Primary & Secondary Defenders
Play and refine! Utilize these rondos and game related activities to teach your young players how to defend. Peel back the layers and challenge your players’ cognitive ability to recognize the appropriate moment to commit to winning the ball.
Three Team Rondo
Three Team Rondo is a great transition activity for the younger ages 8-12, or simply use it as a warm up for the older ages, or perhaps the day before a match.
Small Sided Shooting Game
This is a great finishing activity from long-time contributor Stuart Sharp. This basic and effective shooting game encourages your players to utilize their technical skills around the opponent’s box. Adjust the dimensions or number of players to adapt to your team and environment.
Attacking Patterns to Goal
Try these Attacking Patterns to Goal with your attacking players! Focus on the timing of runs, properly timed and weighted through balls, dealing with a recovering defender and finishing under pressure. These repetitions are good for working on principles of defending as well.
This is a great rondo to work on the defensive relationship of your two central midfielders, two central defenders or perhaps your two forwards in a 4-4-2. The focus is on all defensive principles in small group defending.
6V6 Attacking Patterns
Here is an attacking activity from Stuart Sharp, currently the Head Coach of the U.S. Paralympic National Soccer Team. Playing out of a 2-3-1 in attack and defending in a 4-2 block, this activity is a very economic way of utilizing his entire roster of 14 players. Paralympic soccer is 7-a-side format with no offside. Run through these eight patterns to goal focusing on trying to find ways to break down a very compact 4-2 defense. If they drop on top of their goal mouth, utilize shots from distance and service from wide areas. If they maintain a defensive line higher up the field, look to utilize combination play getting the 9,7, and 11 in behind. Remember, no offside!
Recovery Runner will force them to manage the ball as well as the lurking forward behind them. Plenty of reps for both your forwards and your defenders in this fast paced 2V1 and 3V2 activity!
Back Four Functional Defending
Back Four Functional Defending is a great activity to economically train your eight defenders and work on the different principles of defending. This simple but demanding game will enable your players to learn how and when to apply pressure to the ball, force them to stay connected laterally as well as vertically, teach them to cut off passing lanes, and through communication, develop a cohesive working relationship.
7v7 Plus 3 Possession
If you prefer to play out of a 4-3-3 formation and you want your focus to be on the three central midfielders, then try this 7V7+3 possession activity. This simple…
Eliminating the Defender
Here is a high intensity session that focuses on different ways of eliminating the opponent as efficiently as possible. Plenty of 1V1, 2V1, 3V3 and 4V3 scenarios. This is great for attacking in small spaces as well as learning how to defend in an overload situation. Enjoy!
2V1 / 2V2 to Goal
Do you use the goal as a reference point when teaching your players how to defend? Are your forwards useful when working with their back to goal? How do we…
L.A. Rectangle Passing Sequence
The following is a three-progression, tight-space passing activity that can be used for day before a game, day of travel or regeneration day training. It was observed by SoccerSpecific Staff at an LA Galaxy full team training session.