Football/Soccer Session (Moderate): Defensive Transition Exercise

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Am-Club: West Virginia Soccer Club

Alex Boyer, Adult Member

Profile Summary

Alex Boyer
Name: Alex Boyer
City: Huntington, WV
Country: United States of America
Rank: Elite – 3 points
Membership: Adult Member
Sport: Football/Soccer
Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Set up

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Set up
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Set up

The exercise takes place ten yards either side of the halfway line. The field is split into four areas across the field and each area is occupied by a defender with an attacker directly opposite. As they match up together, there are two additional attacking players on the outside sidelines. There will be a goalkeeper behind the four defenders on one side and a coach will act as a server behind the attackers on the other.


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): pressure/cover

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): pressure/cover
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pressure/cover

The first part of the exercise involves the four defenders and the four adjacent attackers. The two wide attackers are not part of this. All players stay in their own area. The attacking players pass the ball square and each time the ball arrives at an attackers feet, the defender directly opposite steps up to apply pressure. As the attacking player passes the ball square and the ball leaves the area, the same defender retreats to their original line. It is a simple exercise of pressure, shifting, and covering but also allows defenders to pick up cues where they will be able to see the ball arriving by the body shape of the passer. This can be hugely important in games because you can then apply pressure quicker and reduce the options of the attacker


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Transition

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Transition
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Transition

On the coaches signal, the exercise transitions into a 6v4 towards goal. The ball used in the first defensive positioning exercise is now out of the exercise and the coach triggers the ball into one of the wide players to start the attack towards goal.


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): stay balanced

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): stay balanced
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stay balanced

The first role of the defenders is to retreat towards goal but also to stay balanced. You can see on the video that the Dortmund back four will defend ‘from the inside out’, which means they stay compact and push teams out to wide areas. You can also see that, although retreating is important, they are unwilling to drop into their 18 yard box. This is a critical coaching point because once a back four drops into that area, they are unable to apply any pressure on the ball towards attacking players, as well as being vulnerable to crosses.


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Movement
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Pass
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