The long ball over the top of the defence can be difficult to defend against in youth soccer, so I’ve put together five drills and activities to help you coach defending against teams that play long ball tactics… One of the best ways to stop long balls is to get strikers to press high up... MORE
It’s Behind You
Split your squad into three teams of four players. Goalkeepers are optional, or you can use a spare player as a sweeper. Attackers start on the 40 yard line.
The red team defends against the white team. A player from the blue team plays the ball over the heads of the white team, the keeper remains in the 6 yard area. Players should react as soon as the ball is played.
If the red team can control the ball and pass it to reach any of the blue team on the halfway line it scores a point. If the white team wins possession it can attack the goal as normal.
Keep playing until a goal is scored or missed, or the ball is played to the blue team. Restart play from the halfway line. If the ball goes into touch continue with a throw in. Whites then switch with the reds and the red team switches with the blue team.
This game focuses on the best way defenders can deal with a ball that is played into the space behind them.
Speed to ball, recovery runs of each player to provide support and cover, communication including keeper, and play forward at the first opportunity.
Area: 40×30 yards with defensive line 25 yards out
Equipment: Goal, balls, cones
What To Call Out
“Can you keep it?”
- The ball must be touched by the keeper or sweeper at least once before it is returned to the serving team.
- A player can dribble the ball to the serving team (this encourages running with the ball if there is space available).
- Start with the defenders and attackers on the same line or bring them a little closer together.
Allow keepers to come and collect if possible, but the teams must still play out.