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Defensive Balance


  • Area 30x15yds, divided into 2 grids of equal size, as illustrated.
  • 8 Players (incl. 2 Target players), 1 ball.
  • Players arranged 2v1 in each grid, with T’s at each end of practice area.
  • Practice starts with: T feeds ball into team mates, who are not allowed to rebound ball back.
  • Defender presses ball & is supported by a team mate from opposite end, to increase defensive numbers
  • Team in possession look to retain ball, transfer possession forwards to support player, looking to receive, turn & supply T player at opposite end.


  • Rotate players frequently to retain defensive intensity.
  • Speed & angle of approach.
  • Mental concentration & alertness.
  • When pressing: body shape; head still; see ball; good balance & footwork
  • See man & ball
  • Block stance in front of ball & blocking with correct foot.
  • Composure & no fouling
  • Defensive support from players behind: where, when & how to press & mark.
  • Simple progressions for this practice are:
    • Introduce additional box in middle with 4 extra players, organized 2v2.
    • T’s can pass anywhere into practice area

Key Coaching Points:

  • Where, when & how to initially press ball.
  • Quick support from supporting D’s to pressurize.
  • Communication & adjustment to positions in relation to ball
  • Looking interceptions
  • Forcing errors from the man on ball.