Top tips from former Torquay United defender Aaron Downes, now the assistant manager at Torquay, on how to be better at the back MORE
Regaining possession of the ball can be done by defending in small groups. The main emphasis of this session is to get your players working hard to pressure the opposition and force mistakes so it loses the ball.
What this session is about
- Defending in small groups.
- Pressing the opponents.
- Hunting in groups.
What to think about
When the team loses possession, the nearest player immediately puts pressure on the ball.
The aim of this player is to get the opponent’s head down and force him into a backwards or sideways pass.
Supporting defenders must be aggressive in their support of the pressing player. They can do this by following the pressing player and condensing the space in and around the player in possession.
The aim for the supporting players is to remove passing options for the player in possession by marking his team mates or blocking the pass.
|Warm up||Session||Developments||Game Situation||Warm Down|
|10 minutes||15 minutes||15 minutes||10 minutes||10 minutes|
What you get your players to do
Mark out a 25-yard square with a goal and use four defenders, who work in pairs, to defend against a different number of attackers.
The goalkeeper starts the practice by throwing the ball to the attackers – whose aim is to score a goal.
Attack 1 – the first pair of defenders run out to defend 2v1.
Attack 2 – The second pair of defenders then run out to defend 2v2.
Attack 3 – Now the first pair of defenders defend 2v3.
This process continues so that both pairs of defenders play against a different number of opponents on each turn.
Set up an area that is split into quarters with goals on adjacent sides at opposite ends, as shown in the middle picture.
Defenders work in pairs and begin by standing off the pitch. Ten outfield players on the pitch (see picture for positions) try to keep possession or stop the defenders scoring on a counter break.
To start, two defenders at each end run into the 15-yard squares to try and steal the ball in a 2v4.
If the defenders can force a mistake or win possession, they counter attack and try to score – in the next 15-yard square that contains one outfield player and a keeper.
When the ball goes dead (scored or off the pitch) or time runs out, the next two defenders enter the pitch for their turn.
The game works in two directions and for a set playing time. Keep count of the number of goals scored and then use different defenders to compare how teams have fared.
Use three teams for a small-sided game. Two teams play on the pitch – one attacks and the other defends. The third team acts as servers on the outside. Each server has a ball. This means each game lasts for six balls. Servers are playing for the attacking team and must always serve a ball to this team. The defending team protects its goal and tries to counter attack after winning possession.
The teams then rotate roles in the game and the one that scores most goals wins.