Develop The Attacking Mentality


Gary Crompton is currently in his 11th season as an assistant coach at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. His professional playing career spanned 9 years with his physical and aggressive style earning him the reputation as one of the most respected defenders in the ‘A’ League. At the youth level, Crompton has had success at various levels and is currently the coach of the U-16 FC Greater Boston Bolts. Crompton holds an NSCAA Advanced National Coaching License as well as a USSF Pro B License.


Multiple – To develop quick attacking play, beating an opponent, finishing, angles of support. Will also have a positive effect on physical conditioning.


A grid is created using the width of the 18-yard line (44 yards) and approximately 22-25 yards long. Goalkeepers are in each goal. 6 v 6 with players organized into pairs. A selection of balls are positioned with each group at the side of the goal. The coach is positioned at sideline with a selection of balls.

Gary Crompton.Continuous action


Two players from each team enter the field of play on the coaches command. In the above diagram players (A) and (B) enter the field with the ball. Players (C) and (D) act as the defenders. Both sets of players compete for the ball and try to score in the opponents goal. Any time the ball crosses over the end-line (either into the goal or wide of the goal) the defending team must quickly exit the field; two new teammates must quickly enter the field with a new ball. The team that took the shot must now become the defenders. In this way the players constantly change roles – from attackers to defenders.
If the ball crosses the side-line a new ball is quickly passed in by the coach to maintain the flow of the exercise. Play continuously anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on desired outcome.


Increase the numbers to 3 v 3. The 3 v 3 set-up will allow for greater opportunities for the coach to concentrate on movement off the ball – angles of support, timing of support, width, depth etc. This will also increase the physical demand on the players due to a decreased work:rest ratio.

Coaching Points:

  • Angles of support, and timing of support, width, depth etc.
  • Play must be quick and direct – exercise must be at a fast pace.
  • Quality of finishing.
  • Outside players must stay “tuned in” and ready to quickly enter the playing area.
  • Introduce combination play – one-two passes, double pass, overlaps etc.