A Practice on Small Group Defending

Warm Up: 5 to 10 minutes Activity Level: Mild, ramping up Space: General; 1 to 2 players per group

warm up defense drill

The Game Groups of three; one ball per group. Player A rolls the ball (receiving ground balls) or tosses the ball (receiving air balls) to either player B or player C. In this example, player C must control the ball and get a completed pass to player B. While this is occurring, player A immediately challenges player C and tries to win the ball back. After successful pass, player C would then pick up the ball and repeat the activity as the defender. The defender is awarded a point for winning the ball back and gets to throw again.

Coaching Points
  • Encourage defender to pressure quickly after the toss. Defender needs to work hard at closing down the space while the ball is in flight.
  • Receiving player's first touch should be away from the pressuring defender.
  • Player receiving the pass should move to create a clear passing lane.
  • Do not allow the receiving player to one touch the incoming toss. This is a receiving drill, as well as a drill that serves as a good warm-up for practices dealing with defenders.
Small Game: 20 to 25 minutes Activity Level: Medium progression to high Space: Defined smaller space; 3 to 5 players per group

Pressure / Cover Defending

The Game 2 vs. 2 with goals marked out in the corner of the grid. Have a regular game with periods of about 2 to 3 minutes in duration and have plenty of extra balls ready to keep the game flowing.
Coaching Points: Defending Principles of Play
  • Pressure on the ball: Do not let the first attacker's head come up.
  • Second defender must cover the goal as well as be aware of the second attacker.
  • First defender tries to channel the attacker into the sideline and away from the second attacker. This is easier to do since the goals are in the corners of the grid, the sidelines come up quicker.
  • When first defender has made the play predictable, second defender tries to double team.
  • Make sure the defenders stay balanced, that they do not become too spread out, enabling the attacking team to make splitting passes.
  • As soon as the ball is won, can they shoot? This is the best time to do so because the attacking team is not in a good defending posture.

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