Movement Behind and Across Defenders Scoring Exercise

The following drills comes from Jeff's book, “Drills and Exercises to Develop the Elite American Soccer Player©.”

This book focuses on sessions and exercises which address the issues specific to American players. It is a book for coaches at every level but, especially, coaches of players aged U9 to U14. This is a vitally important age when players are, without even knowing it, making decisions on which sport they will choose to play. Preview


Teams should dedicate two sessions, or parts of sessions, a week dedicated to goal scoring and striker movement. These sessions must be realistic scoring sessions. Lining ten players up to take shots at the goalkeeper is not realistic to the game. Players must practice realistic striker movements in and around the penalty box. Here is one such session.

In this exercise, there are four corner stations and two internal mannequins. The players pass the ball and move to the cone or mannequin they passed it to. The center forwards are working to get behind, across and around the mannequin. In sequence 1 the striker, once again, starts on the mannequin and steps back and away. After controlling the ball, he passes to one of the corner players who then pass the ball across the field to the next corner. In both cases the players follow their pass. Sequence 2 accentuates the realistic movement which strikers make when they sprint, for example, between the left center back and left back. They will have to receive a ball that is coming at them as they are running into the opponent’s penalty box at top speed. The quality of the first touch is most important and is, normally, executed with the outside of the foot – in this case the right foot. Striker passes the ball to the corner cone and follows his pass.

movement behind scoring exercise