EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Defending

This session is designed to improve the ability to defend in various game situations. The practices develop from 1v1 through to 3v3 and team defending.

What this session is about

  1.  Defending.
  2.  Defending against different opponents.
  3.  Defending in different game scenarios.

What to think about

  •  Learning to defend 1v1 is one of the hardest techniques in football.
  •  For example, you can come up against a variety of opponent (big, small, quick, slow, skilful, strong, etc).
  •  In addition, you may find yourself in different game scenarios (1v1 to stop turns, 1v1 on the left, 1v1 on the right, 1v1 with the ball passed into space, 1v1 with the player dribbling towards you).
  •  Therefore, you must try to recreate these game scenarios for your player in training sessions to give them good experience of defending under pressure.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Mark out a 10-yard square inside a 30-yard square.

Have a manned goal on three sides of the big square and two mini goals on the remaining side. Each of the big goals is guarded by two defenders, faced by two attackers. At any time, one defender and attacker will be resting.

Then play in the following way:

Goal 1: The resting forward passes from the 10- yard square to his strike partner. The defender must stop the attacker from turning and shooting.

Goal 2: The first defender passes to the first attacker then runs to defend 1v1 and force the attacker away from goal.

Goal 3: The defender passes forward to the attacker and runs forward to defend the two mini goals. The attacker is coking head-on so the defender has to force him wide.

Goal 4: As goal 2 but the attacker approaches goal on the other foot.

Each goal works at its own pace. When one attack is completed, the next one begins.

After three minutes, defenders move clockwise to the next goal while forwards move anti-clockwise so that they play against different opponents at each goal.

There are four different 1v1 scenarios. The defender looks to keep the attacker away from goal.

There are four different 1v1 scenarios. The defender looks to keep the attacker away from goal.


Development

Play on a 50 x 40-yard pitch divided in half with two five-yard channels on either side. These channels are free zones where attackers can receive passes unopposed.

Have a manned goal in each half along with three attackers and three defenders who must remain in their half during the game.

To start, the goalkeeper passes to a defender who must pass to his forwards in the other half.

These forwards can receive with their backs to goal or side-on by entering the outside channel to receive the pass, turn and then dribble back into the pitch.

Challenges cannot be made in the outside channels. Players cannot leave the half they start in.

Challenges cannot be made in the outside channels. Players cannot leave the half they start in.


Game situation

Play 4v4 on a 40 x 30-yard pitch with two manned goals. Each team has two target players to the side of the goal they are attacking. These are there to take passes and return them to attackers and are limited to two touches.

Play 4v4 with target players to the side of the goal being attacked to force defenders to track runs off the ball or block passes.

Play 4v4 with target players to the side of the goal being attacked to force defenders to track runs off the ball or block passes.


What to call out

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