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
Soccer coaching session focusing on diamond formations
Use this soccer coaching session to teach a diamond formation, which is ideal in making a strong system for defending and attacking. It helps players cover all areas of the pitch, allowing them to focus quickly when possession is lost, or spread out in all directions for fast counter-attacks when possession is won.
Importantly, the diamond also provides lots of options for passing into space.
I have found that using the 2-1-2-1 diamond formation is the best for advancing 7-a-side teams from more simple formations, such as 2-2-2.
With this strong diamond stretching from the attacker to defensive midfielder, it is a shape that is hard to get past and requires a skilful opposition to find a weakness.
The two defenders cover the back and wings with close support in front of them. They need to be aware of the options ahead of them, down either wing to the wide players or inside to the defensive midfielder.
They also have the option to make long clearances to the attacker at the top of the diamond. Unlike the 11-a-side version of this formation, the defenders do not need to attack down the wings. They can simply pass the ball to the wide midfielders.
You have three players in midfield. One sits in front of the defence as cover and is instrumental in playing the ball to the wide midfielders. They also have an important role by being in the correct position to win a header from long goal kicks.
The defensive midfielder prevents opposition goal kicks travelling through midfield and into defence. Meanwhile, the two wide midfielders control the shape of the diamond. It is their job to win or receive the ball and advance play into the opposition half.
Their passes into the attacker need to be accurate and varied in angle and height to keep the opposition defence on the back foot. This is a strong midfield because you have three players across the middle of the pitch making it difficult for teams to get past.
The lone attacker is vital. They must pounce on any poor goal kicks which fall short. Good movement is also required to reach crosses or passes played into them. The attacker must stay upfield at all times, even when their team is defending set plays in their own half. They provide a crucial outlet.
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