Free Soccer Drills

Skill Practice


Defend The Defending Third | Skill Practice (03-P1)

Organisation / Set Up
In this half pitch practice, we focus on our attacking 4 players against a back 4. Our coach will play a ball into one of the front players, with their challenge to create effective angles to move defenders around. The back 4 must remain compact and look to regain possession to finish in one of two mini goals as shown.

03 P1a


03 P1b


03 P1c

Key Coaching Points
  • Tactical | Compactness to protect space behind defensive line and recognition of when to squeeze or drop as a back line.
  • Technical | Defending in 1 v 1s and Defensive clearances (headers / tackles)
  • Social | Collective defending, limiting spaces in between and communication to perform group actions (press/drop/shuffle)

03 P1d

Progressions & Constraints
  • Implement opportunities for defenders to recover during counter attacks, this may be after they have regained possession and look to score in mini goals.
  • Create opportunities to defend the goal with high balls and crosses around the 6 yard box, encouraging goalkeeper and defenders to protect goal.
Key Coaching Questions
  • When do you press and when do you delay?
  • What is causing the defensive line problems and how can you use the offside line to influence attacking options?