Improve your defenders’ ability to read the play, intercept the ball and then switch into tight one-on-one defence with this multi-faceted defensive drill.



1 ball
1 bib optional

Coaching points
– The defender should always start about a metre behind the two ‘post’ players, to give themselves a good angle to intercept the ball and stop them lunging sideways.
– Defender should be light on their feet with their weight slightly forward and ready to react with three or four explosive steps, rather sitting back on their heels.
– Passer should release strong shoulder passes towards the ‘post’ players – it should not be easy for the defender to reach every time. For younger or less experienced players, shorten the distance between the two ‘post’ players accordingly, to make intercepting achievable.
– When the defender is intercepting – particularly on the lobbed pass – they should ‘create their own line’ to the ball, i.e. ignore the opposing player and simply attack the ball at the earliest possible point, as if it is being passed to them, rather than the attacker.
– After the second intercept, the defender should switch as quickly as possible into one-on-one defence and be prepared to step up and physically restrict the attacking player’s space. They should aim to stop the attacking player getting an easy pass in front, and also stop the baseline drive in order to force a high pass that gives them a chance of intercepting.
– Watch the defender’s positioning and encourage them to position with an angle that allows them to cover their opponent while also having vision of the ball, to allow them to react quickly when the pass comes in.
– Each player should quickly work through 4-5 repetitions of the drill before rotating positions with their teammates.

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