U11 - U14

Defend as a unit

Area: 32 x 20. 4 v 4 in the central area with each player occupying space. Two target players at each end line. The teams stay in their area.

1. To start the coach passes the ball to a green player. The green player looks to play a pass to one of the target players or to a team mate.

2. The nearest defender presses the green player and forces the play away from the target players.

3. The other defenders offer cover and slide across to prevent the pass being made to a target players. A constant distance between the defenders must be maintained.

Variation: Send in one defender to pressure the team with the ball while their 3 team mates prevent the ball from being passed to the target players.

Coaching points:

Communication – Trigger points of when to press as a unit.

Pressure, cover and balance.

No ball watching

Area: Half a field with two teams 7 v 6 + GK. Three small goals are placed on the halfway line as shown. A defensive zone is marked out as shown. The team in blue is playing a 4-3 with one holding midfield player. The 4 defenders and the holding midfield player can move out of the zone if needed. It's all about decision making. The two outer midfield players move around the outer area offering defensive cover. The holding midfielder can move out of that position to close down the yellows. If they do one of the other midfield players will rotate into that position.

1. Play 7 v 6 in the defenders favor.

2. The coach serves the ball to any yellow player.

3. The defenders move as a unit to close the play down. Pressure, cover and balance.

4. If the defending team wins the ball they attempt to keep possession and score through one of the goals on the halfway line.

Variations:

Add another yellow player

Remove the defending zone and watch them play

Coaching points:

Communication from the defending team is so important

Players must have the knowledge to spot the danger.

Leave the ‘non danger’ player, the player who is furthest away from play. You do not have to guard this player tight.

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