This 2v2 defending drill has multiple repetitions in which the defenders approach the attackers from different angles as they look to win the ball and find their defensive shape quickly.
2v2 Defending Drill – Get In And Defend
Set Up The Drill
Mark off a 20x20yard grid with small cones. Use tall cones to set up 4 small goals, 1 on each side of the grid. Split the players up into four teams and have each team form two lines on either side of each of the goals (one team per goal). You’ll need four sets of pinnies in different colors, one for each team. For the purpose of this explanation, the team colors are red, green, blue, and orange. Each team should also have a supply of balls (approximately one per player).
To begin the activity the coach calls out two colors (e.g. ‘Red and Green’). One player from each of the teams comes out to play a 1v1 game. The first color called out is the attacker and that player dribbles a ball in and attacks the goal directly across from them (this is the only goal they are allowed to attack).
The second color called out is the defender and that player runs onto the field without a ball and defends the goal that the attacker is trying to score a point on. If they win the ball back the defender can score in any of the other three goals. After a goal is scored or the ball leaves play, the coach calls out two new colors, and the game is played again.
Once players understand the premise of the game progress so 2 players from each team come out and play 2v2 with the same rules.
If players cannot win the ball back immediately they need to get into their 1st and 2nd defender roles as quickly as possible.
The 1st defender should try and adjust their body position so that they are leading the ball towards their 2nd defender. In addition to this, you can use the rhyme “fast, slow, side-on, low!” to help the players remember how to defend in 1v1 situations. This corresponds to the following:
- Players should close the ball down as quickly as possible after making the first pass (fast).
- Players should then slow down as they approach the attacker so as to not get beaten behind immediately (slow).
- Players should adjust their body position so they are side on to the ball and the attacker (side-on) with their knees bent. (low). They should also angle their approach slightly to try and lead the attacker away from the goal they are defending.
The 2nd defender needs to be thinking about the following three things at once:
- Ball – Keep your eyes on the ball at all times.
- Space – Be in a position to be able to cover the space behind the first defender in case they are beaten.
- Player – Be in a position to be able to close the 2nd attacker down if the ball is played to them, before taking on the role of the 1st defender in relation to the new player on the ball.
If you want to give the defenders more chance of success, you can initially put a condition on the game that players can only score by dribbling through the goal. This will give them more opportunities to execute their defensive skills