Soccer drill to stop attackers turning

This football coaching session is all about stopping opposition players with their backs to goal from turning with the ball. By doing this, they won't be able to pass or dribble into the space behind your defense.
The aim of the soccer (football) coaching session is to:

  • Stop forward or through passes.

  • Stop good dribblers from turning and attacking your defenders.
  • Force opponents away from goal.

What players need to think about in this soccer drill

  • Make up ground to within touching distance of the attacker while the ball is passed from the server.

  • The defender must position their body between the attacker and target player.
  • Stand slightly sideways-on, ready to move quickly in any direction.
  • Get a clear view of the ball.
  • Tackle when the attacker is half-turned and not screening the ball.

Soccer (football) drill to get players preventing the opposition from turning close to goal

How to run soccer (football) drill

  • Use the centre circle for this defending soccer session, or an area 20 yards in diameter.

  • Two players – one attacker and one defender – start inside the playing area.
  • The defender initially gives the attacker some space.
  • One server and one target player start on the edge of the circle opposite each other along an imaginary halfway line.
  • Another server and target player start on the edge of the circle opposite each other along an imaginary halfway line that runs across the centre of the first line (see pictures above). All four players on the edge of the circle should be spaced apart equally.
  • The attacker receives the ball from a server and must attempt to turn and pass the ball to the target player on the opposite side of the circle.
  • Whatever the outcome, the football drill is repeated with the attacker next receiving a pass from the other server. Rotate players so they all have a go at being the defender.

How to develop the football drill

  • The unused server becomes a target player. The defender now has to cut off two options for the attacker.

  • Increase the size of the circle. 

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Click here for a small-sided game to coach defensive technique close to the goal.