The following posts have been tagged with "soccer width in defense"...

Soccer Width In Defense


Too much width in your soccer defense is bad. The wider your soccer defense is, the more spread out & the easier it is to penetrate. Your defenders should stay close enough together to support each other, but not too close (if they are too close, they lose effectiveness & can’t cover enough space). Your soccer defense should be just wide enough to slow down the attack (i.e., just wide enough that the attackers can’t easily go around you) & should “shift & sag” so there are multiple layers of defenders between the ball & the goal. As your team gets older & plays better teams, the attackers will start to “switch fields” and use a wide attack as a way to get around your defense & to loosen it up. (See “Soccer Support“, “Soccer Cover“, “Support Distance & Relative Position in Soccer“, “Spread The Soccer Field” & “Stretched Soccer Defense“).


Soccer Switch The Play or Switch Fields


(aka Change Fields, Switch Fields or Reverse The Field ). An attacking
concept where the ball is quickly passed from one side to the other (i.e., to the “weak side”) where the defense is weaker. This is usually done by a long pass (often a chip pass). This also has the effect of loosening or stretching the defense so it is less compact & easier to penetrate. (See “Strong Side“, “Back Side“, “Width In Attack” & “Width In Defense“).


Soccer Support


You want to have “support” on both offense & defense. “Support”
refers to having teammates who are properly positioned near the ball (i.e., within passing range on offense and within 5 – 10 steps of the First Defender on defense):

A.  On Offense, there should always be 2 or more teammates within passing range (7-15 steps, depending on age) who are open for a pass. One of these can be following the ballhandler (a “trailer”). The key concepts are “First Atacker”, “Second Attacker”, and “Third Attacker”. (See “First Attacker”, “Push Up”, “Support Distance & Relative Position”, “Attacking”, “Attacking Tips” in Chapter 1, & Chapter 2, “How To Teach Offense & Defense”).
B.  On Defense there are 3 key concepts:
  1. “First Defender” – The player closest to the ball must challenge the ball & try to slow down the attack or block a shot, and
  • “Second Defenders” – The second closest player must be the Second Defender and back up the First Defender and stay between the ball and the goal. The Second Defender should stay about 5-7 steps behind the First Defender and should become the First Defender if the ballhandler gets by the initial First Defender. (In this case, the initial defender should drop back to help the defender who was backing him up).
  • “Shift & Sag” – As soon as the ball is lost, your team should quickly “transition” from offense to defense; the closest player should become the “First Defender” the next two closest should become the “Second Defenders” & all the rest should “shift & sag”. What this means is to shift so they are generally between the ball & the goal & sag back to create multiple layers of defenders (which is called “Depth”). There are 2 rules that you can use to teach your players how to “shift & sag” on defense:
    • The left & right players (e.g., the LMF & RMF or LFB & RFB) should not go past the center of the field.
  • Don’t go past a teammate unless it is an emergency & never go past two teammates. These rules apply to defense but not offense because more creativity is allowed on offense. (See “Shift & Sag“, “Shape“, “Depth“, “Cover“, “Width In Defense“, “Support Distance & Relative Position“, “Zone Defense“, “Defense” & “Flat Defense“).
  • C.  All players should shift toward the ball whether on offense or defense. Ideally, there should be multiple layers of support on both offense & defense.


    Soccer Stretched Defense


    When defenders are too far apart. A stretched defense has holes & is vulnerable to attack. (See “Stretch The Field“, “Width In Attack” & “Width In Defense“).


    Soccer Stretch The Field


    (aka “Spread The Field”). See “Spread The Field“, “Stretched Defense“, “Width In Attack” & “Width In Defense“).


    Soccer Spread The Field


    (aka “Stretch The Field”). When you are attacking, you want to “spread” or “stretch” the defenders to open up holes in the defense. By spreading the defenders, you force them to cover a larger area so the defenders are farther apart & can’t do as good a job of supporting each other. (On the other hand, if you are defending, you want to be careful to not get too spread out or stretched). One way to spread out a defense is by using “width” on the attack. One example of this is if you spread your FB’s wide on your goal kick in order to force the defenders to cover the entire width of the field. Another example of spreading the field is to be sure your forwards stay a pass apart. You can also stretch the length of the defense. An example of this is if the other team is “pushed up” and you put your fastest forward at the halfway line & then send “through balls” or long cleared kicks into the open space between the other team’s FB’s & their goalkeeper. If you do this a few times the other team won’t be able to push up as far and you will have “stretched” their defense. (See “Width In Attack“, “Width In Defense“, “Stretched Defense“, “Stretch The Field” & “Goal Kick“).


    Soccer Defense


    See “Soccer Shift & Sag”, “Soccer Support”, “Soccer Zone Defense”, “Soccer Formations“, “Soccer Depth“, “Soccer Cover“, “Soccer Mark“, “Soccer Pressure”, “Soccer Defending Deep“, “Width In Defense”, “Shape”, “Support Distance & Relative Position”, “Defending Third“, “Win The Ball”, “Ball Watching“, “Breakaway“, “Clear“, “Danger Zone“, “Soccer Dangerous Attackers“, “Soccer Goalkeeper“, “Verbal Soccer Signals“, “Where…From” and Soccer Defensive Tips at SoccerHelp Premium.


    Soccer Cover


    “Cover”, “Support”, & “Depth” are related but different soccer concepts. Whereas “support” means there should be several soccer teammates within the immediate area of the ball (i.e., within the distance of a long pass on offense and a short pass on defense) and applies to soccer offense (i.e., receivers supporting the passer) and soccer defense (e.g., the Second Defender should back up the First Defender), “cover” is a defensive soccer concept that has 3 meanings. One meaning refers to areas of the soccer field that your “defense” should cover. For example, when the soccer ball is on your end of the field, your soccer defense must “cover” your Danger Zone & if the ball is in your Danger Zone your defenders must especially cover the area in front of your soccer goal. The area your soccer defense must cover depends on how far away from your goal the ball is, which side of the soccer field it is on & who is faster, your soccer fullbacks or the other team’s forwards (e.g., if your fullbacks are faster then you can “push up” more because you have the speed to “recover”). A second meaning refers to a soccer defender guarding an opponent (e.g., “His job is to cover the Right Forward”). The term cover is also used as a synonym for defensive soccer support (e.g., “The Sweeper is responsible for providing cover for his fullbacks”. This is similar to the concept of a free safety providing cover for his cornerbacks and linebackers in American football). (See “Support“, “Shift & Sag“, “Depth“, “Width In Defense” & “Recover“).