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
If your opponents boast a player capable of winning the game with a moment of solo genius, then use this activity to coach your team to contain this special threat
Why use it
This is a great practice that will help your players defend efficiently when facing a ‘special’ opponent capable of changing the game in a split second. It teaches them to apply immediate pressure and provide fast defensive cover and support.
Use an area of 40×30 yards. You need two full size goals, bibs and a good supply of balls. We’ve used 18 players.
How to play it
Split your squad into two teams of nine including keepers. The game is a continuous 2v2 with pairs of players swapping once a shot has been taken. The red team starts and attacks the blue goal. The defending team must try to win the ball and counterattack. The pair that either scores or shoots, stays on and immediately defends the next attack. Transition from attack to defence must be immediate.
Good communication and movement is needed. The defender should pressure and delay the attacker while the second defender should cover. This is an excellent opportunity to team up on the ‘special player’, although the covering defender must also be aware of the movement and position of the other attacker.
- 1. The red team starts with the ball and attacks the blue team’s goal in a 2v2 contest
- 2. The blue team must start quickly and close down the red players to prevent a shot
- 3. Here the red team combines to score a goal
- 4. Once a goal has been scored and/or a shot taken, this phase of play ends and the pair that did not finish on goal return to the back of the group
- 5. The next pair of blue players now counterattacks at pace. The red players stay on because they scored, and the sequence continues – if the shot misses or is saved, the team that shot stays on