Diamond-shape Defending

SoccerSpecific

Ritchie Semple is currently Coordinator of Football Studies at Myerscough College, Liverpool, England. Ritchie has vast experience at both collegiate level and club level. Ritchie is currently the Under 14´s coach at Chester City Football Club and an active member of the Don´t X The Line Campaign.

At youth level, Ritchie has been coaching all ages at football clubs both in England and Wales for numerous years. On a playing note, Ritchie has previous experience of playing in the League of Wales for Bangor City and Conwy United but spent most of his career at Prestatyn Town.

Ritchie is a UEFA qualified coach and is now working towards his BSc in Sports Education & Coaching and Certificate in Education.

Activity #1:

Set Up:

Players are organised in a circle around the coach as shown below.

Diagram A
Diagram A

Explanation:

Players begin warm up on coaches command by turning and jogging to the edge of circle or cone 10 metres away. Players perform the activity the coach has requested on the way back – movements include: Side steps / shuffle, headers, sprints, heal flicks, knee´s up etc.

Coaching Points:

  • Gradually increase tempo
  • Increase core temperature
  • Psychological aspects – Application, Concentration & Attitude!!!

Activity #2:

Set Up:

As shown in the diagram below – Players are positioned in groups of 4 – all players can take part in groups of four, IMPORTANT that your “first choice” diamond train as a unit.

Diagram B
Diagram B

Explanation:

The coach moves in different directions, the diamond of players must mirror the coaches movement while MAINTAINING the diamond shape at all times. One minute exercise then stop for a stretch; continue for another minute until all stretches are complete.

Coaching Points:

  • Communication from all four players
  • Sweeper to take control, the dominant voice!!
  • Move as a unit

Activity #3:

Set Up:

Players set up as shown in diagram, The Sweeper, two Centre Backs and the Defensive Midfielder form the diamond.

Diagram C
Diagram C

Explanation:

Starting point midway inside Yellow half. Start practice 5 Yellow attackers vs. Red diamond defenders – Yellow must attempt to break down the Red defence and attack the goal. Yellows have 10 continuous attempts at scoring. If the play breaks down, all players return to starting positions to continue sequence.. If Reds win ball they must pass through the cones on half way line.

Coaching Points:

  • Awareness of other players positions
  • Keep the diamond shape
  • Communication
  • Move as a unit, side to side and forward and backwards
  • Encourage the Sweeper to organise

Activity #4:

Progression

Set Up:

To progress from previous practice add two more players; two Yellow wingers and two red Full Backs / Wing Backs.

Diagram D
Diagram D

Explanation:

Run practice the same as previous activity – Yellow team attempts to create goalscoring opportunities. Encourage the yellow players to play at a high tempo and to change the direction of play quickly to attempt to disturb the diamond. The diagram above illustrates the diamond moving in a cohesive unit.

Coaching Points:

  • Keep the diamond shape
  • Communication
  • Move as a unit, side to side and forward and backwards
  • Encourage the Sweeper to organise
  • Encourage the Sweeper to step up level with Centre Backs to play offside if necessary

Activity #5:

Final Progression

Set Up:

To progress from previous practice add two more players: two Yellow Full Backs and two Red Midfielders. The practice is now 9v9.

Diagram E
Diagram E

Explanation:

Run practice the same as previous activity – Yellow team attempts to create goalscoring opportunities. Encourage the yellow players to play at a high tempo and to change the direction of play quickly to attempt to disturb the diamond. Upon winning the ball, the Yellow team may now attempt to maintain possession and score through either of the mini goals (cones) on the halfway line.

Coaching Points:

  • Keep the diamond shape
  • Communication
  • Move as a unit, side to side and forward and backwards
  • Encourage the Sweeper to organise
  • Encourage the Sweeper to step up level with Centre Backs to play offside if necessary
  • Midfield players to protect diamond by stopping the pass to the strikers feet