EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

The supporting defender

The supporting defender is vital for cutting off attacking options. This session introduces the idea with a defensive overload.

What this session is about

Improving the understanding of covering and supporting your team mate in defending situations.

What to think about

  •  We build up the practice slowly to include communication, then into active participation of supporting your team mate before developing into a game situation.
  •  In the first part of the session you can divide the area into two to enable more players to participate at the same time.
  •  The supporting defender takes a position behind and inside the first defender.

Set-up

  •  30×25 yard area with an end zone.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes5 minutes15 minutes20 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

To begin, the defender passes to the attacker and must stop the attacker from dribbling into the end zone. The supporting defender must give verbal support such as: “get tight”, “stand up”, “force wide” etc.

The covering defender initially just provides verbal support.

The covering defender initially just provides verbal support.


Development

Now the defenders work together in a 2v1 situation against the attacker. The first defender must pressure the attacker whilst the team mate covers and supports.

After the ball has been played a second attacker enters the pitch and the defensive roles are switched. The pressuring defender now covers and supports whilst the previous covering defender has a turn at pressuring.

Now the supporting defender provides cover as well as verbal support.

Now the supporting defender provides cover as well as verbal support.


Game situation

Play as above but with the addition of a goalkeeper and goal. Now the attackers can shoot from distance so there is extra pressure on the defenders to get across quickly.

The goalkeeper can provide additional support, communicating with both defenders.

The addition of a goal changes the challenge faced by both attacker and defenders.

The addition of a goal changes the challenge faced by both attacker and defenders.


What to call out

  •  “Get tight, force towards team mate”
  •  “Get into support position”
  •  “Give your team mate some information”
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