This three-part session develops players' awareness of pressing and covering as a unit. MORE
Defending – as easy as 1, 2, 3
A good understanding between defenders is crucial and this practice develops their appreciation of the positions they must take up relative to each other, the attackers and the ball.
What this session is about
- Applying basic principles of defending.
- Making play predictable.
- Working together to stop attackers breaking through the defence.
What to think about
When defending as a unit, players take different roles depending on where the attackers move the ball.
The nearest defender puts pressure on the ball.
The second defender provides cover at an angle and “goal side” (between the goal and the attacker he is marking), and in a position to challenge if the first defender is beaten.
The third defender adds depth, covering the back post area.
Mark out a playing area 30 yards from the goal line and the width of the six-yard box. Within that area, mark out a 5m zone at the opposite end to the goal line. Play three defenders against two attackers in the large area, with one server in the 5m zone and a goalkeeper in goal.
|Warm up||Session||Developments||Game Situation||Warm Down|
|5 minutes||15 minutes||20 minutes||15 minutes||5 minutes|
What you get your players to do
The server (S), who has the freedom to move in his zone but cannot leave it, starts an attack by passing to one of the two attackers in the large area.
If the defenders win the ball or it leaves the playing area, the server begins the move again.
Rotate players so everyone has a turn defending, attacking and being the server.
Once the server has started the attack, they can join in and become a third attacker.
Play 4v4 with two keepers in an area 30 yards by 20 yards.
What to call out
- “Work with each other”
- “Think about your changing role – the ball’s moved so are you now marking a man or space? Remember: the closer to the ball or goal you are, the closer you have to be to an opponent”
- “Keep compact”
- “Give simple, clear instructions to each other – “close the ball”, “cover me”, “get closer”, “force them down the line” – and act quickly”