Do your defenders make the right decisions under pressure when multiple attackers are running at them? Is clearing the ball out of play when defending a counter attack good enough? When do we encourage implementing a tactical foul? Here is simple activity that will help provide your players unique scenarios they will deal with in matches.
Inspired by the United States Paralympic National Team training camp and head coach Stuart Sharp. Here is a defending session that primarily focuses on cutting off passing lanes, denying penetrating passes and playing through lines quickly. Tweak it to fit the personnel and framework of your team! Congratulations to the USPNT and Coach Sharp on being selected for the 2017 United Soccer Coaches Honorary All-America Award!
Remaining compact in various areas of the pitch is vital in order to prevent your opponent from finding space + time to play! The following session develops the ability to remain compact in central areas of the pitch.
This session aims to develop an understanding of the roles within small groups and how these smaller group roles carry over to the larger 11v11 game. Defensive principles are introduced and reinforced throughout the session. Session begins with small group 3v3+1 to illustrate and coach the principles of ‘Pressure / Cover / Balance’. These same principles are reinforced within the 6v6 and 8v7 activities. Session finishes with a 9v9 game.
Mick McDermott brings us a session that aims to develop the ability and habit of ‘Quick Transitions in Front’. The platform to allow transitions in front comes from structured defensive organization; each player must know their defensive role – these same players must also know their role on gaining possession in order to create opportunities to attack.
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.
‘Transition Moments’ are crucial within the game; it is vital that players immediately understand their roles when losing possession or winning possession! This session allows the players to understand the basic concept of ‘transitions to defend’ within the warm-up and small-group activities; session then progresses to 7v7 tactical activities.
The following session emphasizes defensive responsibilities both at the individual and small group level. Initially, players are exposed to 1v1 situations with an emphasis on ‘preventing the turn’ – both decision-making and technical execution of individual defending are addressed. The session progresses to small group (2v2 / 4v2) activities and finally to a 7v6 game format.