FineSoccer Drill 15 - Defensive Games
This drill is a short drill to explain but take up a decent amount of time in a training session and also accomplishes a great deal in terms of intensity and conditioning (which is the progression for this week).
Assuming you have 16 players, you will need 8 cones and 8 soccer balls. Spread out the cones so there is a good deal of room to around each one. Two players are assigned to each cone and they play a two minute 1 v 1 match. A goal is scored by having the ball touch any part of the cone. Both players are attacking the same goal. At all times there would be 8 games going on at the same time.
The only condition for this game is that the defenders MUST play high pressure at all times. At no time can she sit back by the cone and defend that way, if the attacking player takes a chance and hits a shot from 10 yards away and misses which results in the ball going 20 yards from the goal on the far side, then BOTH players must spring after the ball. This is a very intense game that should be done at full speed.
After the two minute period, everyone meets in the middle of the field and says whether they win or lose. The players switch opponents and they start back into game two.
If there are16 players, it is best to play 15 matches (each player plays against each player once) and keep track of the won/loss record. this would take 45 minutes and be a great workout with two minutes of hard work followed by a one rest and reorganization period. At the end of the 15 matches, you will have a true champion.
At first, the best 1 v 1 players will win but as the games go on, the fittest and most competitive players will prevail. Coaches must really emphasize the importance of trying to win every match and work hard for the whole period.
Have done this series a number of times, I would strongly recommend that a fun and slower paced drill be done next because when done correctly, this is a very intense and very tiring series and the players will need some time to recover.
An alternative to this is to do the exact same thing except the players are going 1 v 1 full field to the big goals. There can be as many as 8 games going on at the same time (no keepers). Have some servers stay on the side of the goals so that when a goal is scored, they can play another ball back in play for the two to fight over.
This is even more tiring since the players are racing full field in order to win the game. You can add the rule here that if a player never crosses into her offensive half of the field during the entire 2 minute game, she must do a full field spring during the one minute rest period (another form of positive motivation)
In sessions when you play games like these, there is no need to do 'conditioning" in addition to the training.
Give it a try (but don't blame me when your team hates you!).
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