Academy Coach Course

Coaching Penetration

When you are working with younger and beginner soccer players, introducing the attacking principle of Penetration can be done in a fun and engaging way. Here’s how you can simplify, explain and teach the principle of penetration to your players:

What is it?

1. Penetration is an attacking principle in soccer that refers to breaking through the opposing team’s defensive line. This can be achieved through passes, dribbling, or off-the-ball runs that get our team into a position closer to the opponent’s goal.

2. Think about it like this: the opponent’s defence is a wall and we need to find a way through it. Penetration is about identifying and exploiting gaps in that wall to move the ball forward and create scoring opportunities.

3. The Attacking Principle of Penetration is about applying pressure on the opponent’s defence. The aim is to split the defence, create space and advance the ball towards the opponent’s goal, increasing our chances to score.

Why is it important?

1. Penetration is important because it’s the key to creating scoring opportunities. By breaking down the opponent’s defence, we can get the ball into dangerous areas and increase our chances of scoring.

2. Penetration is also crucial because it disrupts the opponent’s defensive organization. When we penetrate their defence, they are forced to react, which can create additional space and opportunities for us to exploit.

3. By penetrating the opponent’s defence, we can force them to commit fouls in dangerous areas. This can give us free-kick and penalty opportunities, which are excellent scoring chances.

When do we use it?

1. We should aim for penetration whenever we are in possession and looking to attack. It’s a proactive principle that should guide our decision making in the attacking phase of the game.

2. We need to use penetration especially when the opponents’ defence is well organized and hard to break down. In these situations, penetrating passes or dribbling can be the key to creating opportunities.

3. Penetration is crucial when we’re in the final third of the field. This is where the opponent’s goal is close and penetrating their defence can directly lead to scoring chances.

Where do we use it?

1. Penetration is most often utilized in the attacking half of the field. This is where the opponent’s defence is usually set up and where penetrating their lines can create goal-scoring opportunities.

2. It can also be used in the midfield to break through the initial line of the opponent’s defence, creating a forward momentum and putting the opponent on the back foot.

3. Even in our own half, a penetrating pass can bypass multiple lines of the opponent’s team and quickly shift the game from defence to attack.

Who does it?

1. All players on the team have a role to play in penetration. Forwards may make penetrating runs, midfielders might play penetrating passes, and defenders can contribute with long balls forward.

2. Primarily, the attacking players (forwards and attacking midfielders) will be the ones providing penetration as they are often in the best positions to break through the defence.

3. However, penetration is a team effort and depends on good movement and support from all players. Even the goalkeeper can contribute with long, penetrating kicks or throws.

How do they do it?

1. One way to provide penetration is through direct passes or dribbling that breaks through the opponent’s defensive line. This requires good ball control and vision to spot the gaps in the defence.

2. We can also achieve penetration with off-the-ball runs. By making a well-timed run behind the opponent’s defence, a player can receive a pass in a position closer to the opponent’s goal.

3. Combination plays are another excellent way to achieve penetration. A one-two pass or a give-and-go can be very effective to get past defenders and advance the ball forward.

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