Soccer drill to defend against midfield passing

Stopping opposition midfielders from passing through balls to their attackers is a vital part of a team's defense skills. In this soccer drill session, the nearest midfield player must pressure the ball while the others stop a forward pass.

Set up soccer (football) drill

Use a 30 yards by 20 yards area divided into two halves with one ball and three sets of three players.

soccer drill session to help defenders stop midfield passes

Player movement ball movement bar

How to run the soccer drill

  • One team of players starts in each half. The third team starts along the centre line and must try to stop passes from crossing the line.

  • The players on the two outside teams are only allowed to use two touches of the ball before passing to each other or across to the opposite side.
  • One player from the central team can apply pressure in each half to try and cut out the pass.
  • The players defending the centre line must stick together and shift across the line as a group to ensure they cover the gaps and stop passes. If they stop a pass, then they switch positions with the team that loses possession.

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Click here for an unopposed passing soccer drill to coach and encourage youngsters' fluent passing skills.