Top tips from former Torquay United defender Aaron Downes, now the assistant manager at Torquay, on how to be better at the back MORE
“Gang up” defending
When a defender puts pressure on an attacker, it is vital that another defender stays close by in a supporting position. This session is designed to improve how your players “gang up” in defensive situations. In doing so, they will improve their understanding, positioning and teamwork.
What this session is about
- Defending in pairs.
- Supporting your team mate.
- Regaining possession.
What to think about
The nearest player must put pressure on the ball.
When approaching the attacker, the defender must decide whether to force the player towards a team mate or force them off the pitch.
It’s important that the supporting defender communicates with his team mate and takes up a position where he is close enough to tackle if the attacker gets through.
The defenders must be aggressive in their approach and “gang up” on the attacker in order to clear the danger.
• Create a 40 yards by 20 yards playing area. Split into five equal zones. Place different coloured cones on the lines between the zones.
|Warm up||Session||Developments||Game Situation||Warm Down|
|10 minutes||15 minutes||15 minutes||15 minutes||5 minutes|
What you get your players to do
You call out the colour of a cone.
Working in pairs, the nearest player to the cone must run to it, simulating pressure on the ball. Their partner must communicate and take up a supporting position behind their team mate.
As the first pair move to the second set of cones, the following pair begin.
Now the defenders have to defend against a live attacker. The defenders work for two attacks so each player has a turn at being the pressuring player and the one offering communication and support.
Can the defenders stop the attacker from scoring a goal?
After the two attacks, the attackers become the defenders and the defenders join the end of the attack lines.
Pick three teams of two players and place a goalkeeper in each goal. You start the practice by passing to the central team, who attack a goal of their choice. If successful, the attackers turn and receive a second ball from you and attack the opposite goal. However, if the defenders are able to work together and successfully stop the attackers from scoring by applying the techniques learnt, they switch roles with the attackers and break out to attack the opposite goal.
What to call out
- “Nearest to the ball must go to pressure”
- “Can you communicate with your team mate”
- “Can you get into a supporting position”