U14 Practice Session - Attacking from Wide Areas

Practice Date: Monday, June 18th, 2018

In this practice session designed for players in the U14 age level the focus is on how and when to play the ball wide as opposed to using the middle of the field. The outline for this practice is the following:

  1. 31 x 20 yard 4 vs. 4 scrimmage (10 minutes)
  2. 4 vs. 4 to to six goals (15 minutes)
  3. Curved Zones (15 miunutes)
  4. 7 vs. 7 scrimmage (15 minutes)

End of practice questions

  • Why should we look centrally before playing out wide? (because the only reason to play wide is because the space doesn’t exist in the center. We want to get the ball as close the goal as we can!).
  • Why should we immediately get wide when our team wins the ball?? (width gives up the option to play wide, and makes the defenders spread out for us…allowing us to play centrally).
  • Why is a cross on the ground preferred over a cross in the air? (depends on the situation, but scoring from the ground is easier than scoring from the air).

31 x 20 4 vs. 4 Scrimmage

31 x 20 4 vs. 4 Scrimmage - Soccer small sided game


  • Remove the endzones in the previous game, and add two 3 yard goals on each end (field is now 31x20yds)
  • Let players play 4v4, coach decides how restarts happen, depending on local rules

Coaching Points:

  • None! Just let them play! However, get excited when you see a player try a try a dribbling move, or attempts to get a defender off balance.
  • Always highlight positives you see, but don’t stop play and don’t correct their decision making. This is their time to play how they want!

4 v 4 to 6 Goals


  • Make multiple fields as necessary. Players play 4v4.
  • Teams attack the three goals on one side of the field.
  • Outside goals are worth 1pts, inside goal worth 3.
  • Restart with throw-ins and goalkicks. No corners.
  • Both teams play in a 3-1 formation. (#2, #3, #4, #9)
  • Progression: You can change the point values so that the outside goals are worth 3 points.

Coaching Points

  • Encourage the outside backs (#2 and #3) to get forward to support the attack by providing width.
  • Mobility of attacking team. Once they’re in a good shape, they need to continue moving into new space to unbalance defenders.

Curved Zones

Curved Zones Soccer Activity for U14


  • 6yd goals on each side with goalkeepers. Give each team a formation.
  • Add a wide zone on each side of the field (about 5 yards wide), but angle in like diagram.
  • Players play a straight scrimmage. However, if a goal is scored from a pass from the wide zones, that goal is worth 3 goals instead of 1.
  • Defenders can defend in the curved wide zones.

Coaching Points

  • Talk about decision making with crosses. Should we always cross just because we are wide? When should we dribble? Can we cross the ball, but still play it on the ground? Wide zones are curved in, encouraging a dribble to get closer to the goal.
  • Encourage players to look centrally first (because that is where the goal is). If a good shot or pass doesn’t exist, then look to play wide.
  • Movement off the ball. If players don’t get wide when we win the ball, then we can’t pass wide!
  • Communication (verbal and nonverbal)

7 vs. 7 Scrimmage

7 vs. 7 Soccer Scrimmage


  • Play 7v7. If your numbers are short, decrease size of field to 40x25 and play 6v6.
  • Cones for goals are 6yds wide and use goalkeepers.

Coaching Points

  • None! Just sit back and let them play. Play full rules for your age group: offside, thrown-ins, goalkicks and corners etc.
  • If you see deception, get excited, even if the move doesn’t work! Give them the thumbs-up and tell them you want them to try it again. The more you encourage the attempt, instead of the result, the more often your players will be willing to take risks in a game.