See a live session featuring build ups for individual, small group and team defense
- Train your players individually and in small groups to improve their technical ability and their ability to communicate and work as a team
- Rehearse several realistic, game-like scenarios so players understand how to successfully handle these situations when they occur
- Learn how to train players using the "periodization" concept to incorporate fitness, maximize effort and simulate game-like intensity
with Jay Martin,
Ohio Wesleyan University Men's Head Coach,
Winningest active coach in men's college soccer history;
1st NCAA soccer coach to reach 700 wins;
2x NCAA Division III Champion (1998, 2011);
3x NSCAA National Coach of the Year (1991, 1998, 2011)
Defense is an important part of any soccer game. Well thought-out and taught defensive roles allow players to understand their responsibilities and positioning on the field.
Using a progression of warm-ups, defensive drills, and skill-based drills, Jay Martin, winningest active coach in men's college soccer history, shows how he prepares his team for defensive positioning and strategies. He includes a "rehearsal" of seven specific tactical situations and how he trains his team to defend in those scenarios.
Watch as Coach Martin leads his Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops through a midseason practice that focuses on reinforcing defensive tactics. Coaches know how poor defensive habits can find their way into the game of even the most intelligent soccer player over the course of a season, and Coach Martin purposely schedules an open week in the middle of his season so that he can spend an entire training session focusing on individual defending, small group defending, and team defending. This training session serves as a springboard into conference play for his team, and ensures that his players are at their sharpest during the most vital stretch of the season.
Each of Coach Martin's drills - from warm-up to cool down - show how integral individual defending is to small group defense, and how essential small group defense is to team defense. The practice builds from individual defensive tactics to team defensive tactics, and the drills scaffold the progression so that his players, and yours, can learn to defend successfully as a unit.
Learn the Keys to Small Group Defending
Besides providing opportunities for fitness training, dynamic stretching, and touches on the ball, Coach Martin's warm-up and Pep and Sticks drill put his team in a defensive mindset. The constant communication demanded at the beginning of practice sets the tone for the remainder of the session. There's constant movement by defensive players off the ball as they support the defender on the ball.
Coach Martin demonstrates his 1v1 to 4v4 Progression Drill. As the number of defenders increases, the defenders must utilize the small group defending strategies emphasized earlier in the practice and get comfortable with their responsibilities. With more players on the field, the situations become more game-like as the drill continues.
Small Group Defending Techniques on the Full Field
Team defending is the emphasis as Coach Martin's drills move to the full field. Players are constantly reminded that even within the team defensive structure, both the midfielders and defenders must defend as a small group.
Coach Martin walks his full team through situations they must be prepared to defend in the game, including balls played wide out of the back, long crosses and cutting off passing lanes to target forwards. Ideal the day before a big game, this drill will assist your players in visualizing game situations and forces them to defend those situations at game speed.
Coach Martin's teams have had incredible success over his 38 years as a soccer coach, and after a behind-the-scenes glimpse at one of his full training sessions, you will be able to prepare your team to defend like champions.
"Coach Martin presents a thorough and step-by-step process of how to keep your team playing at its defensive best. As a high school coach, I don't have the time in a short pre-season to spend a practice entirely on defensive structure, the way Coach Martin does in the video. However, I plan to incorporate his drills throughout the season so that my boys are organized in the back and prepared for anything." - Cust