Coach your defenders to work quickly around the body of a goaler, as well as how to come off the body to attack a lobbed pass after shutting down the front space, with this defensive drill for intermediate-advanced players.

This drill is a continuation of the DEFENCE AROUND A GOALER – CHAIRS drill. Your players should have mastered the movements that drill first,┬ábefore attempting this one!


3 per group

1 ball per group
Bibs (options)

Coaching points
– Advancing from the last step of the “DEFENCE AROUND THE BODY – CHAIRS” drill, it’s now time to add a goaler in. The defender must initially complete the same movements around the body, tipping/palming the ball away as the passer places it to the other side of the goaler. At this point, the goaler remains passive.
– Remember to focus on the small steps and quick footwork, rather than big, lunging steps, so that the defender can move and adjust to the goaler’s position quickly.
– OUTSIDE ARM only when attempting to tip the ball.
– Once the defender has completed a number of repetitions, ask the goaler to become less passive and start to move to protect their front space. The defender must now work harder to get around the body.
– Reinforce that as the goaler tries to hold space, the defender must try to come off the body slightly and create a small amount of separation in order to be able to get their feet around. If they don’t, they’ll find themselves stuck on the body, out of position, or pushing/contacting the goaler in order to get around.
– As a final progression for advanced players, practise switching from shutting down the front pass to attempting to intercept a lobbed pass in the backspace. To effect this, have the defender work their feet around the goaler slightly, to prevent the front pass – almost to the point of overcommitting . Then, as the passer sees the backspace open up and goes to pass the ball there, the defender must quickly pop off the goaler’s body and try to get around the back, creating an opportunity to contest or intercept the high pass.. It’s an advanced skill that requires great footwork and an ability to read the play, so only add this step if your players have really mastered the other elements.