The defensive soccer drills and games in this section will help you coach your players to work as a unit at the back. We look at how your players should organise themselves, what are their roles and responsibilities as defenders, and how they should react in different defensive situations.

With work, you should be able to coach your players to control the game at the back and to start great passing moves leading to goals at the other end.

U11s recovery session

U11s defending game to recover a lost ball

If your players, rather than get hurt, turn their backs on the ball when they’re pressing in midfield take a look at this recovery game. I use recovery sessions where players must watch their own position and that of their team mates in getting back behind the ball to block it. This takes their minds […]

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Secure the box feature

Defend set pieces and secure the box

This session helps defenders understand the importance of marking tightly in the penalty area and not losing their man. It also helps players to read the game and clear the ball and to keep your hands and arms by your side when play is in the penalty area. Why use it The two central defenders […]

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12-player read and react feature

12-player game to read and react to long balls

Reading and reacting to long balls is important in youth soccer and this game will teach your players how to cut them out and stop strikers streaking away. Why use it Teams can turn up and launch long balls behind your defenders. This game will get players watching for, and reacting to, the danger of […]

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High press and attack feature

13 player high press and attack session

Learning the triggers of when to press and to control both sides of the pitch in attack and defence. Why use it For individuals, the task helps fine-tune the art of reading triggers to press, along with blocking the line of the pass into the target and pressing with intensity. For each team, the practice […]

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U10s Pressing Game feature

U10s Pressing Game

This 9-player game will get your U10s working together to press and support. Set up a 15 x 10 yards area split into two halves. You need three teams of three players. Start with a team in each half and the third team on the centre line. The two outer teams try to pass the […]

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Hold the Line feature

Hold the Line Tactic

Hold the line is a call to ensure that defenders stay together on the same line and hold their position on the field. A defence must hold the line in order to: Allow midfielders and forwards to press the ball. Stop spaces appearing between defenders and midfielders that the opposing team can exploit. Allow an […]

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Goalside Featured Image

Goalside Tactic

Goalside is a tactic used when a team is defending. The aim is to get as many players as possible between the ball and the goal being defended. Moving players goalside can create an additional defender, improving the odds of the defenders repelling an attack. The illustrations show how a 6v6 situation can turn to […]

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EasiCoach Pressing Activity U7-U8

U8s pressing practice

A great 5-player pressing activity for your U8s. Set up a 10 x 10 yards area with one goal. Put a pair of attackers directly opposite the goal about 8 yards away and a pair of defenders on halfway, 1 yard in from the touchline. When you say “go”, the defender passes across to the […]

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Tactics Made Simple - Track featured image

Tracking attacking players is crucial to defending as a unit

Track is what midfielders do when closely following an opposing midfielder’s forward run. In a game, it is important that a midfielder stays with his opponent and tracks his moves to stop him receiving the ball in attacking areas of the pitch. Warn midfielders not to get caught ball watching and allowing opponents to run off them into space. David Clarke’s Soccer Tactics Made Simple explains 58 […]

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