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U11 - U14

Out of Balance - Deny and delay

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Technical warm up Set-up two stations if needed (as shown) in a 60 x 40.  There is a five yard zone in the middle of the playing area. Player 1 starts with the ball.

1.Player 1 passes the ball to player 2 then enters the field.

2.Player 2 passes to one of the reds. Player 2 then has to sprint into the 5 yard zone and then recover to help player 1.

3. Both reds enter the field and play a 2v1 with player 2 recovering to make a 2v2.


Play it as a 3v2 + 1

Coaching points:

When to press and delay?

Where do you force the attacker?

Speed of recovery by player 2.

Small sided game - Area – 60 x 40, 12 players 6 v 6. The field is split in half. In one half Yellows are 4v3 while in the other half it is reds who are overloaded with a 2v1.

1.Yellows have the ball and are playing 4v3.

2.A red defender steps in and intercepts a pass. They then pass to a red forward.

3.One of the yellows can recover to help the lone defender to make it 2v2.

4.If yellows win the ball in their defending half and pass it into the attacking half then a yellow goes in to create the 4v3.


Get the reds to be the recovering defending team

Coaching points:

Speed of recovery

Press, delay or win the tackle?

Area – 80 x 65 Defend and counter. 7v6 plus goalkeepers. Have a 5 yard breakout just inside the half. The defending red team play 3-1-3 and yellows play 3-3. The central attacker red and two wide players start at the break out line. Play starts with the central red play.  


1. The central attacker passes to a yellow.

2. The three attackers drop back to help and outnumber the yellows.

3. The reds look to win the ball back and quickly counter attack.

4. Yellows can retreat once the ball has been played past the breakout line.


Coaching points:

Good 1v1 defending

Press in the right areas

Quickly pass forward to launch the counter attack


  • Decision making
  • Team work
  • The joy of working together
  • Feeling of success and failure 
  • Communication
  • Encouragement
Psychological / Social
  • Competitive
  • Go, go , go
  • The exercises make players work hard
  • Short bursts of energy
  • Defensive duties are very physical
  • Tackling
  • Body shape
  • Passing
  • Defensive stance
  • First touch
  • Finish
  • Field awareness
  • Decision making
  • Pass to space or to feet
  • Deny and delay
  • Pressure, cove and balance
  • When to press
  • Is there a quick counter?
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