One of the most important topics in defensive play is compactness. A key principle of compactness is that the playing area of the opposition is minimised so there is less space for them to attack in. Give your players a lesson in compactness MORE
Stop the forward pass
A defensive unit that can prevent opponents from making penetrating forward passes will stop goals. Teach your players to do this and their chances of winning games will increase.
What this session is about
- Applying basic principles of defending.
- Making play predictable.
- Working together to deny penetration.
What to think about
- Being “goal side” (defenders nearer to the goal they are protecting than opponents). Force attackers sideways or back.
- Defender nearest the ball quickly applies pressure, considering speed, angle of approach and body shape.
- The second defender provides cover, considers distance and angle to first defender, and makes it hard for one pass to split them.
- Other defenders mark players and space.
- Patience is required.
You will need a 20-yard square for the session.
Use an area 35 yards long by 25 yards wide with two target zones each five yards square for the development.
Remove the zones for the game situation but add four cone goals (progress to six), each five yards long.
|Warm up||Session||Developments||Game Situation||Warm Down|
|10 minutes||15 minutes||10-15 minutes||10-15 minutes||10 minutes|
What you get your players to do
Play 2v2 in the area with two neutral target players outside the box at opposite ends. Both teams try to pass between each other and to either of the target players.
If they pass to a target and receive the ball back they switch direction and play to the other target player/end line.
Target players move along their line to show for the ball. After a couple of minutes, rotate teams, allowing the target players to play together as a team on the pitch.
Play 4v4 in the main area with two players in each target zone. Each team has one target area to defend and one to attack.
If a team passes to a player in their target zone, that target player passes the ball to the opposition team so they can begin an attack in the opposite direction.
Play for five minutes, after which, the four target players form a new team which switches roles with one of the other teams.
Using the same size playing area and number of players, create four target goals as in the bottom picture. This time, the target players stand behind each target goal.
The two teams on pitch defend two goals and attack the other two.
To progress, add a third target goal in the centre of the end lines. Target players can move along the end line to any of the three target goals.
Points are only scored if a pass through a goal is controlled by a target player.