INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

First contact

Not all players enjoy defending so it is essential practices are competitive, fun and give the player a reward for winning the ball (the chance to score a goal!) Encourage your defenders to make “First contact” in the bid to thwart an attack.

What this session is about

  1.  Improving defending skills.
  2.  Experience of playing against different types of attacker (quick, slow, big, small, skilful).
  3.  Improving the attitude to winning the ball.

What to think about

  •  The practices in this session do not give players an option on whether to defend or not as the attackers are continuously working to retain the ball or score a goal. Putting your players in this environment will aid their desire to defend.
  •  The practices will enable you to see which players really need work on their defending skills.
  •  The players must see the reward of defending well and having the opportunity to attack. On winning possession, can the defender then dribble or pass forward to enable their team to become attackers?

Set-up

  •  Use a 30 yards by 10 yards area, split into three equal sections for the session.
  •  Use a 20 yard square for the development.
  •  Use a 40 yards by 30 yards area for the game.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Place four attackers in the top area and four attackers in the bottom area. Each attacker has a ball. Place a ball on a cone in the centre square. Finally place one defender in the top and bottom areas.

Defenders try to tackle all four attackers and knock each ball out of the area. Then each defender runs to knock the ball off the cone in the centre to be the winner. All players have a turn as a defender.

Two defenders compete to tackle the attackers and then to clear the ball off the central cone. The quickest one wins.

Two defenders compete to tackle the attackers and then to clear the ball off the central cone. The quickest one wins.


Development

Split players into four teams. Three teams are nominated as attackers. One team is nominated as defenders. The attacking teams take turns to dribble 1v1 to score in the mini goal that is opposite their starting position.

The defender, working alone, defends three attacks in quick succession.

If the defender wins the ball from the attacker he can score in one of the other two mini goals. After the three attacks, a new defender takes the place of the current one.

All teams have a turn as the defenders.

The defender must work hard and react quickly to defend against three different 1v1 attacks. Then swap with his defending team mate.

The defender must work hard and react quickly to defend against three different 1v1 attacks. Then swap with his defending team mate.


Game situation

Play a small-sided game. Most of the action takes place in the defending team’s half of the pitch. Attackers have the ball and try to score goals.

The defending team must work together in order to win the ball. If successful, the defender regaining the ball is allowed to dribble, unopposed, into the opposite half of the pitch and have a shot at goal.

Swap the teams over after seven minutes. The team with most goals combined from attack and defence wins.

The defending team regains the ball and can then dribble upfield and have a shot at goal.

The defending team regains the ball and can then dribble upfield and have a shot at goal.


What to call out

  •  “Press the attacker”
  •  “Can you win the ball?”
  •  “React to the next attackers”
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