September 8, 2014

4 vs. 4

4 vs. 4 Line/Small Goal Soccer

Goal scoring is invaluable for every soccer team, but understanding how to create goal-scoring opportunities is equally as important and needs to be addressed at an early level. The 4 vs. 4 line, or small goal soccer drill, helps players understand how to support teammates by properly separating the field while focusing on attacking, defending, passing and receiving skills.

Start by setting up a 40×25-yard grid. Use the lines on the pitch as the end lines, or set up two small goals on each end line and mark the sidelines with cones. Separate your players into two teams of four, and use extra players as subs throughout the drill or after one team scores. The team with possession scores by physically stopping the ball on the end line or within the goal. This emphasizes the importance of the passing game and setting up goal-scoring opportunities during an official game.

Offensive Coaching Points

Make sure your players are dribbling with their heads up; they need to see everything happening on the shortened field to best utilize passing angles and attacking opportunities. It’s also important the offensive players without the ball are supporting their teammates by properly separating the field – in a four-on-four game players should maintain a diamond layout. Players should be ready to change speeds and direction, along with mixing in both short and long passes, to create the best scoring opportunities.

Defensive Coaching Points

On the defensive side of the pitch, players need to create pressure and a sense of chaos to lure offensive players into making a bad pass or mishandling the ball. It’s also important to maintain a balanced attack while having as many defenders behind the ball as possible.

Finally, make sure offensive and defensive players are communicating on the pitch. Whether it’s four-on-four or an official game, communication is essential to success on the pitch.

Make sure to check back next week as Semper Soccer continues to deliver new drills to help your players improve their skills and prepare for the upcoming season.