In the clip below Schellas Hyndman, current Men’s Soccer Head Coach at Grand Canyon University, leads the Up, Back, and Through drill as part of his Exercises to Train the Striker demonstration. This very simple and effective drill focuses on several key points that will help your strikers (forwards) continue to improve and develop their skills. Coach Hyndman, who has over 30 years of coaching experience, has excelled at both the collegiate (Eastern Illinois, SMU) and professional (FC Dallas) levels.
This drill consists of six players that are set up in a rectangle shape. The two players on each end (four total) are the midfielders and the two players in the middle are the strikers (forwards). The drill starts with one midfielder passing the ball into one of the strikers (Up). The striker receives the ball and passes back to the midfielder (Back). Both strikers then spin and curl their runs as the midfielder connects a pass to one of them in space (Through).
Coach Hyndman briefly explains and shows how this works, then he makes a change and adjustment that is used throughout the rest of the drill. He instructs the striker to receive the ball from the midfielder, but instead of passing it back to this player, he wants the pass to go to the other striker. After making this pass, the striker continues their run to receive a pass back from the other striker into space.
The video clip is just a portion of a presentation that Coach Hyndman made at a Glazier Soccer Clinic. For information on how to obtain access to the entire presentation as well as hundrdeds of other clinic presentations click the link Glazier Clinics Vault. To find out about glazier soccer clinics scheduled near you click here
The video below has sound, so please make sure that your sound is turned on and that you have access to the site.
There are several great coaching points made during this drill:
1. Strikers (forwards) checking back to the ball
When the midfielder is making the first pass, the striker should always be checking back or moving towards the ball.This movement not only creates space away from a defender during a game, it opens up space behind the defender once they move towards the striker and ball. Most importantly, checking back to the ball is a good habit that youwant your strikers to learn.
2. Strikers (forwards) receiving the ball with their back foot
This drill is a great opportunity for strikers to practice receiving the ball with their back foot. This requires your midfielders to be accurate in passing the ball to the proper foot. The importance of receiving the ball with your back foot is that it teaches players to open their bodies up. Coach Hyndman discusses the angle of checking back to receive the ball with your back foot, which is also extremely important in this drill.
3. Combination play between strikers (forwards)
The simple “give and go” pass is used at every level and is very effective. If you can train your strikers to work together and as a group, you will be much better off and create more chances to score. A key point to this is that your strikers stay connected during a game. They should always be moving up and back together, as well as side to side on the field.