Soccer drill to get defenders thinking

In this soccer drill coaching session the defender must react to the opponent’s starting position, think quickly and defend accordingly.

To run this soccer drill, you need to set up an area the size of half the pitch you play on, so if you play mini-soccer, 7-a-side or 8-a-side, you will use half a small pitch but for 11-a-side teams use half a full-size pitch.

soccer drill to get defenders reacting to opponent.

Player movement and ball movement bar
How to play the drill

  1. One player works as the defender and starts in the middle of the pitch. The other players stand by a numbered cone and get ready to react to dribble into the area.
  2. To start the drill, call out a number and immediately the attacker attempts to score while the defender must react and try to defend.
  3. For the next attack, the attacker replaces the defender and the defender becomes a new attacker.

What to shout in the drill

  • “React quickly.”
  • “Pressure the opponent.”
  • “Force away from danger.”
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