Attacking and Defending In and Around the Penalty Area

The following drill comes from Tony DiCicco and was presented at the Soccer Champions Coaches' Clinic. Find out more about the Soccer Champions Coaches' Clinic.

This drill gives shooting practice for your strikers as well as helping to strengthen your keepers defensive organization skills.


3+3 vs 3+3 - Dimensions of the Penalty area of slightly more extended above the 18.

The game is like half-court basketball.  The defending team (red to start) must win the ball and pass it out to their teammates on the outside and then they become offensive and the blue become defensive.  

Outside players receive and either do a flank serve as in a game or find a pass that will lead to a shot. Switch outside and inside every 2-3 minutes.  If this game is played correctly, it is physically demanding.

Attacking and Defending In and Around the Penalty Area

Key Coaching Points


  1. Communicate, stay organized, remember when the ball goes wide, a flank serve will come in so defenders have to mark closely and try to see the ball and their defensive mark.
  2. Once the ball is won, must PASS it to an outside teammate to move to offensive players.


  1. This is a scoring game.  Use 1v1, combination play, getting on the end of flank service to score.
  2. When you lose the ball, don't let the defense play it to their outside teammates, win it back and score.

Download a PDF of this session

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