Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

Attack the box like Drogba

By David Clarke

David ClarkeBalance, coordination and ball control skills are vital to the art of being a good striker. When he was at Chelsea, Didier Drogba could weave his way to goal and unleash an unstoppable shot at the end of it.

I want my strikers to do exactly the same, so I run through this exercise with them. I call it the slalom exercise because it’s just like what the slalom skiers have to do when racing downhill through a series of poles against the clock.

Get your players to run through this once then start timing them. Tell them you are not looking to see who is the quickest, you want to see who can beat their own time over the course of three runs each.

This means you are going to have to keep scores and names handy so you can check on players’ progress. You also need a stopwatch.

How to play it

  • Your player must dribble in and out of the coaching poles, go around either side of the cone – by selling a dummy or skill move – and finish with a shot on goal.
  • On the next run the player must do the same movement but beat the goalkeeper at the end.
  • Finally the player must do the same movement but beat an active defender before scoring past the goalkeeper.

Key coaching tips

  1. Tell your players you want to see close control and the use of both feet through the poles.
  2. When they are faced with the cone they must try to show a feint or skill, not just run around it.

They can use any shooting technique they like – inside outside of their foot, laces or even a chip, the most important thing is to hit the target.

Neymar is another player who attacks by going past defenders – watch this:


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