5 Coaching Ideas For Engineering a Quicksilver Counter-Attack
More and more teams, from the lowest competitive youth leagues, to the Barclay's Premier League and La Liga, are starting to sit in deep and defend with two lines of four behind the ball, waiting for the perfect moment to strike against their opponents in the transition from defending to attacking.
Here are some ideas for engineering a quicksilver counter-attack that brings your team net-bursting goals.
1. Build Mental Toughness
If you're going to be defending wave after wave of the opponents attacks as you sit in and defend, you're going to have to build mental toughness in your players.
It takes a lot of heart to defend in your own half for long stretches of a match, so try and replicate some intense game-like pressure in training that pushes your players' brains and bodies to the limit, and makes them develop a durability that never gives in or compromises.
2. Maintain Compact Shape
If your going to park the bus and strike on the break, you've got train your team to maintain a compact defensive shape, where all the defenders and midfielders stay connected to one another.
Maintain a distance of 5-7 yards between defenders when you don't have the ball, this will limit penetration, and frustrate your opponents, by allowing them less opportunity for splits and the chance to play between your lines of defenders.
3. Work on Goalkeeper Distribution
When your goalkeeper does come to claim a shot and make a save, there is an incredible opportunity for your team to get on the front foot and start your counter-attack.
Work on punts, drop-kicks, and long throws, train for accuracy and a quick release, so that your goalkeeper can be the player that springs into action after making a save, and starts your team's attack when the opposition has committed numbers forward.
4. Deploy Forward Players with A Quick-Strike Mentality
If your going to hit the other team on the counter, you need to designate certain responsibilities to a couple of players with pace, the wide player playing no. 7 might be instructed to immediately push up and out when the goalkeeper claims the ball.
Your striker might also stay high and ride the shoulder of the opposition's last defender, looking to flick balls on to the outside channels, or turn and burn, and try to get in behind.
5. Train Wingers and Strikers to Hunt Lost Causes
There will be plenty of times when the distribution from your goalkeeper isn't perfect, but if you can develop selflessness and a hunger to turn half-chances and lost causes in to goals, then you can gain a competitive edge on your opponents.
Ask your wide players and target striker to work hard to claim kicks and throws that look destined to be wasted, teach them to make something out of nothing by instilling a willingness to sweat and toil no matter how desperate and unlikely winning the ball might seem.
Once or twice in a season that irresistible running will lead to a goal, free kick, or key moment for your team, and the culture of gambling on low odds will bare fruit and come to harvest at least a few times during your campaign.