How to Defend as A Compact Box 4 (06-P3)


See all of Coaching Theme 6:

 This 4 v 4 Practice + floaters can be worked to on penetration passing and defensive compactness. Decide on your focus, maybe one coach with one group and other with opposition, rotating players throughout.

  • Attacking Emphasis 75% 75%
  • Defending Emphasis 34% 34%

Age Group

Number of Players


Key Point

The box 4 in defending must focus on distances and angles of cover to ensure they are not penetrated by the attacking passing team. They must ensure they are aware of the receiving player behind them and the pattern of play, anticipating where passes are to be played. 

Progression 1

We can now allow a single defender to press, forcing the 3 covering defenders to cover a larger area and for the possession team to move the ball quickly, increasing challenge for both groups in different areas of the practice. 

Key Coaching Points

– Social: Communication between players in defending phase
– Physical: Cover distances quickly
– Psychological: Awareness of players behind to cover passing lines

  • Where is the best position to support my teammate?
  • How does the pressing defender affect the practcie and do we need to adjust session?
  • Who needs challenging more and how can we apply constraints to enhance this challenge?


Difficulty Rating


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