Football/Soccer Session (Difficult): Introducing Concepts of Zonal Defending

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Ian Sinclair, Adult Member

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Ian Sinclair
Name: Ian Sinclair
City: Oakville
Country: Canada
Rank: Elite – 0 points
Membership: Adult Member
Sport: Football/Soccer
Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Screen 1

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Screen 1
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Screen 1

Introducing the Concepts of Zonal Defending

Warm-up:

1. Players working in pairs 1 ball per pair

- Two players start off interpassing back and fourth

- Whenever the player stepped on the ball that was the cue for the opposite player to close down and react to the the ball.

2. Players continue working in pairs 1 ball per pair

- Players again interpassing back and fourth

- Player will then let one go through the legs and will turns to chase the ball. Partner will then close down reacting to the visual cues.

3. Now players are working in groups of 3 interpassing between each other in a tight triangle.

- As 1 player steps on the ball the other two players close down with closest player shouting "I've got ball" pressuring with a covering player out to the side.

Coaching Points:


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Screen 2

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Screen 2

Zonal Defending

- 20x25 yard grid

- Working with a Midfield 4 and a Back 4

- Blues = Mid's / Reds= Back 4

- Reds (back 4) start by stepping in front of the gates

- Blues will start with the balls

1. Blues start by playing to any of the Red back four players. The reds then play it to any of the midfield 4 players in Blue.

- The Blues then Attack the line (interpasing, dribble, anything they want) with the objective to stop the ball on the line to score. The Reds (back 4) will step up to defend them and attack the standup cone.

Coaching Points:

1. When ball is played to wide position:

- Force them inside or outside. This depends on how you play. If playing a 4:3:3 you may opt to forec them inside where the traffic/numbers are. If you play a 4:4:2 then you may opt to force them outside.

- Pressure on the ball from first defender

- Covering player a little closer

- Balancing out player (2nd CB) a little deeper

- Weakside FB should be level or just slights infront of

2. Defending From Central position:

- Closest central player steps up and pushes the player one way or the other.

- Ex. CB1 pushes player outside, strong side FB drops inisde to provide cover, CB2 covering CB1 (triangle shape) and weakside FB providing balance by being level or slighty infront of.

3. When ball is further away in a central area you should have two CB's level with each other and outside backs slightly infront of. The only time you should be flat is when ball is in around the 18 yard box into shooting areas.


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Screen 3

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Screen 3
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Screen 3

Zonal Defending:

Part 3:

- Now the back 4 in Red start behind the gates

- Blues start with the balls

- Blues have to defend the standup cones and must dribble through any of the 3 gates in order to attack coned goals behind the gates. Blues (midfelders can move anywhere they want offensively and pass, dribble, swith the ball)

- Starting positions for the back 4 in Red is behind the gates and spread out to cover the width. As the Blues get close to the gate they are now able to step up because you dont want them to dribble through but If ball gets switched to the side the player must drop back in behind the gate.

Coaching Points:

- Defensive communication - CB"s need to talk and as ball gets switched they need to get the team to slide/shift over ("Step, Drop")

- Close enough to support incase player gets beat and close enough to adjust in case ball gets played over to the side where now you can get pressure to the ball quickly as it arrives.

- Dont Cahse the ball - Be patient and let them bring the ball to you. As they get closer then you want to think about stepping out.

- If Blues dribble across field from wide areas - The FB in RED should stay on winger until the CB calls off FB "Ive got ball"

- If Red's win the ball they can attack the stand-up cone - The CB has to organize the other 3 defenders behind the ball in case you turn over the ball and get countered.


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Screen 4

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Screen 4

Zonal Defending: 9v9 Game

- Blues set-up in 1:3:4:1 vs. Reds - 1:4:4

- All Balls start with goalkeeper playing out to any of the blues

- Blue team must either Dribble or Pass through 1 of the 3 gates before they can score on the big goal.

- Red's when they win the ball attack the goal and look to counter quickly.

Progression: REMOVE the gates

Coaching Points:

- As previous


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