Counter Attacking Play

Adrian Parrish, Director of Coach and Player Development for Kentucky Youth Soccer offers these insights

It may be a relatively new tactical concept but "Counter Attacking Soccer" is becoming a more fashionable style of play. More than 40% of the goals during this past summer at the Euro 2008 Championship were scored by teams that were in defensive situations and then exploited the space their opponents left on a fast break.

Speed of Play is a major factor in educating teams how to use the counter attack effectively. It can entail a sequence of two or three sharp passes that put a player on goal or a more direct approach. This exciting style of soccer is growing in popularity at the top level and hopefully we start utilizing it better within the youth game.

Too often we don’t educate our players to see the big picture.  If you want your teams to be successful at counter attacking you need to help them read the current situation, calculate the probabilities, and make a decision on what to do and how to act. The game will present these situations but it is our responsibility as coaches to help players understand the possibility of a counter attack.

Kentucky Youth Soccer Association recommends that you build a library  which you can use for the season, you can do this by writing your own or using the resources such as the Lesson Plan Form or by visiting the Coach's Corner website collection by clicking here.

Key Ingredients to Counter Attacking Soccer

The Dutch National Team have become masters in Counter Attacking Soccer, this article has quotes from Rinus Michels book "Team Building" which covers the important aspects you need in helping your players understand the concept of counter attacking soccer.  Rinus Michels played and coached for the men’s Dutch National Team and is credited with invention of "Total Football."  To read the entire article, please click here.

The Counter Attacks Video

We have all heard and possibly used the expression "A picture paints a thousand words". This compilation of video clips on Counter Attacking plays from some of the world’s best is a great way for coaches to understand the concept and share it with their players. As you watch these clips observe how the players control the tempo of the game and utilize the space. You will also recognize that counter attacking does not mean that you have to attack with numbers up but rather with conviction.

To see the clip from You Tube, click here.
For More Information on Counter Attacking
Transition and Counter Attacking: Tactical Analysis
Massimo Lucchesi, Paperback, Reedswain / March 2004, 136 Pages, List Price $14.95, 9781591640530 (1591640539)
Adjusting your game plan to counter the tactics and abilities of your opponent is crucial in today’s ultra-competitive world of soccer. This book underlines the importance of defensive organization to not only stop the opponent but to be able to be in a position to counterattack upon regaining possession and offers tactical solutions to counteract your opponent’s system of play. Also includes a discussion of the offsides rule and the pros and cons of using it as a tactical strategy.
To read selections from the book on, click here.