Building the back 4 game

Use this 4+4 v 4 box to give your back four a good work out in blocking passing lanes when attackers are trying to play through balls to get behind the defence.

Try Building the back 4 activity before this game.

Set up

Set up a box 30 yds wide by 20 yds deep, 4 lines of offense on each end, groups of 4 defenders coming into the box at a time.

How to play it

The two sets of 4 keeping possession must stay in their four spots outside the box on each side – they score a point if they can pass to any of the 4 on the other side under head height (not over the top). The 4 defending players must move as a unit to get pressure on the ball and cover behind the ball so that a pass on the ground cannot get to the other side. Switch to a new defensive unit after 2 minutes.


Shape of the back 4 – you can adjust the individual pieces the way you want to set them, but focus on their shape and shifts and their depth from one another.

Phase of Play

7v5 or 8v6 to goal – half field with counter goals at midfield.
Offense sets up in your offensive set or whatever formation you want to use, defence is a back 4 plus either one or two central midfielders. Ball starts at midfield with a pass into the attacker who goes to goal, on transition the defence attacks the counter goals.

    1. Passes must be under head height when teams are trying to split the four defenders
    2. Focus should be on the shape of the central four players how they set up to block through passes
    3. Anticipation of the pass is key to blocking passing routes.
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