If you want to improve your team’s defensive performance, use this activity to teach players when to press and when to hold, so they can control play even if they don’t have possession. MORE
Defending in threes
In the final part of our recent series on defending we look at defending as a unit. This practice improves the shape and positioning of defenders when defending in threes.
What this session is about
Building a good understanding between the team’s defenders and developing their appreciation of the positions they must take up
relative to each other, the attackers and the ball.
What to think about
- Do the players move as a group?
When defending as a unit it is important that players are aware not just of the different roles, but also of how their role changes when the ball is moved from side to side by the attacking team. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link so the players must
work to improve together.
- 30 x 20 yard area.
|Warm up||Session||Developments||Game Situation||Warm Down|
|7-10 minutes||20-25 minutes||20-25 minutes||20-25 minutes||7-10 minutes|
What you get your players to do
To start, the coach calls out a number and the players must take up the correct defensive positioning on the mannequins (nearest pressures, next covers and furthest provides depth). The illustrations on the right illustrate the positions the defenders should be taking relative to the number highlighted.
When the coach calls “go” the defenders must run past the mannequins and defend their goal in a live 3v3 game. Look at how the team defend, does the nearest player pressure the attacker and what do the other players do to support?
This development can be run with a goalkeeper.
On the coach’s call the attacker must dribble into the area, the nearest defending player must pressure the ball whilst the other defenders mark the other forwards.
If the defenders win the ball they can break out for their chance to score in either of the small goals at the opposite end. The two goals encourage the defenders to play the ball out wide rather than through the congested central area.
What to call out
- “Work with each other”
- “Nearest player press the ball”
- “Cover and support”
- “Think about your role”