Group Defending [ARTICLE]

Group Defending 

By: Ian Baker

Provided By: NSCAA



Coaching Methodology: Tactical Progressive

2Warm-Up Exercise

Organization / Instructions:

3 players 12-15 yards apart
Knock it one touch for several passes
When one player (3) stops the ball the other two must sprint to pressure it
Develop to when a player turns away the other two must sprint and shape to pressure and cover

Identify body shape
Respond quickly
Slow into the ball
Angle pressure to force into cover

3Main Theme Exercise 1


20x15 2vs.2 to end line
Ball is served to the opposite side
Server is live upon serving the ball while the others are live upon opponent's touch
Alter start positions to create different D response
(Offside to apply)

Coaching Points:

The immediate pressure must be quick and controlled into the ball
Immediate pressure should direct the play to a smaller space or into the cover defender
Cover defender must communicate, read the body of teammate, be aware of player not on the ball and CLOSE to an effective distance
If first defender is beaten the second defender must be ready to step up and roles exchange

4Main Theme Exercise


40x25 4vs.4 to small goals
Goal are set slightly in field
(Offside to apply)

Coaching Points:

Player 1 has made Player A pass to B
Defending high Player 2 gives immediate pressure Players 3+4 shift/slide across. 2 to provide cover and 3 to balance of the threat of Player C
Player 1 drops down to make central space smaller
Player D is not a threat if the collective movement is good
Pressure, Cover, Balance are all to be reinforced
When and where to pressure as a unit can depend on the opponent's first touch, area of the field, effective support, score etc

5Maine Theme
Exercise 3


60x 44 6 vs.6 to 6 goals
GKs act as unopposed support players to their team
Goals should be set inside the touch line
(Offside to apply)

Coaching Points:

Defending team must act together
As Player B receives Player 1 is close enough to pressure, Player 2 offers cover and Players 3+4 slide over
Player 4 can see the line and the potential for Player D to be in an offside position
The line of 4 is NOT a diagonal rather a "hockey stick"
Player 5 seeks to deny a ball back to Player A
Player is not a threat at this point
Communication of the pressure comes from Player 1 moving, Players 2-5 must then communicate what they see and how that pressure is effective

6Diagram Team Shape - Provide Field Dimensions


80x44 8vs.8 to two goals
1-4-2-1 vs. 1-3-2-2

These opposed "numbers" will create 1 vs. 1 defending challenges and necessitate times to defend in a zonal way and a man to man way

Defensive roles will shift quickly from player to player
Defensive principles will remain constant and vary as the game situation dictates

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25 Aug 2016

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