One of the most important topics in defensive play is compactness. A key principle of compactness is that the playing area of the opposition is minimised so there is less space for them to attack in. Give your players a lesson in compactness MORE
No way through
Stopping opposition midfielders from passing through-balls to their attackers is a vital part of a team’s defence. In this session, the nearest midfield player must pressure the ball while others stop a forward pass.
Use an area 30 yards long by 20 yards wide, split into two halves with one ball and three sets of three players.
How to play it
- One team of players starts in each half. The third team starts along the centre line and must try to stop passes from crossing the line.
- The players on the two outside teams are only allowed to use two touches of the ball before passing to each other or across to the opposite side. One player from the central team can apply pressure in each half to try and cut out the pass.
- Players defending the centre line must stick together and ensure they cover the gaps to stop passes. If they stop a pass, then they switch positions with the team that loses possession.
This session is from Perfect Defending by Michael Beale, designed to help coach players in every aspect of the game, from individual core skills to team-based defending strategies.