Soccer drill session for defending in threes

Building a good understanding between defenders is important to the success of your team. What this soccer coaching drill aims to do is to develop your players' appreciation of the positions they must take up relative to each other, the attacker and the ball.

When defending as a unit it is important that players are aware not just of the different roles, but also of how their role changes when the ball is moved from side to side by the attacking team. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link so the players must work to improve together.

Soccer drill to help defenders learn positioning skills in relation to attackers.

Soccer drill set-up tips

Set up this soccer drill in a 30 x 20 yard area. Where mannequins are required you can use poles, markers or other players.

When you call out a number, the players must take up the correct defensive positioning on the mannequins (nearest pressures, next covers and furthest provides depth). The positions the defenders should be taking are shown relative to the number highlighted.

How to advance the soccer drill

When the coach calls “Go!” the defenders must run past the mannequins and defend their goal in a live 3v3 game. Look at how the team defend, does the nearest player pressure the attacker and what do the other players do to support? This drill development can be run with a goalkeeper.