AYSO Region 104

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FineSoccer Drill 63 - Defensive Drill

Today's drill works on defensive footwork, intensity and anticipating as well as offensive turning with the ball, dribbling and moves. Plus, it's excellent conditioning for all involved.

Start with a line 20 yards long (if you don't have a line for this, you can always use cones. At the end of each line there should be a 5 yard break and then one last cone (see the diagram below for an idea of what this would look like)

An offensive player with the ball is on one side of the line and a defender is on the other side (see diagram below)

The offensive player is given one minute to score as many goals as she can by dribbling the ball into the two cones beyond the end of the lines. The defensive player can NOT cross over the line so she must stay even (or slightly ahead of where the dribbler is going) and can only really defend my winning the ball or blocking the dribble once the ball has gone beyond the line and toward the cone that represents the goal. Done properly, the person with the player will be dribbling at speed trying to beat the defender to the cone and the defender is trying to get there first. If the attacking player sees that she has lost her advantage of getting their first, she should quickly change directions and go toward the other goal. If a goal is scored, the attacking player must go back towards the middle of the line before attacking the same goal again. If the defender wins the ball, she should immediately give it back to the attacker.

Ideally, this drill is done in groups of 4. While two players are working, the other two are resting. If Player A is on offense first and Player B is on defense, Players C and D are resting. After the first minute is up, Player C is on offense and Player D is on defense. After that minute, Player B attacks and Player A defends.

Done properly, this is a very intense game and as the players start to wear down, they must be encouraged to really push themselves (possibly by rewarding the winner which is another way of saying punishing the loser).

After each player has attacked and defended, they should switch partners and go again.

One of the benefits of this drill is that it reminds people just how much hard work is needed to be a good defender.

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