Counter Attacking SSG (6vs6)

counter attacking soccer drills

Soccer Coaching Football Game

1) To train a team on how to counter attack on regaining possession.
2) Coach attacking transition.
3) Coach immediate support in the attacking phase.
• Mark out 60x40yrds.  Clearly mark out a half way line.
• Designate one team as the counter attack team and one as the normal team (build-up play team). In the diagrams below Red = Counterattacking Team.
• Offsides are in effect.
• Defending teams must have all their players recover into their own half before any player is allowed to tackle or challenge for the ball.
• If the Counter Attack Team (Red Team) win possession of the ball they have 7 seconds in which to score from the moment they regain possession.
• In Diagram 1 D1 regains possession from A1.  The 7 seconds now start. D2, D3, D4 make attacking counter attack runs into the oppositions half looking for the quick break.
• Yellow Team can play in both halfs at any time.
Each team acts as the Counter Attacking team for 9 mins.  (2 min rest) and teams switch roles. (20 mins total)
• 2 teams compete and attempt to score in the full size goals.
Coaching Points
1) Counter Attacking players need to think quickly.
2) Force players inside when pressing high up the field (forcing them back into the midfield masses to deny space).
3) For the ball being passed forward is the ultimate goal, players pressing dont have to win the ball.
4) Discuss individual defending techniques, i.e. side on, get there fast arrive slow, dont over commit, on toes, focus on the ball, goal side defending, stay on feet, etc
5) Slide as a unit to the side of the field the ball is on to compact the field.
6) Communication - Tell team mates to press (step!) when needed.
7) Man marking to deny space.
8) Curved runs to cut off forward passing options if needed to block potential passing channels down the line.
9) Can we do anticipation marking (anticipate and intercept the ball before being received).
10) Press together when pressing!
Diagram 2 - Progress of the Counter Attack


  1. All Counter Atacking players need to be in their opponents half of the field for a goal to count.

  2. Decrease the counter attack time to 6 secs (Adjust as necessary depending on players ability).

  3. Counter Attacking team play 2 touch maximum.

1) Limit the Yellow Team (Build-up Team) to 2 touch play.  The Counter Attacking Team have unlimited touches.
2) Allow one counter attacking player to remain in the opponents half for the counter attack.  This player cannot be offside, but cannot score.  They should be used as a quick outlet for a long ball.
3) Require the Yellow Team (Build-up Team) to perform an overlap/1-2 combination before they can shoot on goal.

4) A neutral player can be added to support the team in possession.  This player does not defend.
Notes & Observations
Counter Attacking players must react quickly!  There has to be an attitude to quickly change pace and commit players forward and attempt to exploit the opposition with numbers down.  Counter attacking is the most taught topic at Premier League academies.  Our opponents are at their most vunerable immediately after a turn-over when the defending units are disorganized.