EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Defending games

In November 2008 we looked at defending individually and in 2s and 3s. This session pulls all of the techniques into a single session where defenders face an increasing number of attackers with each ball.

What this session is about

  1. Reacting to waves of attacks.
  2. Decision making under increasing levels of pressure.

What to think about

  • Each game gives the defenders different problems to solve.
  • Who is going to press the opponent? What type of support do you give your team mates?
  • In the multi-ball exercise once a player has defended successfully, who should they go and help?

Set-up

  •  30×40 yard area.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Three defenders start in the area and must defend 3v1, then 3v2 and finally 3v3 with the attackers attempting to score in the top goal.

After each wave of attacks the attackers replace the defenders for the next turn.

Next, the three defenders defend one attacker in a 3v1, then two attackers who have a ball each in a 3v2, then three attackers with a ball each in a 3v3 (creating 3 x 1v1 situations). Players must react to help each other as each ball leaves the pitch.

Let the defenders have the advantage to begin the session.

Let the defenders have the advantage to begin the session.


Development

The defenders must defend 5 consecutive balls.

After each ball a new attacker enters the game. The defenders therefore practice from having a 3v1 advantage over the attackers through to 3v5 in attackers favour.

Attackers already in the playing area do not have to return to the starting point.

Can they cope with defending more than one ball?

Can they cope with defending more than one ball?


Game situation

Play a normal game. Look at how the defenders work together to close out the opponents attacks. After experiencing the above games with multiple balls and outcomes, defending should seem easier in a normal game.

Finally build from 3v1 to 3v5 to give the attackers the advantage.

Finally build from 3v1 to 3v5 to give the attackers the advantage.


What to call out

  •  “React to the attackers”
  •  “Who is going to press?”
  •  “Who is covering?”
  •  “Can you win the ball?”
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