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Continuous Defending


  • Half pitch with an additional 10yd channel inside opposing half with goal at one end, as illustrated.
  • 19 players (incl. GK) organized 8v8 plus GK, with 2 Target players beyond half way line in 10yd channel, supply of balls in center circle, with coach.
  • Practice starts with: ball fed into practice area by coach to Attackers or T who then feeds into A’s.
  • A’s objective: build play & create goal-scoring opportunities.
  • If Defenders gain possession: they try to play to feed T’s.
  • Process continues for 5 minutes non-stop & is then repeated.
  • If ball goes dead: coach immediately feeds another into practice area.
  • Throw-ins are taken by either team as appropriate.


  • Continuous un-interrupted defending for 5 minute period includes defending when organised & when dis-organised.
  • If possession is conceded as team plays towards T’s & is intercepted: quick reorganisation is necessary.
  • Concentration & communication between team mates in defensive situation.
  • Simple progressions for this practice are:
    • On receiving possession: T may quickly carry ball forward as an
      extra attacker & contribute to attacking build-up.
    • A’s may use T’s as support from behind as outlet passes, to relieve
      opponent’s defensive pressure.

Key Coaching Points:

  • Movement & positioning of D’s in relation to location & movement of ball.
  • Distances between players, units & GK.
  • Pressing & forcing opponents to play in a chosen direction.
  • Tracking & marking opponents.
  • Continuous positioning & changing defending roles & responsibilities, whilst regaining & maintaining defensive compactness