Training The Back “4” & Midfield: Unit Defending


I actually played in this exercise today and really enjoyed it.  The purple team is defending 4 small goals across 55 yard wide field that is 40 yards in length.  The back “4” must shift as a unit and the midfield “4” as well in order to keep the defensive shape compact.  Notice in the picture the right center midfielder is dropped into the gap between the midfield line and the back line.  This makes it harder for the attacking team to exploit space in that dangerous area of the field.  If the ball was on the left side for the yellow team the – the left purple center midfielder would drop into the gap.  It is important for the back “4” to take control and show leadership by commanding the team to “shift left or right”, “step”, “drop” or “hold”.  After 10 minutes rotate the sides so both teams have the opportunity to score on the 4 small goals.  Even though it is a unit defending drill the coach can still work on the team with the ball & what they can do to break the defending team down.  As a player today I enjoyed this session a lot and especially enjoyed organizing the team from the back forward – it reminded me of my playing days!