A Practice on Small Group Defending

Four Goals--End Line

The Game 4 vs. 4, Each team defends two goals and attacks two goals. Having the goals on the end lines makes this game more realistic as it forces the attacking team to have more of a direction to their attack. (A good session for U-12 players and above.)
Four Goals Soccer Drill
Coaching Points: Defending Principles
  • Defending becomes particularly challenging since the defending team has two goals to defend, essentially turning this into a 6 vs. 4 game.
  • It is a good idea to first allow each team to decide themselves, where they are going to try to win the ball. In other words, are they going to challenge the ball all over the field, or will they hang back and try to only defend the space close to their own goals?
  • Can they channel the ball into certain areas of the field to gain possession?
  • Can they apply enough pressure on the ball to limit the first attacker's options and make the play predictable?
Team Game: 30 minutes plus Activity Level: High Space: Defined for the game = larger space; 7 to 11 players per team.


Four Zones Game

The Game A regular 11 vs. 11 or 8 vs. 8 scrimmage. Break the field into 4 horizontal zones. Award the defending team points when they win the ball back in a chosen zone. For example, the blue team might be given 3 points for winning the ball back in the first zone, two points for the second zone, one point for the third zone and no points for the fourth zone. This can change depending on where the coach wants the team to try to force the play.
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Four Zones soccer drill

Coaching Points
  • Try to get the players to work together as a unit, with all 11 players aware of the defensive plan.
  • Can the defending team control the attacking team, making them play the ball in a certain area of the field, and then win the ball?
  • Make sure you give defending agendas to both teams.
Warm Down: 5 to 10 minutes Activity Level: Low, ramping down Space: General, no specific boundaries; 1 to 2 players per group


Two-sided Goal Game

The Game A 2 vs. 2 game played with a two sided goal. Goals can be scored from either side. The game is a continuous flow game that is best played for 2 to 3 minutes.
Two Sided Soccer Drill?
Coaching Points
  • A good warm-up or cool-down game to teach defending and attacking skills.
  • Defenders must make sure they cover the goal as well as the attacking players.
  • Defenders must work at channeling the first attacker away from their support.
  • Attacking team must be good at combination play to unbalance the defense.
  • As soon as the ball is lost, defending team must get goal side.
  • Try to attack immediately when the ball is won.





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