Fundamental Youth Soccer

Defending Tips

Here’s a list of key aspects of good defending. Use these standards as your guide and you’ll be well on your way to playing tough defense, no matter who you’re playing against or facing.

  1. Stand the player up and don’t dive in.
  2. See the player & the ball at all times. Focus on the ball when defending one v one.
  3. Keep the player in front of you.
  4. Bend your knees and be on your toes.
  5. Be prepared to move quickly backwards and/or to the side.
  6. Listen to your teammates behind you. They can give you directions, such as steering the player to the touchline or inside or to make a tackle when there’s an opportunity.
  7. Work to make attackers make mistakes – have patience.
  8. Force the attacker into pressure.
  9. Defenders work to keep the ball in front of them.
  10. If support is behind you the defender must increase pressure and look to win the ball.
  11. Defender must close distance while ball is traveling.
  12. Defender must stay on your toes and avoid standing flat-footed.
  13. Defenders must tighten up when getting close to goal so defenders can win balls when attackers make mistakes.
  14. Play hard with intensity – don’t give up even if you get beat, track back towards the goal.