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
Press the ball (U9 activity)
Press the ball
“Press the player on the ball” • “Second defender cover” • “Anticipate the pass”
You need seven passing players and two defenders. Get the passers to form a circle with a diameter of a maximum 15 yards – the defenders go inside the circle.
The passers begin by passing a ball to one another across the circle. The defenders must try to intercept the ball by anticipating passes and pressing players the instant they receive the ball.
The two defenders must communicate with each other and press quickly. If a defender forces a mistake, he changes place with the player who made the mistake and play continues like that.
This is quite a physical game for U9s so run in short bursts and make sure that the same players are not always in the middle – you may have to make it one touch if the defenders are having trouble, or change a passer into a defender.
How many players do I need?
You need seven passers and two defenders (you can experiment with numbers).