INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

On your mark

When defending, the signs of good “man-marking” are concentration, determination and fast reactions. Do your players have what it takes? If not, this session will help them.

What this session is about

  1. Defending 1v1.
  2. Guarding an opponent, so it is difficult for them to receive the ball.

What to think about

When man-marking (staying tight to an individual opponent), defenders must:

  • Get close to the attacker while the ball is travelling.
  • Be “goal side” (nearer to his goal than the opponent) but be able to see the ball and attacker – don’t stand directly behind because sight will be lost.
  • Stand slightly side-on, ready to move quickly.
  • Stay within touching distance of the attacker.
  • Threaten to intercept the pass but don’t commit unless sure.
  • Delay the attacker.
  • Don’t allow the attacker to turn.

Set-up

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

What you get your players to do

Put players into pairs – one attacker and one defender. Attackers can go anywhere within the playing area and must try to get away from the defender marking them.

Everyone has to freeze on your, or your assistant’s, command or whistle, at which point the defenders should be within one yard of the attacker they are marking. Switch roles so attackers become defenders.

Players try to evade their marker and when the whistle goes, they must freeze and be more than a yard away from the defender.

Players try to evade their marker and when the whistle goes, they must freeze and be more than a yard away from the defender.


Development

Mark out a 20×10 yards area and use four players. Two are servers (S), one an attacker (A) and the other is a defender (D). Put one server at each end of the area and play 1v1 in the middle.

The object of the drill is to see how many times the attacker can receive a ball from either server and to make sure the defender is not within touching distance.

The attacker always passes back to the server who played the pass. Play for one minute before the attacker and defender switch roles.

The defender that is able to restrict the attacker to the lowest score wins. Swap players so they all practise marking.

The defender (D) has to track the attacker (A) and prevent him from receiving passes from servers (S).

The defender (D) has to track the attacker (A) and prevent him from receiving passes from servers (S).


Game situation

Play 4v4 in an area with two end zones.

Only one player from each team can enter either end zone at any one time. Each player marks an opponent and is only allowed to tackle the player he is marking.

After two minutes, players must find a new player to mark on the opposing team. Teams score a point for passing to a team mate in an end zone who is not being touched at the time they receive the ball by the opposing defender. Restart play with a pass-in.

To progress, if a team scores, the defender who was supposed to be marking the scoring attacker has to leave the playing area for one minute.

This creates a temporary 4v3 but the team with three players can now mark any opponent. However, normal rules resume once the missing defender returns to play.

If another point is scored against the team with three players during a period of 4v3, no additional defenders are removed.

The team that scores most points wins.

Teams try to pass to a team mate in the end zone but do not score a point if that player is being touched by his marker.

Teams try to pass to a team mate in the end zone but do not score a point if that player is being touched by his marker.


What to call out

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