Position decisions

This session is about defending counter attacks when the players are out of balance or disorganised

Why use it

Counter attacks are one of the main attacking weapons in grassroots so it is vitally important your team can defend them

Set up

You need balls, bibs, cones and goals. Use the penalty area of your usual pitch. We used 10 players in the session.

How to do it

In the first part of the session the first defender passes to an attacker, then moves into position to defend. Defender 2 cannot start his recovery run until the attacker has touched the ball.
The area lines are removed for the second part of the session which is similar to the first but we now have two defenders against three attackers. Defender 3 cannot start his recovery run until an attacker has touched the ball.


In each situation we are looking at the first defender’s angle and speed of approach, plus his decision-making skills – does he delay or challenge? Does he force play away from goal or towards the recovering defender? Defender 2 must recover to a defensive position as quickly as possible and decide whether to support defender 1 or challenge an attacker.

Defend counter attacks

    1. The defender starts the session by passing to an attacker and they move forward to maximize the 2v1 situation
    2. Once the attacker touches the ball the defender recovers quickly to get back behind the ball

Attacking to beat defenders

    3. The first defender again passes the ball out to the attacker then supports his teammate
    4. Now the attackers must move quickly to exploit the overload before the defender can recover

    5. Here the ball is played wide and the defenders move to cover and delay the attack
    6. The recovering player must be aware of the positions of the third attacker in case the ball is switched
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