INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

Defender versus attacker

Defenders must be able to cope in 1v1 battles against attackers. This session will help you teach your players
how to keep the “goals against” column to a minimum.

What this session is about

  1. Improving 1v1 defending skills.
  2. Reacting to different defending situations.

What to think about

Defenders must:

  • “Press” the ball quickly.
  • Get their body between the attacker and the goal.
  • Stay within touching distance.
  • Watch the ball.
  • Adopt a slightly side-on body position. Then get low and bend the knees. Stay balanced and on the toes.
  • Force the opponent sideways/away from goal and on to his weaker foot or down the touchline.
  • Time the tackle correctly. Use techniques such as poke, block, sliding, etc.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes10 minutes15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Mark out a square with a cone goal on each side. Use four pairs of players with different colour bibs (each pair has a ball), as shown in the top picture.

To create a succession of 1v1 situations, you, or an assistant, call two colours (it could be the same colour).

The first colour called is the attacker and he must always dribble a ball across to the opposite side of the grid to try and score in the cone goal. The second colour called is always the defender and must try to prevent the attacker from scoring.

Players involved always return to their start position and alternate being the potential attacker or defender.

The first colour called attacks the opposite goal and the second colour tries to defend.

The first colour called attacks the opposite goal and the second colour tries to defend.


Development

Use a penalty area for this exercise, five outfield players plus one keeper, as shown in the middle picture.

Set up three stations: Two on the goal line (one each between the six-yard box and 18-yard box – call these A and B), and the third, outside the penalty area but in line with one of the other two stations (C).

Each station must have at least one player and no more than two (where are there are two players they form queue).

Player A passes to player C then runs to defend a 1v1 in which C must take a controlling touch before trying to score.

When the ball leaves the playing area, you pass a second ball to player A who must now become the attacker and attempt to turn and score against player B who runs on to stop A from turning in this new 1v1 (C leaves the playing area).

Make sure each player defends and attacks from all stations.

Players pass a ball to an opponent then run to defend against them.

Players pass a ball to an opponent then run to defend against them.


Game situation

Play 4v4 (including keepers) in an area with a goal at each end. If there are very few 1v1s, which is likely in this scenario, add a man-marking rule where each player must pair up with an opponent. The players are now only allowed to tackle their opponent.

Restart play with a kick-in and the team that scores most goals wins.

Players must defend and attack in a series of 1v1 situations.

Players must defend and attack in a series of 1v1 situations.


What to call out

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