Team defending needs organisation

Organising your team’s defence is vital to having a successful season. So how do you go about getting your team to stop the opposition scoring goals?

Organisation stems from players knowing their key roles. To begin with the defender nearest to the player with the ball, the first defender, applies pressure to delay the attack and to give supporting players the opportunity to get into position.

The first defender takes a side-on stance, on his toes ready to move – you don’t want to see a flat-footed defender who can be caught off balance. He should jockey and try stab tackles but should not fully commit unless the player on the ball makes a mistake.

This pressure means the player with the ball will find his forward movement blocked and will look to pass to a teammate. Now the supporting players come into their role, looking to deny the shot and deny any penetration by covering the areas that the ball can be passed into.

So tell your players they can score without the ball and give them the tools to get the ball back using the sessions below:

Start with a game that gives an overload to the attackers so your defenders have to work hard and support each other against the overload. Defending in small groups is the perfect session to get your team started on defending principles.

Then you can target specific ways to play in overload situations – 3v2, 2v1 – that occur in every match your team plays. Attacking overloads is a great way to get players working in these small group games; it’s one I use throughout the season with my team.

And don’t forget to make it fun… Multi ball game is an exciting activity where players work in small groups that build up into a small-sided game from 1v1, 2v1, 2v2 and so on. It keeps your players thinking about how and where to defend, depending on how many support players they have.

Finally, give your players a good workout in pressing and winning the ball back, which is key to creating counter-attack situations. Hunters is a great fun game that gets players working hard in small groups to win the ball and turn the tables on their opponents.

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