Dick Bate Defending Diamond with 1v1 Progression

​The Set-up

Create several 4×4 Diamonds. 4 to 5 players per Diamond.  Coach should position him/herself in a manner to observe the players movement. 

The Exercise

The first player in line moves quickly out to the first disc (the discs represent the ball).  The movement should be made:

  •     Quickly to “close the space”
  •     The angle of approach should be “side on” to steer the attack wide
  •     Defenders weight should be balanced and slightly favoring the back foot.

The defender should recover back to the initial starting position while facing the ball.  Once there he/she should quickly move out to “close the space” on the middle disc. Once again, recover facing the ball to the starting disc and quickly move out to the final disc. The Defender must now shift their hips and change their lead foot to steer the ball wide.

Variation:  Same exercise, but now the defender should close the space, give ground, take ground.

1v1 Progression 

The Set-up

Remove the outer diamonds and create two long narrow fields with goals on the end-line.  Divide players into 3 groups (as pictured). It’s not necessary for the players to be in different colors, it just helps for clarity in explaining the exercise. Coach should have plenty of balls.

The Exercise
The defending player moves through the Diamond in the same manner as the original exercise: closing the space; steering the attack, recovering facing the ball.

Once the defender begins to recover from the 3rd disc, the coach should play a ball to one of the attackers. The defender should move quickly to close the space on the attacker and a “live 1v1” ensues.

The next player in line should begin to move through the defensive diamond immediately! Coach can yell Go! To initiate the movement, but ideally the players will move once the ball has been played into one of the channels.

Once the defender begins to recover from the 3rd disc, the coach should play a ball into the opposite channel. (not pictured)

Rotation:  After you have been the attacker (pictured in white) you join the line waiting to go through the diamond.  After you’ve gone through the diamond, you remain at the field you played 1v1 on and become an attacker. 

  •     Closing space
  •     Steering the attack
  •     Recovering while facing the ball
  •     Quick reaction
  •     1v1 attack & defend

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