Run an effective defensive practice session even when you're unable to go full 11v11!
- Discover the different cues and triggers needed to successfully defend with a back four
- Learn the defensive principles required to prevent opposing offenses from getting behind your team
- Teach your players, through small sided games, how to quickly organize your defense and transition quickly
with Paul Jobson,
Baylor University Women's Head Coach;
United States Soccer Federation "A" Licensed Coach;
2018 Big XII Conference Champions;
2018 NISOA-NSCAA Intercollegiate National Merit Award;
2018 United Soccer Coaches Midwest Regional Staff of the Year;
Back-to-back NCAA Elite Eight appearances (2017, 2018);
2x Big XII Conference Championships (2012, 2017)
Whether you coach club, high school, college or even at the professional level, there will always be times when you are unable to train with your full team. Training with low numbers is always an issue at some point of the season!
In this video, Paul Jobson demonstrates how he teaches defending, even with low numbers at his practices, and, how your sessions can still be effective with the numbers you have. Throughout the video, Coach Jobson shows five different concepts that will help your team not only defend, but also transition quickly and react accordingly to where they are on the field. Jobson provides in-depth illustrations on the field to show ideas on how to defend with low numbers and transition quickly on both sides of the ball.
Learn how to train your team to defend with low numbers using some of Coach Jobson's favorite drills. He explains the teaching points he emphasizes during the drills, including:
- Learning how to utilize time to sprint to beat the ball and press effectively.
- How to take advantage of transitional moments to benefit your team defensively.
- The proper shape, distances and angles needed to defend in small groups.
- How to defend to quickly start a counter attack.
Coach Jobson breaks down the five main concepts he teaches. He begins by showing a passing pattern he uses when numbers are low to get players warmed up before the session starts. "Wine Glass Passing" allows players to sharpen their passing and receiving skills, including how to properly receive a pass and quickly combine in tight spaces. This exercise is unopposed and progresses in which players can combine in different ways.
The second segment that Coach Jobson covers is what he calls the "Three Grid Game." This is where he trains his players to defend in groups of four and clarifies the roles and responsibility of the first, second, third & fourth defender. Jobson and his assistant also address the angles and distances between defenders by asking some important questions throughout the drill. The exercise progresses and allows players to add an element of transition, which forces the athletes to have to think and react on a totally different level than before.
The third segment of the video is a drill that Coach Jobson calls "4 Ball Game". In this drill, players are separated into a back four in a functional setting, illustrating the principles needed to defend in a back four. The drill starts in a 4v4 situation where the coach walks through how the back four should defend on top of the box and what key areas need to be addressed. After players have a firm grasp of the concepts, Jobson progresses by adding a center forward and a holding midfielder to make the situation even more game-like in a 5v5 setting. This small sided game does a great job of keeping players on their feet and alert to defending spaces at a moment's notice.
In the fourth drill, Coach Jobson shows how to defend when your players have a holding a midfielder in front of them in a 6v5 game. Here, you can add attacking restrictions to force defenders to react quickly against a high-tempo attacking team. The back four must learn when and how to drop and shift according to the ball movement while also being aware of the space behind them and their goalkeeper. Additionally, Jobson helps the back line with spacing and body shape on how to defend when opposing team attempts to play behind your defense.
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