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 (U9 game)
Retreat behind the ball
“Focus on getting your position” • “Nearest to ball presses” • “Cover the player and the goal”
Set up in front of goal. Put one cone 10 yards out opposite the goal and a cone either side, each 5 yards to the side of the first cone and 5 yards from goal.
Put an attacker on each of the wide cones, a recovering defender with a ball on the cone opposite the goal, and another defender about 3 yards in front of the goal.
The recovering defender passes the ball to one of the attackers then moves quickly to join the other defender.
This is all about getting into the right positions to defend when the attackers are bearing down on goal with an initial overload. Players need to know where to recover to.
You must get the defenders to take up the correct positions, with the first defender holding up play for the second defender to get into a covering position. In the bottom diagram the defenders get into a position that forces the attacker to shoot early and lose the ball through their tight pressing on him.
How many players do I need?
You need four outfield players and a goalkeeper.
Position of the defensive pair.
Good blocks or tackles.
Force play away.