The long ball over the top of the defence can be difficult to defend against in youth soccer, so I’ve put together five drills and activities to help you coach defending against teams that play long ball tactics… One of the best ways to stop long balls is to get strikers to press high up... MORE
Full pitch pressure to win the ball (U11 activity)
Full pitch pressure to win the ball
“Close down quickly” • “Don’t commit until you see a good chance to win the ball” • “Try to force a mistake” • “Win the ball”
Set up an area with four 5 x 5 yards squares. Position three defenders (D1, D2 and D3) and five attackers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) in the squares, as shown.
The aim is for the defenders to pressurise the attackers and gain possession. The attackers are only allowed two touches and must then pass to a team mate in a different box.
Here, D1 pressurises player 2, closing him down so that his only option is to pass to player 3. D3 sees this and immediately moves to close down 3.
The attacking players should move within their squares to make themselves available for a pass, while the defenders should move to try and close down the passing routes.
If winning the ball becomes too easy, take out a defender, keep the same numbers and enlarge the playing area, or remove the twotouch restriction..
How many players do I need?
We used eight players for this activity.