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
Retreat behind the ball (activity U9)
Retreat behind the ball
“Focus on getting your position” • “Nearest to ball presses” • “Cover the player and the goal”
Set up a 15 x 10 yards area with a cone channel at one end and a goal at the other. The channel should be 5 yards wide and run for half the length of the area. You also need a cone on the right hand side of the goal in the corner.
Put two attackers and a ball at the beginning of the channel. Start with one defender protecting the goal and two others moving from recovery positions – one starts close to goal but must run around the cone to recover and the other starts alongside the two attackers.
The attackers have one job to do and that is score a goal – the recovering defenders must move quickly to help the defender in front of goal. This is how a transition, such as a counter-attack, would work.
The three defenders move to cover each other – if they get back quickly enough they should either be able to pressure the attackers into taking a hasty shot (more likely to miss the target) or create a barrier the attackers cannot break through.
If you find the defenders are getting back too quickly, tell them to wait for your call and release them after the attackers have started.
How many players do I need?
You need three defenders and two attackers for the activity to work.