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Defending Centrally (12-P3)

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

This quick attack v defence practice provides 1 v 1, 2 v 1 and 2 v 2 situations, with 2 large goals protected by 2 keepers and 2 mini goals positioned on the side of a 30 by 25 yard playing area.

Set Up:

6+ Players

20 Mins

20x30 Yds


2 Bib Sets

2 + 2 Minis

The coach plays a pass for a 1 v 1, with players having to run around a cone and race to gain possession of the ball to score in a mini-goal.

Whichever player scores, a teammate joins in to attack in a 2 v 1 in the larger goal, before a member of the opposition joins in to create a 2 v 2 to attack the opposite end.

Key Coaching Points

1. Body shape and approach of defender to show the attacker into one area

2. If in a 1v2 situation, try and isolate the attacker (stop the pass)

3. The reaction of players when the play transitions from defence to attack


Player Questions

One-on-one defending, also known as individual defending, is an important skill in soccer that involves a single defender attempting to prevent an opposing player from advancing the ball or creating a scoring opportunity. Here are some reasons why one-on-one defending is important:

  • It is a key part of a team's overall defensive strategy. It allows a team to defend against individual attacking players and disrupt the opponent's attacking flow.

  • Individual defending requires good communication and teamwork between the defender and their teammates. This helps the team maintain a solid defensive shape and cover any gaps or spaces that may open up.

  • Good one-on-one defending requires a combination of technical skills, such as tackling, positioning, and ball control, as well as mental skills, such as concentration, awareness, and decision-making.

  • It is also important in terms of winning the ball back and starting counterattacks. A good one-on-one defender can dispossess the opponent and create scoring opportunities for their team.

  • Individual defending is an important aspect of soccer and can be practiced and improved through drills, small-sided games, and match situations.

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