Category Archives: Defending

4 v 2 to 1 v 1

ScreenFlow from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Screen Shot 2018-02-10 at 9.58.30 AM


Inside – Outside Passing Game

I would progress this where, initially time is given for the team’s to switch and then the switching has to be done on the fly.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 9.34.34 PM.png

ScreenFlow from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.


Tackling Game

  • from GE
  • (most easily done around the center circle)
  • xs and os are each on a team
  • opposite lines are labeled 1 and 2
  • coach calls out a number
  • the player in that line from each team sprints a quarter around the circle, around the next cone and to the ball
  • whoever gets there first is on offense and attempts to bring the ball to their other line
  • the ball must be dribbled to the cone (or thereabouts; this can vary based on skill and level)
  • player stays in that line once they get there


Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 2.33.30 PM


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Posted by on October 16, 2017 in 1 v 1, Defending, Dribbling, Tackling


Simple Shooting Drill

Saw GE do this today. Liked the simplicity and the pace.

  • One on one with defender (at goal) serving to attacker.
  • Only rule is that attacker has to take a touch (no one touch shots).
  • Lines alternate serving (they’re obviously not going simultaneously).
  • Rotate counter clockwise when done.


Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 8.59.15 PM


Defensive Pressure

Just thought of this one myself. We had some issues getting out of the back quickly enough, and I was looking at various transition games. This isn’t quite transition but might make a good first step. (And I forgot to add the ball to the illustration.)

  • grid maybe 20 x 15 with evenly spaced cones along the sideline
  • 3 v 2 (or similar; numbers are variable), each starting on opposite lines
  • defenders serve to attackers
  • attackers’ goal is to dribble across the opposite line
  • but they get a point for each sideline cone they pass (so, say, the full goal is worth 4)
  • should / hopefully focus on speed of attack and speed of defending / organizing because the attackers start scoring quickly
  • emphasize that attackers should not attack in straight lines only
  • defenders can attack the opposite goal if they win possession

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 9.12.35 AM


Dick Bate – Man-marking Defending – Movement-Specific Conditioning

  • 3 players, 2 with balls in their hands 5 yards apart, 1 in the middle
  • The one in the middle moves between the two holders, touching the ball with his hand
  • Ball should be moved up and down by holders to vary position
  • Focus on quick movements, turning the hips, and strong first steps
  • Should not be shuffling, but turning and moving
  • 2 end players can shift their position to surprise the middle player: shift from side to side, from front to back, so that the player has to react to where the ball is quickly

Untitled from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

  • [could this be done as almost a beep-test kind of thing, or at least a timed activity to see how many touches a player can get in a fixed time?]
  • [this could also be done with four holders in a diamond with the middle player either moving a pattern or with the coach calling out numbers to get them to move randomly]
  • Players do quick feet (‘dance’)
  • Coach calls out left or right
  • Players turn in that direction, focusing on hips and first step
  • Players run to a fixed point (sprint of 10 or 15 ¬†yards)

Untitled from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

  • Initially attacking players ran too fast
  • Bate slowed them down, telling them to jog or even walk; focus on the change of speed
  • Focus is on the defenders, so defenders need to develop that quick first step to keep up with attackers as they change pace
  • Bate added the restriction that only one change of direction was allowed
  • Similar to the catch-the-defender game we already play (with a ball) but in this version no ball; a game of tag
  • Progression: two players have a ball in their hand; they are immune but can and should pass the ball to other players in trouble (this also develops communication)

4 v 1 + 4 v 1



I would probably add a conditioning piece for the three not passing, plus it makes the transition potentially more difficult, but otherwise interesting.