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
Play even teams. Use a floating neutral player if needed. Four neutral players who cannot be tackled stay in their boxes and play for the team in possession.
The keeper starts the game by serving the ball to a team mate who can play to either neutral player in the full back position.
The receiver can then play the ball back infield or directly down the line/channel to a neutral player in the forward position who looks to deliver an effective cross/pass.
The keeper can pass direct to a neutral full back.
Encourages use of wide defenders and width in attack to get the ball forward and deliver crosses.
Good passing into the box, first touch with head up, and good technique and decision on delivery.
Area: 70×50 yards pitch 10×20 yard box in each corner
Players: 16 (5v5 plus 4 neutrals and 2 keepers)
Equipment: Two goals, cones, balls
What To Call Out
- Limit players in the box to two touches.
- If a ball starts in the left defender’s box, for example, insist that it must reach the opposite diagonal box before the final delivery. This encourages switch play and diagonal passes.
Use smaller or bigger boxes depending on players’ ability.