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 drills and skills to close down crosses
Use this soccer coaching drill to get your defenders putting a stop to their opponents’ crosses.
Preventing your opponents from crossing is taking away one of their main routes to goal. If you can cut off the supply from the wings you force your opponents to go down the middle where you can more easily cut out through balls.
When you are coaching your players in stopping crosses, it is important they get their position and technique right. What they have to do is move to the player with the ball and close him down early.
Key soccer coaching tip: put the pressure on!
The soccer skills your players should use are jockeying and pressuring – tell them not to jump in so the winger can push the ball past them and run around them. What they need to do is jockey the winger and block his run or cross.
This means patience and discipline are crucial. Once they have stopped the advance of the winger, they can try and win the ball or play it off them into touch. Timing skills are also paramount to their success.
Set up the soccer coaching drill
Inside a 20 x 40 grid, the soccer drill begins with players 1, 2 and 3 passing the ball between them. Under pressure from players 4 and 5 they must create enough space to make a long pass over the middle into the far end zone for players 8, 9 and 10 to receive.
While the ball travels, players 6 and 7 enter the end zone and press 8, 9 and 10 to prevent the long pass back again. Players 4 and 5 return to the middle to rest until the ball is transferred again.
Click here for a soccer coaching drill to get defenders slowing down the opposition attack using jockeying techniques.