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
If your team can master the art of close marking, it can make the opposition’s task of scoring goals extremely tricky and that means your players will have a better chance of winning matches.
What this session is about
Guarding an opponent so it is difficult for them to receive the ball or play an easy pass to a team mate.
What to think about
- Stay within touching distance of your opponent.
- Stay “goal side” (nearest to the goal you are defending).
- Keep the ball and receiver in view by adopting a side-on body position, and not standing directly behind the player you are marking.
- Be ready to intercept the ball but don’t commit unless you are sure.
- If the opponent receives the ball your job is to delay the attacker, rather than make a tackle.
Use an area 20 yards long by 10 yards wide for the session.
For the development, use an area 35 yards long by 25 yards wide. Add cones goals, four yards wide, at each end of the same-size area for the game situation.
|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
Play 1v1 with a server/target player at either end of the playing area. A server passes to one of the players, who tries to turn and pass the ball to the target player at the opposite end.
The process is then reversed. Players are rotated so all practise marking.
Develop by making it a 2v2 in an area 25 yards long by 15 yards wide with two servers at each end.
Play a 4v4 game as in the middle picture. Each player in the defending team marks an opposition attacker, who in turn marks them when possession is lost.
Teams score by dribbling the ball across the opponent’s end line.
Play a five-a-side game in the same area as the development section but use a goalkeeper in each team who guards a four-yard wide cone goal.
Teams score by shooting through these goals.
To develop, set up an extra goal at each end – this means defenders and goalkeepers will have to work harder to cover the extra goal.