Use this defensive practice to teach players how to hold the line, whilst defending threats that emerge through the middle as well as from wide areas. MORE
We often think of the defence as a unit comprising four or more players, but it’s common for one or two defenders to find themselves in situations where they are exposed to an overload of attackers.
This session is performed regularly, and is one where concentration and communication are absolutely essential.
|40×30 yards, two full-size goals, 2 cones marking the halfway line, 4 more marking entry gates|
|Goals, balls, cones|
|Number of Players|
|12 to 20|
The keeper throws the ball out to one of his three attackers. Ahead of them are two defenders. The attackers must progress into the opposing half, exchanging passes and looking to fashion a shot on goal (1).
Defenders must organise themselves well, tracking the ball but also looking for attackers running into space. The move will end either with a goal or a defensive clearance (2).
Now switching direction, the two defenders become attackers and are joined by another player from the side. The three initial attackers exit the pitch and return to their gate. They are replaced by two players who now act as defenders, thus creating a new 3v2 overload, where the attacking keeper begins play (3). Keep rotating this set-up for 15 minutes.
Although a simple attacking drill, this is very intense for defenders. Jockeying and backtracking techniques work muscle groups, particularly as defenders have to adopt a low body stance whilst moving backwards. Quick feet are essential, as is good shot-blocking. We also look at position, distance from the ball, directing of the opposition, plus communication and knowledge of when to cover and when to press.
Change the width of the pitch as this dictates the level of difficulty for defenders – the wider, the more challenging. Also look at the number of touches allowed – a two-touch game for attackers works defenders as a pair, while all-in for attackers provokes 1v1 dribbling for defenders to adjust to.
Play 6v6 attacking one goal on a half pitch, with the emphasis on full-backs and centre-backs finding and holding position. Attackers must produce overload scenarios, but the defensive line needs to counter the threat by pressing as individuals, or closing a man down in tandem (4/5/6).