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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.

How to coach the covering defender – part 1

Covering defender

in Core Skills, Defending, Practice plans

When a defender is applying pressure to an attacker with the ball it's important that they have back up in the form of a second or covering defender. That's to ensure that if the attacker beats the first defender, any progress is stifled by the second one. MORE

Out of possession tactics

in Defending, Tactics

Out of possession teams can control the game by forcing play into areas of the pitch that are easier to control. With positional play opponents can be forced into areas that are less dangerous to the defending team MORE

Transitions: react to change in possession

in Attacking, Defending, Tactics

Transitions are a vital part of match play - players must react quickly to winning or losing the ball because in these instances games are won or lost. It is vital that as soon as the ball is won or lost teams react instantly. An attacking team that has lost the ball must work hard to immediately win it back and a team that has won the ball must attack at pace. MORE

Anticipate long passes

in Defending, Small Sided Games

It is important to press defenders and not give them chance to play long passes that can catch an unwary defence out. Coaching players to force the player at the back to play short gives chances for team mates to push on and win possession. MORE

Transition in defence

in Defending

When a team wins or loses the ball, they have to react. Here the defenders must react quickly or they will lose a goal. It encourages teams to close the centre of the pitch, in order to force play away from the goal. MORE

Coach better defending

in Defending, Email newsletters

It is not easy coaching in a pandemic. But one thing I know my players like doing is to give them a task to do which involves watching a match on TV. Say it's Charlie who plays left wingback ... he's a Chelsea fan so his task is to watch Ben Chilwell and give good things or bad things that happen when he is defending. The players love it! MORE

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