Soccer: Hickory High’s 6-on-4 drill
The Hickory High School (Pennsylvania) girls soccer team made history during the 2016 season. Head coach B.J. Rudge and the Lady Hornets became the first team in Mercer County to advance to the final four, recording a school-record 17 shutouts in 24 games while outscoring opponents 148-8.
In talking with Coach & Athletic Director, Rudge shared a couple of his most valuable practice drills to strengthen team defense.
Hickory’s 6-on-4 drillWe do a lot of competitive half-field games between our defenders and our offensive players, and one we like a lot is the number game — 6-on-4 plus a goalkeeper (DIAGRAM).
In this game, each offensive player is given a ball and a specific number. To start the game, the coach calls out a number and that offensive player attacks the defenders with the ball. The other 5 attackers create runs to support the player with the ball. This game helps our defenders with communication, shifting, pressuring the ball and shrinking the space for the offensive attack.
This drill is especially great because it allows us to freeze the action and make appropriate coaching points. It can also be adjusted to fit any formation.
We will use targets for our defenders to play the ball when the win it. We want to teach our defenders to keep possession when they win the ball rather than just kick it away.