1 v 1 Defending

​The Set-up: (as pictured)

4 (minimum) to 6 players per group

Grids should be 15 yards long x 12 yards wide.

The Game: Red plays the ball out to White.  Red moves quickly to seal off the goal (angle of approach), close the space (speed of approach) and get in a good defensive stance (don’t be square/ remain on the balls of your feet).  Red should begin to slow down and get “side on” as he approaches the attacker.  Defender should be patient and not “dive in”.  Force the attacker onto his/her weak foot.


  •     Angle of approach
  •     Speed of approach
  •     Footwork
  •     Poke Tackle (front foot)
  •     Block Tackle (back foot)

Rotation: After you defend you go to the end of the attacking line.  After you attack, go to the end of the defensive line.  Attackers should be creative, can pass through the goal.


  1.     Change the location of the goal,
  2.     Change where Red plays the ball from.
  3.     For younger players the coach can play the ball out and have the defender move on contact.  This will help kids learn to “close the space” as the ball is traveling. 

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