INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

Non-stop defending

These intensive practices will instill good principles when it comes to all aspects of defending.

What this session is about

  1. Applying basic principles of defending.
  2. Working together to stop attackers.

What to think about

The first defender (nearest to the opponent with the ball) must:

  • Apply pressure.
  • Stay within touching distance.
  • Adopt a slightly sideways stance while in a crouched position.
  • Force the opponent sideways onto his weak foot and down the touchline.

The supporting defender (next nearest to the opponent with the ball) must:

  • Communicate with the first defender.
  • Provide angled cover (behind and “goal side”) and challenge if the first defender is beaten.

The third defender must:

  • Add depth, covering the back post area.

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 for an attacker v defender duel, as shown in the top picture.

The drill begins with the attacker, who is stood at one end of the area, exchanging passes with the defender, who is at the opposite end and passive to begin with.

The attacker must attempt to dribble the ball across the line at the opposite end but the defender can only press the attacker, he cannot make a challenge for the ball.

Once achieved, players switch roles and repeat the drill in the opposite direction.

To progress, the defender is now active and can challenge for the ball. Players switch roles if the ball goes out of play.

A defender presses an attacker with the ball. Allow him to make a challenge after learning good pressing technique.

A defender presses an attacker with the ball. Allow him to make a challenge after learning good pressing technique.


Development

Mark out an area with two target goals at one end. Two defenders start in the same half of the pitch as the goals while attackers start on the touchline at the other end.

Begin with a 1v2 (one attacker against two defenders), as shown in the middle picture. The attacker attempts to score in either goal. Attackers must take at least two touches before they can shoot.

Once the ball is dead, the second attacker immediately begins another 1v2, starting from the same end.

Once that ball goes out of play, the first attacker starts a 2v2. Afterwards teams switch roles.

Attackers try to score in either target goal against two defenders in 1v2 and 2v2 scenarios.

Attackers try to score in either target goal against two defenders in 1v2 and 2v2 scenarios.


Game situation

Ideally, you will need a minimum of 11 players. Play a 4v3 plus one goalkeeper. The drill begins with the defenders lined up as a back three, 15 yards from goal, against a lone attacker. The other three attackers start at the end opposite the goalkeeper.

One of those attackers passes to the lone attacker to begin the 4v3. Once the ball is out of play or a goal is scored, the drill is repeated with the next three attackers because the lone attacker stays on the pitch.

Switch defenders and the lone attacker with another group of players after a set time.

The trio of defenders that concedes the fewest goals wins.

Three defenders communicate constantly to thwart an attack from a lone striker, supported by three attacking team mates.

Three defenders communicate constantly to thwart an attack from a lone striker, supported by three attacking team mates.


What to call out

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