Soccer coaching tips to boost defenders support role

When a defender plays the ball out of his penalty area to one of his midfielders or attackers, he should not stop running. He should run outside the attacker, to help put pressure on the opponents, says David Clarke. Use the following soccer coaching tips to put these skills into practice.

Running at the opposition

When defenders play the ball up the line to their attackers they need to support them by running alongside them so they can get past players by playing a wall pass or they can put the supporting defender in so he can cross the ball into the box.

Support play tips

Support play is essential when you have players running with the ball. If you are an attacker going one-on-one with the defender you want to have the option of passing past the defender you are facing.

image shows right way and wrong way of defender's support play helping attacker

The attacker increases his options

It also means the defending player is up against two, rather than one, attacking players, so he will have to make a decision whether to jump in or wait to see what the attacker does. In this way your attacker’s clever skills will be even more effective.

Support players give options to score goals

When you watch teams in the top leagues around the world, there is always a support player who is running with the attacker. The more options your team has, the more chances they have of scoring goals.

Key soccer coaching tip: Tell your defenders to run outside their attackers to offer support.

Click here for a soccer drill to get your players thinking about how to support play as it moves up the pitch.