Soccer defending game with overload attackers

This soccer coaching session creates situations where defenders face an increasing number of attackers. They have to react to, and deal with, the waves of attacks.
It's a game which tests your defenders' decision-making under increasing levels of pressure. Each attack gives the defenders different problems to solve. For example:

  • Who is going to press the opponent? What type of support do they give their team-mates?

  • Once a player has defended successfully in the multi-ball game, who should they go and help?

Defending overload game

How to play defending overload game

  • Create a 30 yards by 40 yards playing area.

  • Three defenders start in the area and must defend 3v1, 3v2 and 3v3 situations, with the attackers attempting to score in the top goal.
  • After each wave of attack, the attackers replace the defenders for the next turn.
  • Next, the three defenders defend against one attacker in a 3v1, then two attackers who have a ball each in a 3v2, and then three attackers with a ball each in a 3v3 (creating 3 x 1v1 situations).
  • Players must react to help each other as each ball leaves the pitch.

How to develop overload game

The defenders must defend against five consecutive balls. After each attacker starts their run, a new attacker enters the game. The defenders, therefore, practise from having a 3v1 advantage over the attackers through to 3v5 in the attackers' favour.

Attackers already in the playing area do not have to return to the starting point.

Click here to order a copy of Perfect Defending, written by Michael Beale, Chelsea FC academy coach.

Click here for another defending soccer drill using overload tactics.