GK and the Back Four: Transition from Defense to Offense

Try this fundamental progression for helping your goalkeepers get plenty of repetitions when transitioning from defense to offense. It will help your goalkeeper utilize his/her central defenders and outside backs when building out of the back and gives them opportunities to decide the appropriate use of technique and tactical decision making during the moment of transition.

Activity #1:

Setup:

Coach is 10-12 yards away from the GKs, GKs alternate reps.

Gk And The Back Four: Transition From Defense To Offense | SoccerSpecific.com
Diagram A

Instructions:

Technical warm up progression include one touch passing, two touch passing, GK rolls the ball out for a one time strike back to the hands, volleys after a half turn, low dives in front of cones, collapse dives in front of the cones.

Coaching Points:

  • Passing and receiving technique
  • Handling technique from a moving ball and from a volley
  • Low dive technique and collapse dive technique
  • Leading with hands
  • Diving out at an angle
  • Getting feet set
  • Set the tempo
  • Overall technical proficiency

Activity #2:

Setup:

Two small goals are placed at the top of the box as shown but are actually angled more towards the goal. The two small goals represent the the passing lanes to the two central defenders that have opened up in order to build out of the back properly. Coach works through the group of balls and then the GK’s rotate.

Gk And The Back Four: Transition From Defense To Offense | SoccerSpecific.com
Diagram B

Instructions:

Coach plays a ball with pace on the ground to the GK, the GK must take a positive first touch in front of the cones towards their taget and then plays an accurate ball on the ground with pace into either of the two small goals representing the two central defenders.

Coaching Points:

  • Positive and aggressive starting position
  • Body behind the ball when receiving
  • Positive first touch out from the body at a 45 degree angle towards the desired target
  • Play and support followed by communication

Activity #3:

Setup:

Two small goals are placed at the top of the box as shown but are actually angled more towards the goal.  The two small goals represent the passing lanes to the two central defenders that have opened up to build out of the back properly.

Gk And The Back Four: Transition From Defense To Offense | SoccerSpecific.com
Diagram C

Instructions:

The two GKs play one touch back and forth, on the coaches shout/instruction the ball stops with the GK at the top of the box, the coach then strikes a ball on the ground or a well hit ball in the air towards goal. If the ball is on the ground the GK must take a prep touch and then find a small goal with their feet, if the ball is in the air the the GK must secure the ball properly with his/her hands and throw the ball into either small goal. Progression include having the other GK provide a little bit of pressure on the back pass.

Coaching Points:

  • All previous coaching points
  • Technique one touch passing
  • Game awareness of an additional service
  • Deciding how and where to distribute
  • Passing technique and throwing technique
  • Support the distribution like a field player
  • Switching the point of attack

Activity #4:

Setup:

Two small goals are placed as shown but are angled slightly more towards the goal and represent the two outside backs that have advanced higher and wider up the field to build out of the back properly. Coach works through the group of balls and then rotates the roles.

Gk And The Back Four: Transition From Defense To Offense | SoccerSpecific.com
Diagram D

Instructions:

The coach and the resting GK pass the ball back and forth 1 and 2 touch. At any time the coach or GK can take a touch into the box and shoot, hit a first time shot, or play the other one for a 1v1 through ball. It is encouraged to keep the working keeper honest by shot fakes and/or chipping balls in towards the crossbar. Once the ball has been secured with the hands or feet the GK must finish the sequence with a throw or longer pass to either small goal (left defender and right defender).

Coaching Points:

  • All previous coaching points
  • Starting position for a shot
  • Thru ball, or chip
  • Reading the shooters body language
  • Quickness off the line
  • Distribution with hands and feet, where, how and speed of play, support the build out
  • Little adjustments to starting postition based on the moving ball at the top of the box
  • Decision making, breakaway technique

Activity #5:

Setup:

5V5 variation to one big goal and two counter goals. Field space can be adjusted according to age level. Two counter goals are in place for the yellow team to win possession and counter to goal.

Gk And The Back Four: Transition From Defense To Offense | SoccerSpecific.com
Diagram E

Instructions:

The five green attackers create and capitalize off scoring opportunities against the four yellow defenders and their GK. Defending yellow players cannot drop/enter the zone marked by the green offside line until a penetrating ball has been played. Possession is maintained until penetration, pass or dribble by a green attacker has occured. Coach works through 10 balls and dictates the pace as well as the point of attack. GK rotate every 2 reps.

Coaching Points:

  • All previous coaching points
  • Tactical organization of the four defenders
  • Connected starting position
  • Reading thru balls
  • Shot stopping
  • Breakaway technique
  • Once possession is won by the GK, opening up and building quickly out of the back before the opponent can set up