1 v 1 Introducing Individual Zonal Positioning Concepts

1 v 1 Introducing Individual Zonal Positioning Concepts

The key defensive skill we are practicing here is for the defending player to always be able to see the ball and the attacker at the same time. The defender must gauge whether it is possible to intercept the ball and, if it is not, then must adopt a position behind the attacking player’s receiving foot.

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Individual Defending Exercises

Individual Defending Exercises

When defense is discussed, it is often in the context of the team. Yes, the defensive system employed by a coach, whether it is man-to-man or zonal, is important. But what are as important and often overlooked are the technical and tactical defensive abilities of the individual players. Following is a practical session that addresses the individual skills of tackling, closing down and containing from the front and back -- as well as exercises that incorporate these skills into a team's defense.

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3 v 2 Small-Sided Group Defending Game

3 v 2 Small-Sided Group Defending Game

There are twelve players set up on a split field, playing 3 v 2 with players starting from the sideline. During the game, the attacking team starts in the defending half, and the defenders may not cross over the midfield line. Play continues 3 v 2 to completion from there. On a goal or a turnover, the ball is played to the goalkeeper and the direction of play reverses.

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Defensive Positioning to Fix in Defensive Team Shape

Defensive Positioning to Fix in Defensive Team Shape

Teams should have 2 basic shapes, an attacking one and a defensive one; wide and long on offense, short and tight on defense. The differences between each should be significant in terms of spacing between players. A problem that occurs is defensive team shape is not short and tight enough and it allows opponents too much time on the ball.

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Small Sided 4 v 4 Defending Games

Small Sided 4 v 4 Defending Games

One way to teach the basic tactical game of the 4 v 4 is to offer many different ideas on actual game situation that focus on certain themes. This is what the following presentations do. You cannot do better than put players into game situations to learn the game, we just take it one stage further by what we present here. We begin by teaching defending principles in a 4 v 4 game situation so several thoughts on different set ups to teach it individually and collectively as team players.

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A Game Situation for 1 v 1 Defending

A Game Situation for 1 v 1 Defending

Divide the teams up into two 3 v 3 games with teams attacking the short side lines to score a goal. Play with one ball then two balls so there is some 1 v 1’s and also some support play. Then they attack the long sides as targets making it a little harder to defend successfully.

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Breakaway Attacking & Defending

Breakaway Attacking & Defending

One player from each team plays 1v1v1 and can score on either goal.  Coach or facilitator plays balls in from opposite side after score or ball leaves playing area (it is important to keep balls flowing into the game as soon as one ball is dead).  Rotate players every minute.  Coach players to be deceptive and “spin out” to attack other goal based on where 2 defenders are.  Teach strikers poise in front of goal to finish chances and encourage each player to work hard for the minute. This is a demanding physical game but is fun and has a lot of real match carry overs.  Remind players not to tackle the keeper, once the “keeper” call is made.  You can also use this exercise to train your goalkeepers on breakaway saves but remember to make sure your coaching position is by the goal to maximize your coaching impact. 

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How to Defend Properly as a Soccer Team

How to Defend Properly as a Soccer Team

From Coaches Training Room

The art of defending isn’t as complex as some soccer coaches and players fear. We’ve often felt the following set of rules of how to defend properly are overlooked. Building a team with a clear understanding of how to defend properly as a team can be the difference between success and failure. Consider the old saying “if you don’t concede, you can’t lose”. Building a team with a strong attack is very rewarding when it works, but what happens when you don’t have the ball? Or worse, can’t get the ball?

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