Defending Session – On Guard (Pressure, Cover, 1v1, 2v2, 4v4

This session from the Irish FA Level One Course is excellent for U11+ ages and is a good introduction to the basic principles of defending.

Defending - On Guard - 1v1, 2v2, 4v4
Defending – On Guard – 1v1, 2v2, 4v4

Session Coaching Points:

The session begins with a 1v1 situation where the defending players aim to delay the attacker as long as possible.

We then progress to a 2v2 scenario where the players must develop an understanding of who should press and then the role of the second defender.

The session can then be finished with a 4v4 activity where we then look at the roles of the 3rd and 4th defender who provide balance and support.

The 2 fundamental coaching points of the session are:

How to press

  • Closest player to the ball applies pressure
  • Body shape – dictate the play
  • Don’t dive in

How to cover

  • Distance from pressing player
  • Angles – no through balls
  • Communication

Who would this benefit?

I like to use this session as an introduction to defending principles, depending on the group it can be used as early as U10/U11.This is also an excellent activity to do with older Youth Teams in order to revisit the basic principles of defending.

Download Session

Click on the image at the top of the post for a JPG or if you prefer you can Download the On Guard Defending Session Plan as a PDF.