Defending Outnumbered | Opposed / Opposed (13-S1)

Phase 5: Defending Organised

Age Group 11+

Duration 60 minutes

Players 9+

This 2 part 60 minute session is suitable for players aged 11 and over and combines a Rondo practice with an overloaded 3 v 2.



Free Soccer Drills

Opposed Skill


Defending Outnumbered | Opposed (13-P3)

Organisation / Set Up
This opposed defending practice is part 3 of theme 13 Defending Outnumbered, working 3 defenders against 6 possession players. In this 25 by 25 Yard area, there is a 10 by 10 area where defenders will begin, the objective is for the passing team to combine with a single teammate in the central area to play through; defenders must stop this.

Defending Outnumbered 13 P3 1

Key Coaching Points
  • (Tact) Decisions to press
  • (Tech) Body shape and position in defending 1 v 1.
  • (Psych) Support teammates by covering effectively.

Defending Outnumbered 13 P3 2


Progressions & Constraints 1
By allowing attackers to play through to the opposite half without going through the central square, forces defenders to cover more space.


Defending Outnumbered 13 P3 3


Progressions & Constraints 2
Reduce the challenge, by conditioning the possession team to 2 touch, allowing defenders more chance of winning the ball by pressing early to regain..



Defending Outnumbered 13 P3 4


Key Questions
  • How are you regaining possession by pressing effectively?
  • How and when do you decide to press as a group?
  • How do progressions influence your defending and how do you adapt as a defensive group?




Free Soccer Drills



Defending Outnumbered | Opposed Practice (13-P1)

Set Up / Organisation
Practice 1 from our Van Dijk based Coaching Theme 13 ‘Defending Outnumbered’ is based on 2 teams playing in a 433. 2 Defenders set up against 3 attacking players in a 30 by 30 yard area, with one recovering defender starting on the attackers first touch. Objective is for the attacking team to score quickly taking advantage of the immediate overload, with the defending team aiming to win possession and score in one of two mini goals.

13 P1 1


13 P1 2

Key Coaching Points
  • Tactical | Forcing direction to create a 2 v 2 and eliminate extra attacking player
  • Technical | Defensive ability in 1 v 1s, jockeying on toes able to adjust and turn
  • Social | Support teammates who become the primary pressing player (positioning)

13 P1 3

Progressions & Constraints | 1
  • Progression | Not allowing the defensive midfielder (4) to recover into the deepest 10 yard zone, encouraging quicker play from the front 3.

13 P1 4

Player Challenges | 1
  • Recognising pressing triggers on a bad touch or a slow pass.

13 P1 5

Player Challenges | 2
  • Providing effective covering positions for teammates.

13 P1 6

Player Challenges | 3
  • Pace and angles of recovery runs made.