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Defensive Shape Drill.


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This is an exercise to help develop your teams Defensive Shape. Two groups of 4 are restricted to their own half. The attacking 4 must try to penetrate the 4 defending players and hit their 2 target players. Emphasis is on the "defensive Shape" of the 4 defending players.

To predict is to say in advance that something will happen, e.g. generally the weather forecasters are right when they state what the weather will be like the next day - rain, wind, sun etc. If in a soccer game our team can predict what the other team will do with the ball in a given area at a given time then we have a big advantage. In making play predictable as a team we must follow certain guidelines.

The basics of defending all over the field are pressure, support and balance. Pressure on the man with the ball, support for the pressurizing player and cover, balance and the plugging of vital space needed by the opposition.

The roles of pressurizing player, supporting player and balancing or covering player switch as the ball is moved and kept by the opposition. Circumstances dictate that the pressurizing player will sometimes be able to prevent his opponent from turning, sometimes he will not, depending on this situation all other players adjust, e.g. supporting and balancing/covering players and other members of the team behind them.

What the pressurizing player is trying to do first and foremost is stop the ball from being played forward. If he cannot stop the ball being played forward can he stop it by his body shape and force the opposition to play a predictable ball, and then the rest of the team can adjust.

For more great drill go to