Defending can be waiting game for teams that play a good attacking game and dominate the opposition. How do you keep them alert, organised and ready to drop back, recover and defend a counter attack or long ball over the top? MORE
Soccer coaching tips and drills for defending corners
Giving players specialist positions during matches can be effective and if you’re conceding a lot of goals from corners, you need a player to stand BIG at the front of your penalty area to block the corner taker. With the help of the following soccer coaching tips and drills, you need never concede from a corner again.
One of the most important positions when defending a corner is the person nearest the corner taker. Position him/her on the edge of the box right in front of the intended flight of the ball. If you put one of your strong players here, it will prevent short corners and put off the player taking the corner. That player is then faced with a one-man wall which the ball has to get over or around.
Cutting off supply
The player in this position effectively cuts off the supply into the box. This also protects your goalkeeper and defenders. The player might also be able to win the ball from poor or short corners and set up a quick counter attack.
THE DEFENDER STANDS SIX YARDS BACK AT U8, EIGHT YARDS BACK AT U10 AND 10 YARDS BACK AT U12.
Leave a man upfield
Once this position has been claimed by one of your players, use tactics on match day so that when they win the ball you leave a player upfield in the same position at each corner and your specialist player will be able to take the ball and find that player, immediately setting up an attack.
Soccer drills for corners
Work on soccer drills where players are taking corners, specifically where the player in this position is constantly having the ball hit hard towards them. They can use chest, head and feet to rob the opposition of chances to put balls into the box. Use only two players, a corner taker and a defender to drill this specialist position.
Soccer drill tips
You can kill two birds with one stone here: the corner taker has to clear the defender and the defender needs to win the ball. You can also put an attacker in position A ready to receive the ball won by your defender.
Make your corner defenders SMART
If you want to make sure you’re giving your players targets that they have to meet, do it the SMART way.
The SPECIFIC target for your players is to clear the ball when it enters the penalty area at corners during training. Make it MEASURABLE by telling your players 50 per cent of corners must be cleared. AGREE it with them in training. Is 50 per cent REALISTIC? I think so. Make it TIMED by agreeing it for a particular training session. Tailor the SMART sessions to your individual players and get them to tell you if they have reached the drill target.
For soccer coaching tips to defend short corners, click here.