Football/Soccer Session (Beginner): Defining the thirds - defending and attacking

Profile Summary

Matthew Hodgson
Name: Matthew Hodgson
City: Westmont
Country: United States of America
Rank: Elite – 4 points
Membership: Adult Member
Sport: Football/Soccer
Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Defining the 3rds

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Defining the 3rds
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Defining the 3rds

We attack way arrows point.

The 3rds always stay the same.

We Defend our defensive 3rd

We attempt to score in the final 3rd.


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Type of defending

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Type of defending
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Type of defending

When defending in our defensive 3rd, pressure needs to be quick. No turning allowed if back to goal, look to push players onto weaker foot and away from the goal. Be strong in the tackle but patient. If balls are high into this area no bounces should be allowed - even if the ball is not won with the head from the air DO NOT LET THE BALL BOUNCE.

Midfield 3rd - force players into mistakes. Keep heads down so passes cannot be made. Use body to ease players off ball and be strong in the tackle. DO NOT LET THE BALL BOUNCE.

When defending in final 3rd players should be looking to cut off options to player on the ball and force ball into centre of the field. Just because players are forwards, does not mean they do not have defensive responsibilities, however these will be specific on a game by game basis. DO NOT LET THE BALL BOUNCE.


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Possession in the thirds

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Possession in the thirds
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Possession in the thirds

When in possession in our defensive 3rd the main objective is to move the ball forward quickly and at pace.

If the ball needs to be dropped or dumped backwards and the hit long forwards to relieve pressure then this is an option. If not can we play into midfield 3 players. Play should always be low or no risk in this area. Players should understand the low/no risk concept.

In the midfield 3rd if we are breaking away and are numbers up, play needs to be direct and should go forwards/backwards but not from side to side.

If we are looking to possess the ball balls can be played square,forward or backwards dependant on way player is facing and type of pressure they are under.


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