as this player has taken their shot, the first player in the opposite line attacks the opposite goal straight away. The player who had just taken their shot must recover to put pressure on the new attacker and try to stop them scoring by forcing them into a poor shot on goal or by winning the ball from them (figure 3).

Article 22 - Counter Attacking and Recovering Defender 1v1s - 3

Again, as soon as a shot is taken, the player in the original line that started the exercise off must attack and the player who has just taken a shot must recover to try and win the ball back. This process continues for 5 minutes before giving the players a 90 second rest and having them work for another 5 minutes by starting from the other side of the goal. Even if the player attacking the goal does not manage to get a shot off on goal and the ball is stolen by the recovering defender then the next attacker must go straight away.

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Now that the players understand what to do in the drill, you can turn it into a competition. The two lines are now teams and every time a player scores, they earn their team 1 point. They can also earn their team 1 point by winning the ball from the attacker when defending. This will add an extra little incentive and give your players an extra push to work hard as they don’t want their team to lose.

Coaching points:

  • Bigger touches than usual when attacking the goal in this situation, as this will enable the attacker to gain more speed and accelerate away from the recovering defender. If the attacker takes small touches, it will be hard for them to reach their full speed.
  • As the attacker dribbles towards goal, they must have a look over their shoulder to see where the defender is and get their body between the defender and the ball.
  • Make sure that the attacker looks up as they dribble towards goal in order to see where the goalkeeper is and place the ball with the inside of the foot in the part of the goal where the goalkeeper isn’t.
  • As soon as the attacker has taken a shot, they must remain focused as they must now recover and chase back to win the ball from the new attacker.

Jebreel Bubtana
Director of Marketing – BRASA Brazilian Soccer Academy
NSCAA Advanced National Diploma
NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma
Follow me on Twitter @jib1989

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