In this fast-paced 2v2 defending drill, players get lots of opportunities to work on their defensive shape and to practice winning the ball back and scoring goals.
Quickfire 2v2 Drill
Set Up The Drill
Mark off a 15×20-yard grid with small cones. Use tall cones to set up two small goals, one on each side of the grid. Split the players up into two teams and designate a goal for them to defend. Each team should form two lines on either side of their designated goal as shown in the diagram. You’ll need two sets of bibs in different colors. For the purpose of this explanation, the team colors are Red and blue. Have a supply of balls ready by the coach’s feet to help facilitate quick restarts.
To begin the activity the coach plays a ball into the grid. Two players from each team enter the gird to play a 2v2 game with each team trying to score on their opponent’s goal. After a goal is scored or the ball leaves play, all four players leave the grid and join the back of their respective team’s lines. The coach immediately plays a new ball in for the next 4 players and the game continues. Play for a designated amount of time or until one team reaches a certain number of goals.
If a group of 2 players scores a goal they get to stay on the field of play whilst the opposing two players switch out.
Throughout the drill, players should be transitioning between the roles of first defender and second defender. The first defender is the player challenging the attacking player with the ball, and the second defender is the player marking the other attacking player. As the attackers pass the ball back and forth to each other, the defending players should switch roles and clearly communicate to each other as they do this. The roles of first and second defenders are detailed below.
The 1st defender should try and adjust their body position so that they are leading the ball toward the 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:
- Fast: Players should close the ball down as quickly as possible after making the first pass.
- Slow: Players should then slow down as they approach the attacker so as to not get beaten behind immediately.
- Side-on: Players should adjust their body position so they are side-on to the ball and the attacker with their knees bent.
- Low: Players 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.