Outside Backs Defending 1v1


When the opposing team switches the point of attack from one side of the field to the other: Are you noticing that your outside back is pinched in too much and can’t close down the winger in an efficient manner? Or too far away from the central defender leaving a huge gap exposing the goal mouth? Try this unique activity to help him find his sweet spot. This creative defending activity will isolate your defenders 1V1 in wide areas and force them to protect the goal. All defensive principles apply.


Set up as shown above. 6-8 attacking players and 6-8 defenders depending on your numbers.



1V1 defending in wide areas. Player A plays a crisp ball on the ground to player B who takes a positive touch forward and penetrates into the next grid. As soon as he enters the grid, the defender (player C) can enter the grid and defend the attacker. The attacking players objective is to beat the defender 1V1 and pass the ball between the two flags for a goal. Alternate sides focusing on your left backs and left center backs on one side and your right sided defenders on the other side.

Coaching Points:

  • Starting position-finding the sweet spot is different for every defender
  • Staying connected to the center back but close enough to defend the flank area
  • Cutting off the passing lane to the flags
  • Close the space to the attacker
  • Forcing the play wide, angle and speed of approach (deceleration)
  • Objectives are to contain, delay, and win the ball