INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

Long ball resistance

This session is designed to improve your team’s ability at defending long balls. Especially those that are played into your penalty area or threatening places in your defensive half of the pitch.

What this session is about

  1.  Defending long balls.
  2.  Defensive heading technique.
  3.  Clearing the danger.

What to think about

In each match, there will be moments when your team is under a lot of pressure and must defend the penalty area.

During these moments, your defenders must rely on each other to be strong and be able to cover and support each other to provide a barrier between the opponent and the goal.

Defending is not always fun or easy – however, all players must try to work together for the good of the team and to protect the goalkeeper. Successful teams are often the most organised defensively.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10-15 minutes15 minutes10-15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Mark out an area and use a team of four defenders. You, or an assistant, work as the server (S).

The server must continually kick or throw balls into the air for the defenders to clear.

The server must vary the direction of the kick/throw to force each defender into clearing the ball.

The aim for defenders is to drop back together as a defensive unit and then for one of the players to come forward to attack the ball and clear the danger.

The remaining three defenders are now in covering positions to clear any balls that beat the defender or are flicked on in game situations.

A server (S) kicks or throws a ball for a defender to clear it. The other defenders provide cover in case the ball is not cleared.

A server (S) kicks or throws a ball for a defender to clear it. The other defenders provide cover in case the ball is not cleared.


Development

Use half a pitch (relevant to the age group). Four defenders and a goalkeeper compete against two forwards to clear the danger.

Three servers (S) are also used as attackers (one on the left, right and centre of the pitch).

The server’s job is to play a long ball into the penalty area for the forwards to try and score.

Defenders must clear the danger and then squeeze up and out of the box before the next serve is made. The offside rule must be used.

Servers (S) cross from the left, right and centre to provide forwards with a chance to score. Defenders try to repel attacks.

Servers (S) cross from the left, right and centre to provide forwards with a chance to score. Defenders try to repel attacks.


Game situation

Mark out an area with a goal at each end. Use two teams. Each has six players and a goalkeeper.

A server (S) is placed on each side of one goal, who works for the team in possession. Servers start the game by playing a long ball, deep towards team A’s defenders.

The defenders must stop the long ball while under pressure from team B’s players.

Team A can now build up play and use passes to the servers to create chances to score in the goal flanked by the servers.

If team B regains the ball, it can pass back to the servers to launch another long ball towards the opponent’s defence.

Swap restrictions on each team for the second period of the game. The team that scores most goals wins.

Servers (S) play long balls upfield for team B to attack but the emphasis is on team A’s defenders to clear.

Servers (S) play long balls upfield for team B to attack but the emphasis is on team A’s defenders to clear.


What to call out

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