One of the most important topics in defensive play is compactness. A key principle of compactness is that the playing area of the opposition is minimised so there is less space for them to attack in. Give your players a lesson in compactness MORE
Defend against the dribbler
When an opponent who can dribble well with the ball bears down on your team’s defence, it can often lead to a goal against you. Teach your players how to deal with this threat.
What this session is about
- Improving individual defending.
- Defending against a dribble.
- Defending as a team.
What to think about
Defending 1v1 is one of the hardest situations a footballer is asked to complete.
The defender must:
- Apply pressure by closing the distance between himself and the dribbling attacker, then angle his body to cut off the option of going one way. This will force the attacker to one side.
- Close the space to touching distance before making a tackle.
- Stay on his feet unless he is certain of winning the ball. By staying on his feet, he is able to slow down the dribbling player and this allows a team mate to chase back and give support.
|Warm up||Session||Developments||Game Situation||Warm Down|
|10 minutes||10 minutes||15 minutes||15 minutes||10 minutes|
What you get your players to do
Mark out a 30-yard square, split into three strips with a mini or cone goal at one end of each strip.
Split your players into three groups. One defender in each strip passes to an attacker then tries to stop him going past and scoring in a 1v1.
The attacker becomes the new defender no matter what the outcome of the attack is.
Use an area 50 yards long by 40 yards wide with a 10-yard channel on each wing and use one goal, as shown in the middle picture.
Use three teams of four players, plus a goalkeeper. One team defends, one attacks and the other rests.
To start, the first attacker (A1) dribbles 1v1 to try and go past the defender (D1) and take a shot at goal.
Then, A2 dribbles a new ball to make a 2v2 with A1 against defenders D1 and D2. A3 then attacks from a wide area and the first defender he meets is D3 – this is now a 3v3.
Finally, A4 dribbles from the opposite wide area to make a 4v4 by bringing D4 into play.
In this game situation, the defenders can either defend alone, in small groups or as a full four-player defence.
For the next turn, the resting team attacks, the attackers defend and the defenders rest.
Use the same size area but add another goal at the opposite end.
Play a small-sided game with normal rules but two assistant coaches have a bunch of balls each and stand outside each wide channel to act as servers.
When the ball leaves play, one of the servers restarts the game by passing a ball into one of the wide channels for a 1v1 duel between the nearest players – one from each team.
The player who is able to win the 1v1 duel now creates a crossing opportunity or the chance to dribble in to the pitch to combine with their team mates. Try to make sure all outfield players take part in such 1v1 duels. The team that scores most goals wins.