EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Defending shots with body blocks

The attacker is inside the penalty box and poised to shoot, but the defender isn’t close enough to make a tackle. That leaves one option for the defender: to block the shot by throwing their body between the ball and the goal.

What this session is about

  1. Improve your last-ditch defending.
  2. Being brave.

What to think about

  • The defender must look to throw their body between the ball and goal, feet first.
  • The defender must be committed and brave.
  • If the defender is struggling to make blocks, consider shortening the distance they have to travel.

Set-up

  • Create a playing area approximately 10 yards by 20 yards with a goal at one end.
  • Have 9-12 players per group.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Split players into groups of servers, shooters and defenders. The servers and shooters line-up in the corners at the opposite end from the goal. The defenders line up at the corner diagonally opposite the shooters.

A server passes to the first shooter who takes a controlling touch before shooting. Defenders run out to block the shot once the server has passed.

Rotate players and repeat. The shooter joins the defending line, the server joins the shooter line and the defender joins the server line.

For a variation, the defenders start from the corner on the other side of the goal.

The server, bottom right, plays a ball for the shooter, bottom left, to attack. The defender, opposite, runs out to block the shot.

The server, bottom right, plays a ball for the shooter, bottom left, to attack. The defender, opposite, runs out to block the shot.


Development

  • Set up a playing area the width of the six yard box.
  • Play three attackers v two defenders and one goalkeeper.
  • One of two support players outside the area serves the ball to the forwards.
  • They must shoot on or before a set number of passes. • The defenders must protect their goalkeeper.
  • Players switch roles.

Make it competitive by awarding points to the defenders for successful blocks or tackles, and points to the attackers for scoring goals.

The shooters in white receive the ball from a server and must try to score within a set number of passes.

The shooters in white receive the ball from a server and must try to score within a set number of passes.


Game situation

Play 4v4, plus two goalkeepers, in a 30 yards by 20 yards pitch arranged so that it’s wider than it is long. Limit the number of passes each team can make before they have a shot.

Both teams play normal football and have to pass the ball a set number of times before shooting. The defenders must block shots.

Both teams play normal football and have to pass the ball a set number of times before shooting. The defenders must block shots.


What to call out

  • “React”
  • “Get in line with the ball”
  • “Stop the shot”
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