EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Defending in a back three – individual

When your players are defending a two-man attack in small numbers, use this activity to show them how they are individually responsible for stopping the opposition threat.

Why use it

This session helps defenders to use an overload to their advantage when attackers run centrally at them – they must press their opponents into making a mistake and win possession back.

Set up

Set up a 30×30-yard area with a goal at one end. We used 10 players in the session including a goalkeeper. You need balls, bibs, cones and a goal.

How to do it

Split your players into six attackers, three defenders and a goalkeeper. The attackers work in pairs and each pair has two attacks against the three defenders. As each pair finish their first run, the next pair go quickly, putting the defence under maximum pressure.
Attackers must try to get behind the defence and take a shot on goal. Change the defenders after each pair of attackers has made two attacks on goal.

Technique

Defenders should press and cover each other so the attackers have little opportunity to get shots in. The attacking pairs attack quickly, so defenders must be ready for the next wave of attack.

Back three defending

    1. The game starts with the pairs of attackers taking on the defenders
    2. The defenders must use their advantage to keep the attackers at bay

Defending against a front two

    3. By pressing quickly the defenders should be able to repel any attack, forcing mistakes to allow them to win the ball
    4. Make sure the defenders are covering both attackers and supporting each other

Player movement in a back three

    5. The attacks come thick and fast so the defenders must be ready the moment the attack has finished
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