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Defending

The defensive soccer drills and games in this section will help you coach your players to work as a unit at the back. We look at how your players should organise themselves, what are their roles and responsibilities as defenders, and how they should react in different defensive situations.

With work, you should be able to coach your players to control the game at the back and to start great passing moves leading to goals at the other end.

Defend an outswinging corner

in Defending, Set pieces

Here’s a set-up I have used for defending a right-footed outswinging corner, with each player being afforded a defined role. If defenders are successful in repelling the threat, they can look to break forward and score in either of the two goals positioned on the halfway line. MORE

Winning back possession

in Defending, Email newsletters

It may sound like I am being negative suggesting ways to stop teams passing but study any of the successful teams around the world and you will see the hard work that goes into stopping teams passing through or around midfields and defences. MORE

How to coach tracking drills- part 1

Track your man

in Defending, Practice plans

If your players can improve their individual defending when man marking and tracking their opponent’s runs, your team is far less likely to concede goals. MORE

How to coach a stall and turn - part 1

Stall the turn

in Defending, Practice plans

Defenders can reduce the threat on their goal by keeping the other team’s forwards facing the opposite direction and moving them away from the penalty area. Use this session to enhance your defenders’ skills at closing down attackers and clearing the danger without necessarily making a tackle. MORE

How to coach keepers to collect crosses - part 1

The cross collector

in Defending, Practice plans

Dealing with crosses as part of a defensive unit is a large part of a goalkeeper’s job. That, is why it is vital to spend time on the practice ground helping your goalkeeper with their positioning, communication and punching and catching skills. “The cross collector” shows you how. MORE

Running backs

in Defending, Tactics

This session will help school your players in defending against the many difficult situations that arise from opponents launching long balls down the pitch. MORE

Busquets in control

in Defending, Midfield

Use this training session to coach your midfielders how to win possession by quickly closing down the opposition and pressing the player with the ball. MORE

How to coach sweeper drills- part 1

Minesweeper

in Defending, Practice plans

The role of a sweeper is given to a player that plays behind the line of defenders. It is that player’s duty to cover the space behind and sweep across to remove the danger of the opponent’s attacks. This is how you can develop the use of a “minesweeper” in your team. MORE

How to coach defensive ball winning drills- part 1

First contact

in Defending, Practice plans

Not all players enjoy defending so it is essential practices are competitive, fun and give the player a reward for winning the ball (the chance to score a goal!) Encourage your defenders to make “First contact” in the bid to thwart an attack. MORE

How to coach blocking and intercepting drills- part 1

Block and intercept

in Defending, Practice plans

Teaching your players how to block or intercept an opposition forward pass will help your team regain possession of the ball. Remember – you can’t concede a goal if you have the ball. MORE

Strikers press defenders

in Defending, Tactics

Often a lone striker will be pressing a three man defence which can be a frustrating job. Get your strikers to practice their pressing techniques against three defenders. MORE

PSG Katarzyna Kiedrzynek

Stop late goals ruining your day

in Defending, Email newsletters

At the start of this season my team was 3-0 down after 10 minutes! It was a disaster but by half time they had pulled it back to 3-3. In a tight second half they scored with 3 minutes to go to make it 4-3 much to their delight. What a comeback!... but all their hard work was wasted... MORE

Ball watching

in Defending, Small Sided Games

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. MORE

How to coach chain reaction - part 1

Chain reaction

in Defending, Practice plans

Your players need to assume a defensive mindset the moment the opposition gains possession. “Chain reaction” will enable your players to smoothly switch from attacking to defensive duties because failing to do so will give their opponents an immediate advantage. MORE

How to coach from attack to defence - part 1

From attack to defence

in Defending, Practice plans

It’s important your whole team, not just the defenders, stay focused and begin defending the moment possession is lost. Most goals are scored within three passes so if you allow your opponents time and space your team will be punished. MORE

Playing out

in Defending, Tactics

One of the great sights in soccer is watching a Brazilian centre-back storm out of defence into the opposition half with midfielders and attackers fanning out in front of them, creating chaos in the opposition defence. This session will get young players doing the same. MORE

This is a hold up

in Defending, Practice plans

When defenders hold up forwards, inevitably the attack is slowed down. This type of patient defending allows for your team mates to make recovery runs and track back to help in defence. MORE

Wake up at the back!

in Defending, Email newsletters

Defending can be waiting game for teams that play a good attacking game and dominate the opposition. How do you keep them alert, organised and ready to drop back, recover and defend a counter attack or long ball over the top? MORE

Right place, right time

in Defending, Tactics

This is a great session for coaching cover individually and working as a unit and to get the player nearest the ball to hold up and force play away before it gets to a danger zone. Use this session to teach your players defensive covering. MORE

Hot press

in Defending, Tactics

This activity will teach individual players to understand their roles in defensive pressing by applying the general pressing cues in a functional and geographically specific context MORE


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