Soccer is a game that demands the players be as mentally attentive as they are physically active on the ground. Ideally, any player on the pitch needs to be fully aware of the location and movement of the 21 other persons sharing the field. Soccer is all about balancing attack and defense - and the teams which can master it are the successful ones.
As important as it is, defense is not made a part of the training by many coaches. You need to incorporate defense skills and strategies into your workouts so that your players will know that it is as integral as offense skills are. In this post, we will see why defense is such a big deal in soccer, what makes an effective defense strategy, and how you can make your players good at defense.
The first thing that needs to be made clear is that every player needs to defend in soccer.If you want to teach your players how to do so effectively, you need to make defense a part of the training of ALL players regardless of their playing position.
If you teach the proper soccer defense tips to the players, you will be able to see these benefits:
If your team has a strong defense, the goal scorers of the opposing team will have to face multiple layers of protection before they can put the ball between the poles. As soccer is a game with limited time, any delay decreases the chances of a team winning.
A team that knows the right defending tricks in soccer can better hold the goal scorers, preventing them from scoring a goal before time runs out.
Soccer defense techniques instill in players the ability to steer the opposite team’s attackers off to the sidelines. It increases the chances of the opponents making a foul move and getting a penalty. Even if that does not happen, your players get a better chance to have the ball to themselves and orchestrate better attack moves.
Getting possession of the ball and retaining it is more important in soccer than we can stress. The only way your team can do this is by having a strong defense. When all your players have undergone defender training drills, they can keep the ball to themselves.
When players know how to defend in soccer, they also know how to stop defending players from the opposing team. It gives the players an added edge.
If your players have the basic knowledge and training for defense, they can easily acquire the ball from the opposite team. You can just imagine how important that can be in the game of soccer.
Whether a player is playing defense in soccer or not, a player with good defense skills will always be a great asset for the team.
Being good at defense in soccer boils down to two things. Your team needs to have a proper strategy, and your players need to implement it by learning skills through defensive soccer drills. No matter how good soccer defense tips you give to the players, it will all be for nothing if they have no strategy.
Here are the things that you need to make a part of your soccer defense strategy:
Soccer is as much of a game of nerves as it is that of muscles. If your players succeed in exerting pressure on the other team’s offensive players, the chances of success increase.
One of the best strategies is always having one or more players around the opposing player with the ball. You need to strategize your team’s gameplay in such a manner as to place a defender behind the player with the ball to bring them under pressure. It increases the chances of them making an offensive mistake, giving your player more time to react to their actions.
When a player of your team approaches the man with the ball from the other team, they need to slow down as fast as possible and make their next move. This delicate balance between approaching the player quickly and slowing down to take the next step even faster is difficult to achieve. Luckily, there are soccer defensive recovery drills that can teach the players this skill.
An added benefit of slowing down quickly is that the opponent is more likely to make a wrong move under such a condition. When your player is coming at them at high speed, they calculate their next move according to that, but if they slow down as they just approach them, this will render their calculation to be useless, and your player will be able to make a successful move.
Dribbling and shuffling are two of the most commonly used skills to hold defenders back. If your players defend at an angle and not head-on, they have a better chance to cope with the side-to-side movement of their opponent.
Defensive soccer drills for one person also make it easier for players to keep the rest of the field in their peripheral vision as they defend. As situational awareness is cardinally important in soccer, this gives the players a better chance to make a successful move.
Defense in soccer is not just the defense of the goal but also that of the ball. Your players need to be trained enough to keep the ball to themselves once they have acquired it. Getting a ball is one thing but keeping it among your players is another - and this is what matters the most in a game of soccer.
Once your players have the ball, they need to defend it from the attackers of the opposing team until it clears the goalposts.
The actual performance of your players on the pitch depends on the skills they practically have, which can only be acquired through drills and practice. The goal of defensive soccer drills is to make the players respond to unforeseen circumstances and respond to them quickly.
If any of your players asks how to become a good defender in soccer, tell them drills and practice is what they need. You can devise your own drills for soccer defense. Here are some ideas that might come in handy.
It is one of the best 1v1 defensive soccer drills to teach defense and reaction skills.
The Circle Rondo Drill can be used as a warm-up before a game or to teach defense skills.
This drill focuses on judging what the attacker is planning to do and stopping them effectively. Whatever they try to do, the defender has to block them off.
It is a drill for both attackers and defenders. The focus here, for the attackers, is to build up an attack near the penalty area and score a goal while the defenders try to stop them.
The importance of practice and drills can not be underestimated, but they’re not the only thing to guarantee success in soccer. Soccer tips and tricks will help your players better defend themselves in a soccer match.
Here are some tried and tested ones from soccer pros:
A good defense in soccer is impossible without a quick reaction time. If you want your players to learn that, the defensive soccer drills we listed above can come in handy. You can also use the BlazePod app and pods, which come with preloaded drills, to further improve their reaction time and make a difference in their gameplay.