Soccer Drills

“Finishing Drill: Attacking the Space – Real Game Simulation”

Attacking the Space – Enhancing Tactical Awareness and Decision-Making

In this blog post, we will discuss a finishing drill that focuses on attacking the space. This drill is inspired by a top club and a top player, and while it may or may not be adaptable for your team, it is worth considering. We have often seen players like Theo Hernandez attacking and utilizing similar techniques, so implementing exercises like this in our training sessions can be beneficial.

The Importance of Real Game Simulations

Real game simulations are exercises that aim to replicate situations players may encounter during an actual match. By incorporating these simulations into our training sessions, we can help our players develop their tactical awareness and improve their decision-making abilities. These simulations are designed to take into account the qualities and physical aspects of our team, allowing us to enhance our overall performance on the field.

The Drill: Attacking the Space

The finishing drill we will discuss today focuses on attacking the space and involves three players and a goalkeeper. The drill starts with a passing combination and ends with a 1vs1 situation against the goalkeeper.

Here’s how the drill works:

  1. The three players start in a specific area of the field, preferably in a position that mimics a real game scenario.
  2. They initiate a passing combination, aiming to create space and move the ball towards the goal.
  3. As the passing combination progresses, the players should be aware of the movement of the defenders and adjust their positioning accordingly.
  4. The drill culminates in a 1vs1 situation between one of the attacking players and the goalkeeper. The attacking player must try to finish the ball successfully into the goal.

By incorporating this drill into our training sessions, we can work on several aspects:

  • Attacking Movement: The passing combination and the subsequent 1vs1 situation allow the attacking players to practice their movement off the ball and their ability to exploit open spaces.
  • Decision Making: As the passing combination evolves, the players must make quick decisions based on the movement of the defenders and the positioning of their teammates. This helps improve their decision-making abilities during real game situations.
  • Finishing Skills: The final 1vs1 situation provides an opportunity for the attacking player to work on their finishing skills under pressure. This drill helps them develop composure and accuracy in front of the goal.
  • Tactical Awareness: By implementing this drill, we can enhance the tactical awareness of our team. The players will learn to recognize and exploit spaces in the opponent’s defense, leading to more effective attacking plays during matches.

Adapting the Drill to Your Team

While this finishing drill has proven effective for top clubs and players, it is important to consider the specific qualities and physical aspects of your team. Every team is unique, and what works for one may not work for another.

When adapting this drill to your team, consider the following:

  • Player Abilities: Assess the technical skills and strengths of your players. Modify the passing combination and the level of difficulty in the 1vs1 situation to suit their abilities.
  • Formation and Tactics: Consider the formation and tactics your team employs during matches. Adapt the drill to replicate specific situations that may arise during games.
  • Physical Conditioning: Take into account the fitness levels of your players. Adjust the duration and intensity of the drill accordingly.

By customizing the drill to fit your team’s needs, you can maximize its effectiveness and ensure that it contributes positively to your training sessions.

Related Article: Transition Rondo Drills | Game Situations, Possession, Transitions, and Finishing


The finishing drill we discussed in this blog post provides a real game simulation that focuses on attacking the space. By incorporating this drill into our training sessions, we can improve our players’ attacking movement, decision-making abilities, finishing skills, and tactical awareness. However, it is crucial to adapt the drill to suit the specific qualities and physical aspects of our team. With careful customization, this drill can be a valuable addition to our training routine, helping us enhance our performance on the field.