Defending game for different attacking scenarios

Defenders face all sorts of situations when they play in matches – the ball doesn’t just come at them head-on. You need to give them practice so they can deal with the different scenarios they find themselves in. By Michael Beale.

I use this game with my players because they find they have to deal with four different types of ball. It is all about being attacked from all sides but defenders must not let any of the players get past them.

You need a 10-yard square, four cones and four balls.


How to play it

  • Player 3 throws a ball up to player 1 for a header. The defender (white) attempts to stop the ball from going past the opposite line. Immediately, player 2 passes a ball across the area, the defender must react and run to slide and stop the ball crossing the far line.
  • Now player 3 dribbles a ball onto the pitch and attempts to reach the line opposite. The defender tries to stop him.
  • Finally, player 4 throws the ball over the defender’s head and attempts to regain possession of it on the other side. The defender must shield the ball.

The defender earns one point for each ball successfully defended.

This session is from Perfect Defending by Michael Beale, designed to help coach players in every aspect of the game, from individual core skills to team-based defending strategies.

For more soccer coaching tips and products visit Soccer Coaching Club.

Dave Clarke

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