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Defending – coaching football skills

On this page you can watch a football skills coaching video on defending: Access an animated 3D football skills coaching drill on defending 2 v 2: Print out a chalkboard training session and a download a PDF, all designed to help coach the football skills of defending.

Please take the time to access this football coaching information on defending and to watch the Tour Videos to fully appreciate what a membership to Grassrootscoaching.com offers..

Coaching football skills - Defending 

There are three basic periods of a football match, when the team has the ball – attacking, when the team doesn’t have the ball – defending and when the ball is changing hands – the transition period. 

Defending is hard work. It requires very specific football skills from the players. Not only football skills regarding pressurizing, jockeying, tackling, cover and support. But communication, team work, concentration, controlled aggression, discipline and the football skill of anticipation and reading the game.

Coaching sessions designed to develop football skills for defending should include a series of progressive practice drills that will test players individual football skills for defending and progress to working on the football skills needed for working in units that are specific to relevant areas of the pitch the players will need with their football skills to improve their technique and understanding of defending. For example, forwards will need to understand and improve their football skills on how to defend against the opposition defence when they are in possession. How they can recover to help the defensive team shape and how they can defend from the front when the ball is passed beyond them. Likewise, midfield players will need to work on specific defending football skills needed for their position. By the very nature of their position, defenders will need more work on improving and developing their football skills for defending, both as individuals and units, in key defensive areas of the pitch.

Defending – coaching football skills

  • Coaching football skills Tip 1 – Appropriate pressure on the ball. Pressure quickly as the ball travels to the attacker.
  • Coaching football skills Tip 2 - Angled approach of player pressurising the ball – show the attacker one direction. 
  • Coaching football skills Tip 3 - Body position to be the same angle as the angle of approach –  force the attacker in one definite direction
  • Coaching football skills Tip 4 - Body position – low, balanced, watch the ball. Don’t be square on to the attacker
  • Coaching football skills Tip 5 - Slow down, be patient, don’t get too tight as the defender approaches the attacker.
  • Coaching football skills Tip 6 - Adjust defending position and distance on attackers touch – poor touch, maybe the ball can be won. Good touch, back off and slow the attacker down
  • Coaching football skills Tip 7 - If attacker advances with the ball – defender backs off and keeps the distance between attacker and themselves
  • Coaching football skills Tip 8 - If attacker moves the ball across defenders body, defender to pivot on back foot and change body position – now forcing attacker in a different direction
  • Coaching football skills Tip 9 - Be patient, watch the ball and work the attacker and look to force a mistake
  • Coaching football skills Tip 10 - Try and tackle with the front – leading foot. It will help with the defenders balance and recovery

Watch videos

Watch the video to understand and structure a football coaching session on improving the football skills for defending matched up.

Football Drills | Coaching Football Skills | Defending videos

See animated drill

This is a 3D animated football coaching session taken from the members’ area of Defending. The title is “Defending 2 v 2”

Football Drills | Coaching Football Skills | Defending, animated drills


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