The Set-up: Create a 15 yard triangle (as pictured), Divide team into two groups, attackers and defenders (red/white). It’s not necessary to have the group divided by color, but it helps for the explanation of the exercise. The defender (Red) starts along the end-line with a ball. The attacker (white) stands at the top of the triangle.
Note: This exercise is best in groups of 6 to 8. If you have 12 players, create a second triangle.
The Game: Red passes the ball to white and quickly moves out to defend. White attempts to dribble the end-line. Red attempts to defend in the upper portion of the triangle (MUST close the space in order to do so), win the ball back and dribble the upper side-line.
Coach should focus on the Defender:
- Immediate pressure to the ball (“close the space”)
- Speed of approach (Fast first couple of steps, but slow down as you approach the attacker)
- Get side on (“steer the attack”)
- Soft on your feet, knees bent, weight slightly toward your back foot
- Patient defending (“Don’t dive in”)
- Winning the ball back
- Counter (Dribble the sideline)
This is a great exercise to teach players to close the space since the slower one is in doing so the more room the attacker has to operate within the triangle.
Progression (Pictured on Right Side of the Diagram): The same exercise, but with the addition of counter goals. Now, if red can win the ball back and dribble the sideline, he or she can attack the counter goals.
Note: Coach should encourage white to defend upon loss of possession and not allow red to counter!
Rotation: Rotate from attacking to defending line, defending to attacking line or have one team defend/attack for a certain period (ex. 4 minutes) and then switch roles.