When working on defending I would like to do very quick and dynamic warm up's. Something as simple as a tag game or to illustrate a defensive stance pair up players and get them to have a competition on tipping the other players knees without getting hit themselves. This results in a good side on, knees bents boxer type stance. And its Fun! (5 minutes, 8 if players need to stretch)


Technical Circuits (2 minutes at each circuit every player does each circuit twice. 16-20 minutes)

Below: red player plays ball in and defends 1 against 2, The yellow player who receives must pass once. Yellows try to score in goal. If 5 touches have been taken between the 2 yellows 2nd defender comes in. Reds look to win the ball back and if they do they now become the attackers. If yellows score they remain as the attackers.

Coaching points:

1. Close down fast, put brakes on as you approach

2. Angle of approach to deny

3. Defensive stance to delay


Below: Red plays into yellow who turns to score on goal. Players work in pairs so that scores can be kept. Rotate roles after each go.

Coaching points:

1. Keeper: close angle by going straight down the line of the ball.

2. Defender: recover to a covering position behind the keeper (when pressure gets beat, pressure must become cover)

Below:Red plays to red who has his back to goal. Red looks to score on goal. yellow looks to win ball and score in either red gate.

Coaching points:

1. Assess the situation, Soft pass = anticipate and intercept. Player has backed in, can you poke ball away. Player gets side on, give half a yard and block tackle when he looks to turn.

2. Technique of block and poke challenge

3. Resist leaning in and getting spun!

Below: Red plays to wide red who plays 1v1 versus yellow. both players have 2 goals they can score in. Vary starting point of defender so they need to constantly assess changing situations.

Coaching points:

1. Close down quick but don't rush in.

2. Bad touch or slow pass can we nick it.

3. Good touch make an early decision where to show and why.

4. Be prepared to switch stance as player changes direction


Small sided games: Regular 3v3 game. One team defends central goals, one defends wide goals.

coaching points:

1. Communication to help make play predictable.

2. What happens when we win it? Keep it or counter?


Coaching points:

1. starting positions

2. angle of approach to make play predictable.

3. when to press when to delay

4. Angle and distance of cover

5. In-out-in nature of defending

6. Recovery runs

7. Communication