Shoulder To Shoulder

Drill Purpose

Shoulder To Shoulder is a drill designed for defensive as well as offensive players. The primary purpose of the exercise is for the offensive player to practice quick shooting under pressure while the defensive player practices clearing the ball.


1. Three players per drill group will be used. The distance from A to B is about 10-15 yards. B and the defensive player line up shoulder to shoulder.

2. B and the defensive player, standing right next to each other, face away from the goal on the left side of the field.

3. On your whistle, A throws a ball behind the two players.

4. B and the defensive player turn on the signal and attempt to gain control of the ball.

5. B’s objective is to create a shot on goal while the defensive player’s objective is to turn with the ball and dribble it over the center line.

Points of Emphasis

Shoulder To Shoulder is a simple contact soccer drill. Players will learn to win a ball despite being under pressure from an opposing player. During Shoulder To Shoulder, instruct players to…

– (defensive) position their body between the goal and B.
– (defensive) turn to the outside with the ball before dribbling over the center line.
– (offensive) once having won possession, take a shot immediately.


As players gain an understanding of the drill, further variations include:

1. Allowing A to place a ball behind the participants rather than throwing it.
2. Delaying the whistle so the ball has a chance to settle before the players turn.
3. Adding a second defender or offender which adds another dimension to
the drill.

Motivation / Teaching Tips

Tip #1 – Reward offensive players that score a goal.

Tip #2 – Have defensive players understand that a ball in
possession should be taken outside (towards the wing) before heading
up the field.

Tip #3 – Encourage all players to play aggressively and learn to be
comfortable with contact.

2 Responses to Shoulder To Shoulder

  1. ato June 10, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

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