D2. DEFENDING 1V1 Part 2 – Body Position

D2. DEFENDING 1V1 Part 2 – Body Position 1hr 45min
Quote of the Session: “The enemy of the best is the good. If you’re always settling with what’s good, you’ll never be the best.”
Jerry Rice former American football player
Warm Up/Agility 10 mins
Defending Warm Up

A. All players in 2 lines go thru a series of Dynamic Stretches:

  •     Hamstrings;Quadriceps; Gluts; Lower Back
  •     Adductors; Abductors Hip Flexors;
  •     Shoulders;  Calf Muscles


B. 2 partners with 1 ball

  •     On Coach’s command, a player dribbles then switch.
  •     They are going straight at each other no more than 10 yards. At a time.
  •     At first its shadow, after a few reps it’s competitive and they try to dis-posses each other of the ball
   SET THE MENTALITY (It is critical that the coach sets the right mentality to defend and win the ball)

  •     Teach the players proper defensive stand and technique
  •     Encourage body contact, use of body
  •     Objective is to defend aggressively
  •     To win the ball and keep possession
  •     To take pride in  defending individually and collectively
Small Sided Game 15 mins
4v4 Everyone Recovers
 In a space approximately 30W X 40L, two teams of 4 (or 5 0r 6, adjust the field dimensions accordingly) play a match. There should be a clearly marked middle line.  
  • Working as a unit
  • When and how to pressure and cover
  • Spacing between defenders (creating a “defensive block”)/Compactness
  • Transition and Recovery
A normal 4v4 game takes place, but on loss of possession, the team that lost possession MUST immediately recover to their half of the field before defending. By doing so, the defensive team will reduce the space between themselves making it difficult to penetrate. Recovering to your half is standing rule throughout the game.

Rule: If the attacking team scores, they get a point for the goal and an additional point for every defensive player not in the defensive half of the field.

Note: This exercise is appropriate to use with larger numbers (6v6, 8v8, 11v11) and/or to regulation goals.

Technical/Tactical 50 mins
1v1 Defending – Angle of Approach
  •  4 to 6 players per group.
  • Grids should be 15 yards long x 12 yards wide.
  • Place one pugg goal on the end-line
  • Red plays the ball out to White.
  • Red moves quickly to seal off the goal (angle of approach)
  • Close the space (speed of approach)
  • 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.
  • Attackers should be daring and take the defender on. If the defender is slow to seal off the goal the attacker can shoot directly in to the pugg goal.
  • If the defender wins the ball, he/she should attempt to play the ball to the coach. This will teach the defender to get their head up and look to play forward immediately.
  • Rotation: After you defend you go to the end of the attacking line. After you attack, go to the end of the defensive line.
  • Variation:  Change the location of the goal, change where Red plays the ball from.
Defending Along the Line
  • Split field in 2 as shown in the picture
  • Divide players into two groups: Attackers (A) and Defenders (D)
  • Use a GK
 Defender must close down the attacker and force him to go towards the out line.
Play starts with the goalkeeper throwing or rolling the ball to the first attacker who will try to score. At the same time the first defender starts closing down the attacker and try to defend by forcing the attacker to go wide and get the ball. If successful he’ll try to pass the ball between the cones (or the small net).
Small Sided Game 30 mins
  • Two teams with goalkeepers.
  • Playing field of 40x20m
  • One goal at each end
Regular play with minimal coach intervention.

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