Drill: Attacking with flank play
Field set-up: Mark off a grid outside the 18-yard box that is 20-by-30 yards.Equipment: Four cones, two sets of pennies (jerseys)
Length of Drill: 20 to 30 minutes
Players involved: 12 to 16
Play starts with a five-on-five possession game in a 20-by-30-yard grid just outside the 18-yard box. One team tries to keep the ball away from the opposing team by passing and dribbling. Once a team connects five consecutive passes in a row without the opposing team touching the ball, they advance the play.
To advance the play they must pass the ball to either one of two flank players standing between the side of the 18-yard box and the sideline. The flank players remain stationary inside a grid marked out by the coach. The pass to the flank players should be a firm pass with the inside of the foot on the ground. As soon as the ball leaves the possession box, all the attacking players crash the box looking to score. This means the attacking players run to the front of the goal trying to deflect the cross into the net.
Only two defensive players are allowed to leave the box to try to stop the attacking players from finishing. The defensive players are the ones who don't have possession of the ball in the grid. If the defensive players reach the ball first, they clear the ball as far away from the goal as possible.
The players on the flanks only get two touches. One touch is to settle the ball and the second touch is to cross the ball in the penalty box for the attacking players to run to. The cross should be in the air about six yards away from the goal. This gives the attacking players the best chance to score.
This activity incorporates many different areas of the game into one drill. First, the players have to connect five consecutive passes in a row. It is important for any team to be able to possess the ball in tight areas.
Once the team reaches the required five passes, they must find their flank players. Again it is vital for any team to use its width -- play the ball to the sidelines to maximize the spacing on the field. This drill forces the players to get the ball wide in the attack.
Finally the flank players have to control the ball and serve an accurate cross for the attacking players to score from. It is critical that the teams are able to score goals from crosses when given the opportunity. The main function of this drill is to work on possession, flank play and scoring.
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Old Dominion University Men's Soccer Team