EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

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 front and back defending- part 1

Defending front and back

in Defending, Practice plans

Play a normal game and then look at 1v1 situations. This will give you a chance to coach correct technique and reward good play. If 1v1s are limited then add a man-marking rule where players pair up with an opponent. The players are now only allowed to tackle their opponent. This will ensure that plenty of 1v1 action takes place. MORE

Defending against overloads

Defending in small groups

in Defending, Tactics

This is all about defending in small numbers where it’s common for one or two defenders to find themselves in situations where they are exposed to an overload of attackers. MORE

Pressure to win the ball back

Close down and press

in Defending, Tactics

This game is all about winning the ball back as quickly as possible by closing down and pressing opponents all over the pitch but ideally high up the pitch. MORE

How to defend at corners

in Defending, Set pieces

This session looks at the roles of defenders and the goalkeeper in corner kick situations. It’s vital that, when setting up to defend a corner, each man knows his exact task, working as an individual and as part of a bigger unit within the penalty area. MORE

Defend open goals

Don’t let them score!

in Defending, Small Sided Games

A very good session for getting players to cover the back because one team has no goalkeeper. The opposition can look for different ways to score especially shooting early or chipping the defence. Great for match play. MORE

Defend as a unit

Defend as a unit

in Defending, Tactics

Getting defenders to work as a unit is a great way to stop goals going into the net at your end of the pitch. Use this session to coordinate against a strong attacking team. MORE

Defending in pairs

Double team

in Defending, Other, Tactics

The practice allows you to start to introduce the idea of how multiple units on the field start to work and interact with each other. It also introduces the idea of recovering once the ball passes you on the field. MORE

Cone chase

Chase the cones

in Defending, Warm Ups

In this set up players are racing against each other in a fun game that you can use at training or on match days. Great one to get the players alert and ready for anything MORE

support play

Support Play

in Defending, Tips and advice

It is vital in team play that players can cover each other so if any of them are beaten, there is always another player for an attacker to get past. Use this session to teach your players defensive covering MORE

Beat the 3-5-2 formation

Tactics tips – 4-3-3 to beat 3-5-2

in Defending, Formations

This session is all about breaking down the 3-5-2 system being used by many teams. It is about applying immediate pressure to the opposition when they have the ball. To win the ball back as quickly as possible and then punish them on the counter attack. MORE

How to coach defending game drills- part 2

Defending games

in Defending, Practice plans

In November 2008 we looked at defending individually and in 2s and 3s. This session pulls all of the techniques into a single session where defenders face an increasing number of attackers with each ball. MORE

How to coach fun defending practices - part 1

Fun defending practises

in Defending, Practice plans

This session introduces your young players to the principles of defending by disguising the theme of the practice through the competitive nature of fun team games. Giving them a proper structure and the correct tactical approach will make their role as a defender much more rewarding and will save your team lots of goals. MORE

Closing down

Closing Down Opponents

in Defending, Midfield, Tactics

Central defenders and supporting players have a vital role in stopping the opposition’s build up play. Players will work on the defending angle of approach to try and force the attacker away MORE

Stop clever attackers

How to stop clever attackers

in Defending, Tactics

Use this session to help defenders to decide whether to hold up play or win the ball when outnumbered, often the attacker will have their head down looking at the ball – the defender can hold a goalside position so the attacker has to look up which is the best time to force a mistake MORE

Two goal game sweeper system - part 1

Two Goal Game Sweeper System

in Defending, Small Sided Games

Set up Pitch size: 30 x 20 yards (minimum) up to 40 x 25 yards (maximum) Two end zones, 10 yards in from each goal-line Two teams of four players Two keepers No offside If the ball leaves play, you have a few re-start options: The coach passes a new ball onto the pitch The... MORE

4 v 4 overload defending - part 1

4 v 4 Overload Defending

in Defending, Small Sided Games

Set up Pitch size: 30 x 20 yards (minimum) up to 40 x 25 yards (maximum) Two teams of four players One goal, no keeper Rules One team starts the game as the attacking team. One team starts the game as the defending team. The game lasts for four attacks. The defending team number themselves... MORE


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