Football/Soccer Session (Beginner): Defensive Shape

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Barcelona United

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Barcelona United
Name: Barcelona United
City: Pickerington
Country: United States of America
Membership: Adult Member
Sport: Football/Soccer
Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Screen 1

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Screen 1

Philosophy U9

Defensive Shape = Discipline

Offensive Concepts = creativity and freedom to explore (leave space must replace concept is only real rule we have)

We want to maintain a certain shape behind the ball always on defense.  We believe it is so important to keep that shape and cover the zones on the field making it smaller for the opposition to play.  The next few screen give a brief overview of our team defending in shape and a couple scenarios we see pretty often.

Offensively we want the boys to be creative and take chances in certain areas of the field.  We encourage all players to get forward with the ball if there is space and somebody must replace that space.  Allowing all players to be threats on offense regardless of their "position" anyone including our center defender (at times) is encouraged to get forward.  This is why we do not even play with "forwards" but defensively we must maintain our shape and these concepts.

 

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

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Screen 2

Defensive Zones - 3 Areas of the Field / 9 zones to know 

Red - Defensive 1/3 Urgency to get ball out, STOP THE BALL FORCE OUT, no easy looks to shoot 

Yellow - Middle 1/3 Slow down the pressure, stand player with the ball up, allow teammates to recover Force play outside not giving access to the middle 

Green - Attacking 1/3, High press, take chances, get their defenders to play quickly into the middle of the field, Do everything to keep ball in this area not letting it out easy, Squeeze play to go to the middle look to attack GO GO

These are the 9 zones that we need to cover on the field.  When we defend we always defend the space and not the player unless A) You are the PRESSURE defender or B) we are defending a corner kick in which we mark players.

However you must ALWAYS SEE the player and the ball regardless of areas.

Weak side players we have tuck into the middle zones 2,4,8 depending on where the ball is.

Center Defender is always mirroring the ball and the bottom of the diamond in most scenarios.

We want to put HIGH Pressure on the other team when they have the ball but in a smart way.  1 Player goes to the ball and the others immediately find their shape  based on pressure defender and area of field.


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

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Screen 3

Ball is in Green Light Area Zone 7 - This is our Shape 

¨Diamond Shape" always behind the ball able to defend the ball  

Pressure - Left Midfielder (forcing into the middle green light)

Cover Defenders - Center Midfielder, Left Defender (strong side in this scenario) 

Balance - Center Defender (always the bottom point of the diamond mirror ball last defender)

Balance ẅeak side players (right Midfielder, Right Defender) tuck into the middle and balance the field.  We can leave zones 3, 6 and 9 but DO NOT LOSE SIGHT OF PLAYER.

Weak Side Defenders - Right Defender/Right Midfield -  must not get in front of their forward always be able to see both staying goal side.  Right Midfielder can anticipate the pass across and jump if they feel they can win. 


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

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Screen 4

When a player gets beat - recovery from zone 7 scenario 

Our left Midfielder gets beat off the dribble.  The inside cover defender in this scenario slides up to put pressure (try to slow the play down).  They are forcing them out in yellow light area (same as red different from green) and hopefully push them into the recovery run of our Left Midfielder.  Our Right Midfielder has to drop (back toward our goal) and tuck in still being able to see player and ball.  He now has become cover from a balance defender.

The diamond shape is still present behind the ball.  The recover run has to be straight back to the goal not the ball.  If that player goes to ball we now have 2 players in pressure which we NEVER want to have (at this age anyhow).

If our center midfield gets beat as well to the outside our Left Defender would be next to pressure the ball.  The Left Midfielder and Center Midfielder need to sprint back to goal and try to get into that diamond shape with the Left Defender now the ball pressure.  The Center Defender would slide out to a cover defender.  The weak side (Right Defender becomes the bottom of the diamond for balance).  

This obviously happens very quickly in transitions but when we talk about shape this is what we want always behind the ball making it tough for the opposition to get into our space.


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Screen 5

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Screen 5

Throw in for other team in zone 6 

Always for any throw in the Midfielder (strong side) is the pressure defender.  That means they have to be behind the ball literally if the ball was a mirror they could see themselves.

Then as always we want to defend behind the ball with that ¨diamond shape"

In this scenario the cover defenders are the CM and the RD.

Our balance defenders is the bottom of the diamond again we see is our Center Defender (typically this is always the case).

In this scenario we have our Left Midfielder  and our Left Defender as the weak side defenders.  They are balance defenders as well but we are giving up the space in zones 1,4 and 7.  The reason for this is we are trusting that at this age even if they switch the field over to those zones we have time to rotate over to that space so those zones are left vacant while defending.  HOWEVER these two players need to be aware of the players in that space always staying BEHIND them giving them the ability to see ball and player as seen above.

I'm sure you hear this a lot and it applies everywhere but the idea of standing in a position where they can throw the ball right over your head makes no sense.  That pressure defender is encouraged to stand back far enough that the ball never goes over there head they are the first line of pressure on the ball once entered.


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