INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

From attack to defence

It’s important your whole team, not just the defenders, stay focused and begin defending the moment possession is lost. Most goals are scored within three passes so if you allow your opponents time and space your team will be punished.

What this session is about

  1. Staying focused 100% of the time.
  2. Reacting quickly so the team is united as a defending unit.

What to think about

Defenders should work together, which includes good communication.

Basic defending principles such as delay, pressure on the ball, providing cover, make play predictable and force attackers away from goal.

Set-up

  • 25 yards wide by 35 yards long pitch.
  • Up to 12 outfield players plus two goalkeepers. Split players into two teams.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10-15 minutes10 minutes15-20 minutes10 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Each team lines up at their goalposts in two queues. You start the game by throwing the ball to the centre of the pitch.

Two players from each team run in from each post to begin a 2v2. The team which wins possession attacks the opposition’s goal.

Once a goal is scored or the ball goes out of play, the attacking team stays on and becomes the defence.

The next two players from the other team come on in place of their team mates to start the next 2v2 attack, with one of the new players dribbling a ball on to the pitch. The replaced players line up again next to their goal.

The coach throws the ball into the centre of the pitch and two players from each team compete for possession.

The coach throws the ball into the centre of the pitch and two players from each team compete for possession.


Development

Play begins with a 1v1. Once a goal is scored or the ball goes out of play, a player from the defending team comes on with a ball, creating a 2v1 in the opposite direction.

After this attack, the other team brings two players on for a 3v2 overload. These attacks continue to switch direction and build up to a 6v5 situation.

After a 1v1 attack, a player from the defensive team joins to create a 2v1. After they attack, the opposition bring on two players to create a 3v2.

After a 1v1 attack, a player from the defensive team joins to create a 2v1. After they attack, the opposition bring on two players to create a 3v2.


Game situation

Play a 4v4 game with a third team of four players each standing next to a goal post with a ball. When a goal is scored or the ball goes off the pitch, the nearest outside player to where the ball left the pitch quickly passes to a defender near them so the other team has to react quickly to track back and defend as a unit.

After five minutes, the outside team swaps with one of those on the pitch.

In a 4v4 game, a third team of players stands outside the pitch, with balls ready to restart play quickly.

In a 4v4 game, a third team of players stands outside the pitch, with balls ready to restart play quickly.


What to call out

  • “Switch on and defend”
  • “Talk to each other”
  • “Work as a unit”
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