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.

Intercept the ball

Steal the ball

in Defending, Small Sided Games

It’s all about positioning in this lively intercepting game aimed at teaching your players how to nick the ball back from the other team while it’s still in midfield MORE

Work the back four

Work the back four

in Defending, Tactics

This is a defending tactics session in which we structure the back four against opposing attacks with different formations. It is an excellent session when preparing for matchday. MORE

How to coach deflecting the ball - part 1

Deflecting the ball

in Defending, Practice plans

In a perfect goalkeeper’s world, every shot would be cleanly caught and brought into the body. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. So when called upon to deflect the ball safely away from the goal, the correct technique is essential. This session involves all your players boosting this core goalkeeping skill. MORE

Chelsea v Arsenal

How to stop the opposition’s best player

in Defending, Tactics

It’s important when playing against a player that scores a lot of goals that you stop the space. If you’re playing against somebody that hits the goal from all areas of the attacking third, you’ve got to get really tight. The trick is to arrive when he receives the ball so that he hasn’t got... MORE

Important to win 1v1s

Win the 1v1s in midfield

in Defending, Midfield

Pits the wits of defenders and attackers against each other in 1v1s within the main game. Plus use sweepers to give midfielders a ‘get out’ clause when their way ahead is blocked MORE

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


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