Overload your defence

This is an important session to show your team how to close down opponents at the back by getting your wingers to drop into defence and help double up on attackers. This helps win the ball back if the players link up quickly.

Set up

Create an area 15×15 yard area with small target goals at one end. Divide the area into four squares. We have used eight players and a server. You need balls, bibs, cones and target goals.

How to do it

The server plays a ball into an attacker on each side of the pitch and they must link up with the attacker in the other box. The player defending in the near box can move to help his defensive team-mate in the far box as soon as the attacker passes into that box. The first attacker cannot leave his box. This should create 2 defenders v 1 attacker in the final far box.


This replicates the winger and fullback linking up in matches. As soon as the first attacker gets his pass away, the defending player can move into the far box and help out his team-mate – he must move quickly or the attacker will pounce.

Wingers dropping back

    1. A server starts the session by playing a ball into the first box on both sides of the area
    2. The defending player in the first box should try to hold up play but once the ball is past him he can go and support in the second box

defend the wings

    3. Here the supporting defender has been too slow and the attackers have scored a point
    4. When the supporting player moves quickly he can link up 2v1 and force the attacker to pass back to his team mate

defend the wings

    5. In the two attacks in diagram 3, one pair of defenders have not supported each other and the attacker has scored but the other pair have cornered the attacker
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